Realtor wants to revitalize Indianapolis

March 11, 2013 by  

Most downtowns have areas that are not quite what they used to be, but at least one entrepreneur is working to change that in Indiana by sprucing up some of its neglected parts

Realtor Brian Schaper has recently stepped up to the plant and wants to fix up some of the structures in the area, transforming it to a lively, sophisticated shopping and entertainment center.

Among the renovations already underway is a storefront at 2217-19 Broadway, which has new paint, new lighting fixtures, and new windows. A short distance away, a 2,400 square foot Victorian house is also under renovation. Schaper envisions it as a boutique or a restaurant.

Schaper is taking his cue from a phenomenon called ‘Fort Wayne’s Broad Ripple’, a north-side section of Indianapolis full of night spots, galleries, funky shops, and restaurants that have proven attractive to both tourists and locals. He believes the Broadway area can be reworked until they are a similar magnet for visitors.

Schaper and his group, Business on Broadway, embrace renovation rather than destruction, believing that pulling down buildings is part of the problem, not the solution. A destroyed structure leaves a weedy, trash-covered vacant lot that soon becomes an obstacle to further renovation. They opt instead to rework classic buildings like the Victorian, providing a charming backdrop for the businesses and residents still to come.

Business on Broadway is using a city grant for its projects, but it could work with brochure printers to develop material for presentations to other funding agencies. It could also be used to attract businesses to the area.