SoBro questions: ‘Does this make sense here? For whom?’

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A new restaurant in the south Broad Ripple neighborhood, referred to by some as SoBro, has people talking.

It’s not all good. 

Next Door has been open for about a month at the corner of North College Avenue and East 46th Street.

A mystery person put a sign on the building that read “Does this make sense here? For whom?”

Neighbors are trying to figure out what that person meant by it. 

When Elise Davidson bought her SoBro home more than 10 years ago, drugs and crime were not uncommon in the neighborhood she said. 

“Well, in 2005, friends of mine had some doubts about where I purchased my house. Now, I have the nicest house of any of them they say,” she said with a laugh. 

A shift over the past decade or so has brought developers into the neighborhoods. Homes are being fixed up and businesses are coming in. SoBro has become prime real estate. 

“The houses have been getting a lot nicer and there has been an increase in property values,” said Bryor Newton, who has lived in Broad Ripple for two years. 

Some homeowners are seeing their property values double and more over the past decade. 

“At this point I suspect it’s going to be in the next couple years three times what I paid for it,” Davidson said. 

Businesses are cashing in. Next Door opened at the beginning of the month. Outdoor seating and affordable food have proven to be a recipe for success. 

“I like the look of it and I enjoy the fact that it’ll bring more people to this neighborhood,” Newton said. 

Then came the banner in big, bold letters across the storefront. The author wasn’t specific about what he or she meant, but neighbors have their guesses. 

“Well, I know where that person is probably coming from in that this essentially a food desert,” Davidson said. “I used to be able to run up the corner when the restaurant was a Double 8 and get flour and onions.” 

Others speculated that the banner is addressing gentrification in the SoBro.

Nobody knows for sure. 

“In my opinion, it’s somebody that is kind of being a martyr for who they think they are protecting,” Newton said. 

Don Degnan, president of The Kitchen Restaurant Group that runs Next Door, did not discuss the situation, but instead issued a statement:

“Indianapolis has been incredibly welcoming. Since opening Next Door just last week, we’ve received lots of comments from members of the community about their excitement to see this iconic building brought back to life. We’re open to feedback about how we may better serve the community and hope to be welcoming to everyone in the Indianapolis community.”

© 2019 Circle City Broadcasting I, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.

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