Super Bowl Legacy Project helps east side neighborhood


INDIANAPOLIS - It's Indy 500 weekend and next year's Super Bowl might seem like a long way off.

But Super Bowl XLVI is now 255 days away and the game's legacy is already taking shape on the east side of Indianapolis.

You can feel the joy from Barbara Cox. Her home was selected to get a facelift thanks to the "Rebuliding Together" program.

"It was just amazing just to have the work done on your home," she said.

Colts player Jamie Silva helped out.

"He went to the other houses and he did things in the houses and that was just an honor," said Cox.

Cox now has an improved sidewalk, a new bathroom and fresh paint. The upgrades changed not only lives but an east side landscape.

"I write on my pictures and I wrote thanks for the memories because you'll never forget what they've done," she said.

The area is bordered to the west by I-65 to the north by Massachusetts avenue and I-70 to the east by Emerson Avenue and to the south by Washington Street.

"In 2004, our zip code led the nation in rate to home foreclosure," said James Taylor, Boner Center.

"You've got the Woodruff Place neighborhood right next to Tech where there are homes that approach a half-million dollars in value. But you can go several blocks in any direction and find vacant or abandoned property," said Tony Mason, Super Bowl vice president.

But here's the good news: a task force of some 600 residents put together a quality of life plan to rebuild and reclaim their neighborhood.

The Super Bowl Legacy Project is in full swing turning around abandoned homes. The Jefferson apartments are new, along with the St. Clair apartments for seniors.

Now residents have access to the new and improved amenities nearby like the Pogue's Run green grocer, the People's Health Center and the Boner Center - which not only owns and manages some of the homes, but it will also provide families with career development, financial coaching and other programs to remain self-sufficient.

"How I'm gonna' say thank you is I will pay it forward and help somebody else," said Barbara Cox

Overall the Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee anticipates impacting more than 200 homes on the city's near east side.