INDIANAPOLIS — Getting rid of Oaktree Apartments has been a goal of City-County Councilor La Keisha Jackson's since before she was elected to public office.
She has a long list of words to describe the now demolished apartment complex that became notorious for everything, from violent crime to health code violations.
"Nuisance, eye sore, neglected, rat-infested, something you wouldn't want to live in. Something you wouldn't want an animal to live in," Jackson said.
With the apartments now gone, the possibilities for the 19-acre site are practically endless.
"That's a lot of land! That's a lot of land," Clare Pope, a 25 year resident of Indy's far east side said.
She's hoping the newly empty field near 42nd Street and Post Road will be developed into a destination for the east side filled with the basic needs most neighborhoods have. She said people would be shocked to learn what her neighborhood is missing.
"This particular area where the land for Oaktree is, we have no library over here. We have no park for the kids to play. Grocery store. It would be a disrespect to the community to build anything outside of a grocery store," Pope said.
The wish-list of what could be is long, with Pope and Jackson both hoping for a mixed-use development that includes a green space, a medical center, dentist office and a bank which will be easily accessible when IndyGo's Purple Line is built along Post Road.
Community Leader Dee Ross knows exactly the places he doesn't want to see there.
"We do not want a strip club. We do not want a liquor store. We do not want a used car lot. We do not want another apartment complex. We do not want anything that is not going to uplift and transform our community out of poverty," Ross said.
The feedback from residents is what project developers and city leaders hope to hear during upcoming public meetings where the community is invited to take part in the planning. If all goes well, Councilor Jackson will have a different set of words to describe a project that she believes brings hope.
"Glory, beauty, beautification, transformation," Jackson said.
The public meetings for input on the site will be held virtually on Zoom, on May 13 and June 8.