Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc.
INDIANAPOLIS—(March 4, 2011) Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. (KIB) is continuing to reach out and work with the local community and its Board of Directors to refine its plans to expand its headquarters, located at 1029 Fletcher Ave.
“For nearly a month we have had an open dialogue with the neighborhood about the fact that the demand for our services continues to grow and that we need to expand our space to continue to serve the city,” said David Forsell, President of Keep Indianapolis Beautiful. “We will continue those conversations and welcome community input as we decide what is best for KIB while thoughtfully considering the needs and desires of the neighborhood. These conversations have, in part, led us to decide to pursue a more modest expansion at this time.”
Late last year, KIB purchased an abandoned former body shop, located at 732 Shelby. In addition, KIB’s board has approved KIB accepting the property located at 728-730 Grove Street, on which a vacant double is located. This parcel is currently owned by another party, Phil Schaefer, who, working in cooperation with KIB, purchased the home through tax sale for the ultimate benefit of KIB.
Current plans are to demolish/deconstruct these two buildings to provide KIB more operations space and for the storage of trees and other plant material for community projects. KIB has nearly finalized design alternatives and budgeting for this expansion, and hopes to complete this work in June or July. Among other things, this expansion will accommodate an expansion of KIB’s very successful Youth Tree Team, which involves community youth ages 15 to 18 who plant, preserve and maintain trees across Indianapolis.
KIB anticipates needing additional space for its operations in the not-too-distant future to accommodate KIB’s growth as it continues to serve Indianapolis neighborhoods. For the past several weeks, KIB representatives have engaged in multiple conversations with individuals as well as community and business groups about a possible future phase of campus expansion further to the south.
One option KIB has considered is expanding to contiguous properties on the 1100 block of Lexington Avenue. To be viable, this option would require the removal of three existing structures, two of which are, and have been for some time, vacant and boarded up. A third is currently leased. The current owner of these properties is Phil Schaefer who bought these properties with the intent of donating them to KIB.
At this time, KIB cannot afford to expand further south on Lexington Avenue which presents an opportunity for KIB to evaluate more fully other expansion alternatives and to continue to discuss options with the community. KIB is fully committed to continuing to work with the community and to exploring reasonable expansion alternatives that can meet the organization’s needs while balancing the needs and desires of the community. According to Forsell, “KIB’s mission is all about improving neighborhoods and our urban environment. We came to our present location with the goal of helping be a part of the re-birth of this part of our city. Our ongoing goal is to continue to work with and improve Fountain Square and beyond.”
Until future plans can be finalized, the properties on Lexington will remain the property of Mr. Schaefer. KIB recognizes that, as a property owner, Mr. Schaefer has safety and liability concerns as well as ongoing expenses that he must address to be a responsible landowner and to ensure the properties do not further deteriorate and/or become attractive nuisances for him or for the community.
For more information on KIB’s expansion plan or to see proposed rendering of the site, please visit www.kibi.org/faqs_on_kibs_building_expansion.
About Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc.
Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. is a private, nonprofit organization uniting people to build community and transform public spaces through aesthetic and environmental improvement. In 2010, KIB engaged nearly 40,000 volunteers on 500 community improvement projects. To learn more, please visit www.kibi.org.