Indianapolis neighborhoods targeted for redevelopment projects

By James Polston
TheStatehouseFile.com

INDIANAPOLIS ­— Mayor Joe Hogsett and other community leaders revealed a new incentive Tuesday that targets redeveloping at-risk Indianapolis communities with the hope of changing lives.

The federal government has awarded Indianapolis $55 million in New Markets Tax Credits. Hogsett said the money will be used to spur job growth and new housing.

Mayor Joe Hogsett and Deputy Mayor of Community Developement, Jeff Bennett, announced that Indianapolis received $55 million from New Markeys Tax Credits. Hogsett said that the $55 million will help the city by funding highly impactful community development projects. Photo by Alexa Freeman, TheStatehouseFile.com

Mayor Joe Hogsett and Deputy Mayor of Community Developement, Jeff Bennett, announced that Indianapolis received $55 million from New Markeys Tax Credits. Hogsett said that the $55 million will help the city by funding highly impactful community development projects. Photo by Alexa Freeman, TheStatehouseFile.com

“It means new community opportunities. It means new beginnings, new investments, new start,” he said.

The city previously received $32 million in New Markets Tax Credits in 2010. The money was used for the Avondale Meadows YMCA and the Ivy Tech Culinary Center and Conference Center on North Meridian Street.

The culinary center was previously a hotel, but now holds job training programs, culinary arts programs, a student-run bakery and restaurant, an online learning center, and high-tech conference space.

Hogsett shared the story of a widow and mother of four whose life was turned around by the culinary program. She applied despite the fact she didn’t have any previous experience and graduated last May.

Now, Hogsett said, she is in a job market with many options.

“Grateful for not just the opportunity,” Hogsett said, “but a new path forward for her and for her family.”

The New Markets Tax Credits Program was created by Congress in 2000 and Indianapolis was one of 120 organizations nationwide to receive a total of $7 billion in tax credits.

“This time around we hoped to receive $35 to $40 million, if we were lucky,” said Jeff Bennett, deputy mayor for community development. “To receive $55 million in an allocation has exceeded our highest expectations.”

Deputy Mayor of Community Development, Jeff Bennett, speaks about public finance during the tax credit conference. Indianapolis secured an award from The New Markets Tax Credit for $55 million in federal tax credits. Photo by Alexa Freeman, TheStatehousFile.com

Deputy Mayor of Community Development, Jeff Bennett, speaks about public finance during the tax credit conference. Indianapolis secured an award from The New Markets Tax Credit for $55 million in federal tax credits. Photo by Alexa Freeman, TheStatehousFile.com

Bennett said the city already has more than a dozen applications for redevelopment around the area. He called the application process highly competitive.

Once a project is selected, the investors will receive non-refundable tax credits.

Bennett projected that the $55 million in tax credits will lead to an estimated $150 million in new investments.

“The true impact is not in a building, necessarily, or a place or a facility,” said Hogsett. “The true impact is in the lives that are changed as a result.”

James Polston is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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