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Indy Community Groups Win National Redevelopment Award

https://www.facebook.com/362772908927/photos/a.10150355287523928.378871.362772908927/10154295933813928/?type=3&theater

Indianapolis is one of 19 communities nationally to win a redevelopment award from the Environmental Protection Agency to revitalize former industrial sites.

Near East Area Renewal Director John Hay says the $200,000 grant is a significant first step towards redeveloping the Indy East Promise Zone.

Part of the area, Sherman Park, used to be the headquarters of RCA. At its peak in the 1950s, the factory’s 8,000 employees manufactured records.

But now, Hay says, “Sherman Park looks like a bit of a war zone.”

The abandoned area is an EPA Brownfield site, contaminated by former industrial use — one of hundreds in Indiana.

Hoosier Environmental Council director Jesse Kharbanda says Brownfields damper economic opportunity.

“They depress property values. And then because they’re inactive, they don’t play a role in providing jobs to a community,” says Kharbanda.

The City of Indianapolis now owns Sherman Park, but General Electric is responsible for cleaning up the area under a voluntary program with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

Hay says the EPA money will fund community planning.

“For instance, an education facility or part of it to be a park or part of it to be a commercial site or an industrial site or a combination of these,” Hays says.

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