Southeast Neighborhood Development (SEND) received $45,000 from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to conduct a small business incubator and accelerator feasibility study at the previous Citizens Energy Coke Plant, a 140-acre parcel in the Twin Aire Neighborhood Corporation (TANC) and within the IndyEast Promise Zone. The new Community Justice Campus in development is also located in the 140-acre parcel.
The mixed-development site is an ongoing project since 2016 when Citizens Energy Group received a $375,000 grant from EDA to complete an Assessment, Reuse, and Investment (ARI) Strategy. Citizens matched the 2016 EDA grant with $375,000 to complete the ARI Strategy. The final document renamed the area Pleasant Run Crossing and called for light industrial/manufacturing space on the southern portion of the property.
With the EDA grant and matching funds, a total of $90,000 will be invested to support the incubator and accelerator feasibility in partnership with the City of Indianapolis. The study will examine regional growth, real estate demand for local economic growth, business expansion, and emerging economic clusters in the area. Additionally, the study identifies specific niche start-ups and businesses that are not currently receiving any or enough support elsewhere in Central Indiana and aims to provide greater equity by ensuring success as the new businesses seek out their first clients and investors. This project will also focus on workforce and education initiatives such as connecting job openings in start-up businesses with neighborhood residents and guaranteeing necessary training and certification programs that support target sectors.
“Now more than ever, workforce development is a key focus of SEND to better serve our communities,” said SEND President Kelli Mirgeaux. “We are excited to partner with the City of Indianapolis, the Twin Aire Community, and other partners to build sustainable job creation solutions.”
The award for the feasibility study is an incredible next step in the further progression of Pleasant Run Crossing, transforming an underutilized parcel in need of business development, which will lead to higher waged jobs and a stronger, more robust economy for the City of Indianapolis. This project overlaps with many of our Promises, specifically the prioritization of developing vibrant neighborhood nodes of business activity, industries, and commerce in which residents are employed with living wage jobs. We were pleased to have the opportunity to provide a letter of support to the grant application.
Below is an image of the Community Justice Campus and the Pleasant Run Crossing parcel.