Keep Indy Beautiful honors St. Clair Place 

click to enlarge The new solar power system at Fort Benjamin's Bean Center is one of many award winners for the Monumental Affair.
  • The new solar power system at Fort Benjamin's Bean Center is one of many award winners for the Monumental Affair.

The Super Bowl 2012 Legacy Project has led to a lot of scenic changes around Marion County this past year. Perhaps one of the most positive outcomes has been the multi-million dollar revitalization of St. Clair Place neighborhood, which was honored with the Monumental Award at Keep Indianapolis Beautiful's annual ceremony last Wednesday at the Indiana Roof Ballroom. The highest honor of the evening, the award recognizes the most substantial community contribution of the year.

Over the past several decades, the St. Clair area has fallen into disrepair as metropolitan residents moved away from the city center. As a result, the neighborhood's 155-acre area on the city's Eastside was left with a 40% property vacancy. In 2008, the Indianapolis 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee selected the neighborhood for revitalization as part of the Super Bowl Legacy Project. The housing portion of the Legacy Project is overseen by local non-profit development agency Indy-east Asset Development. The St. Clair effort has been mainly funded by private investors, with over $30 million in investments raised.

The Legacy Project aims to bring sustainable mixed-income housing to St. Clair Place. To date, over 100 housing units have been restored, and many houses in the neighborhood are now up for sale. The 10th St. area is especially notable, featuring a new sustainable street system designed in part by local urban development firm A2SO4.

Projects like the one at St. Clair Place are partially funded by government through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Passed in 2008 under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, the program uses Federal tax dollars collected by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide funds to organizations seeking to redevelop inefficient urban areas.

One plan that has relied heavily on Recovery Act funding is the solar technology project at Fort Benjamin Harrison's Bean Federal Center. Once completed, more than 5,000 solar panels on Center's roof will generate 1.8 megawatts of solar energy. Scheduled for completion in 2013, the Bean Center will boast the largest rooftop solar power system in Indiana.

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