For years the citizens of the Far Eastside of Indianapolis had been overpromised and under delivered. Their community was vital, but not invested in. Residents knew that they had a unique identity to share, along with a network of organizations serving their neighborhood, but there was a lack of affordable, yet quality housing, social services and connectivity, local jobs and career training. The site of the former Oaktree apartment complex presented an opportunity for strategic investment to help lift the surrounding community.
DAVID RUBIN Land Collective, along with Meticulous Design + Architecture, led the project team comprised of Engaging Solutions, Herd Strategies, Greenstreet, Storie Co., Policy Analytics, and Shrewsberry Engineering, to create a community-driven, implementation-minded vision to inform future development on the Oaktree site. Formerly a sprawling 300+ unit low-rise apartment complex, the 19-acre site in the Far Eastside neighborhood was acquired by the City of Indianapolis through eminent domain after decades of disrepair and unsafe conditions, including unaddressed damage from a tornado strike in 2008 and multiple fires. The site now represents an opportunity to transform what was once a hot spot for crime, drug trafficking, and prostitution to a catalyst for community-driven change on the Far Eastside.
Dialogue and repeat engagement with current Far Eastside residents and key stakeholders were essential to the process, involving virtual public meetings and Community Conversations conducted in English, Spanish, and French, as well as trilingual surveys, text-to-poll technology, and design team attendance at multiple Far Eastside events. To aid the city in its future search for developers for the site, the design team combined stakeholder input with market analysis to ensure the plan both reflected and prioritized the needs of the existing community and was achievable from a developer standpoint. The Revitalization Plan for the Former Oaktree Site guides the towards a socially impactful and financially feasible development that is of and for the Far Eastside community.Project Images