Council approves proposal for infrastructure improvements in neighborhood near Lucas Oil Stadium

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- A proposal before the city-county council on Monday night could bring big changes to a neighborhood near Lucas Oil Stadium.

The council unanimously approved Proposal 377, which allocates up to $5 million for infrastructure improvements on the near south side.

It would authorize the Metropolitan Development Commission and Department of Metropolitan Development to execute required documents to implement the application and issue debt obligations from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Improvements may include improved drainage, new sidewalks, new bike and pedestrian infrastructure and new lighting that will support commercial and residential development.

Several residents thought Lucas Oil Stadium was going to stimulate economic development in this area, but they said that did not really happen. Now, business owners feel Proposal 377 was a longtime coming and could be the solution.

"This neighborhood has definitely been skipped over for the last two, three decades. No question about that," said George Stergiopoulos, owner of Greek Islands restaurant.

Most of the businesses along South Meridian Street are family owned. Greek Islands opened its doors 32 years ago.

"We are the kind of people that deal with it, but it definitely needs improvement," he said.

Improvements could come soon. Stergiopoulos said his main concern is the drainage system.

"It is hard when people are going out to dinner and having to jump over a small river get in," he said.

John Bragg runs a photography business just down the street from Greek Islands. He thinks this investment would draw more development to the area.

"I think the proposal would have a huge impact. It would help lay the groundwork for this area," Bragg said. "We are like a mile from the circle, and it's just amazing that this neighborhood has not blown up yet."

A company is also planning to put a hotel on the south end of downtown. Residents here hope to see more apartments too.

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