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Indy brothers invest in Garfield Park neighborhood to make it a cultural destination

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Kirk brothers, Joel and Phil, bought the old Yoke building at Garfield Park with the hope of making the neighborhood a cultural destination.

The Yoke building is 10,000 square feet and is considered one of the largest in the neighborhood.

“It’s been predominately vacant for the last 20 to 30 years,” explained Phil.

The brothers were born and raised in Central Indiana and wanted to make an impact in the Hoosier state.

They purchased the building for $390,000 and invested another half a million into the restoration.

“Every time we’re working on the building a family member comes by, a neighbor comes by, a small business owner comes by, and says thank you so much for filling this space,” Joel said. While Phil explained that, “The goal, after speaking with neighbors, is to bring in new small businesses that are local or help small businesses grow that are also local.”

Local entrepreneurs have already planned to move into the space.

Dayna Thompson, the owner of Serendipity Plants, will have the first store to go into the complex.

“I’m looking forward to serving this community. I think it’s an underserved community,” Thompson said. “I think that I’m super privileged to have the opportunity to work with these guys.”

Near the corner of Shelby and Southern Streets is where Billy Ratthahao’s coffeeshop, Level, will make home.

“I’ve been in and out of this park for the last ten years since I moved here and I always thought it was underutilized and underappreciated. I’m really glad to be a part of bringing that traffic to appreciate what’s always been here,” Ratthahao said.

Home to bicycle enthusiasts and park goers, the revitalization of the Yoke building faces Garfield Park, the Red Line Route, and a Pacers Bikeshare location.

The grand opening is scheduled for May 2023.