There probably are four business establishments that one could say epitomize Broad Ripple: Good Earth, the organic food store on Guilford; Conner's Pub, immediately behind Good Earth; the Vogue; and the Alley Cat. When I moved to Broad Ripple in 1987, there were more businesses of this Broad Ripple "type." Fox Deli, The Patio, Provincial Kitchen, The Stone Mug, El Matador. Readers probably can add businesses I have overlooked. One could argue Bazbeaux Pizza should be on the list. I am not sure about Bazbeaux, as the Broad Ripple location is the second in the "chain." The pizza place originated downtown.
Time brings change. Over these years we lost some of those local businesses. Overall, Broad Ripple has maintained its appeal. This is a laid-back "hip" place. Unfortunately, the minions of the Ballard/Vaughn administration discovered Broad Ripple The latest news is bad.
A developer seeks TIF funds to build a five-story structure where what used to be Minton's Shell station stands. The City wants to install a multi-use structure of an architectural type that smacks of a Stalin-esque feel. The renderings, accessible on the Broad Ripple Village Association's website, brva.org, show a structure of rather unimaginative squares and rectangles. Some 80 apartments will be included in a structure the developers of which require a variance because it is too tall---Broad Ripple "Village" is a place where tall structures are to be frowned upon. One need only look south, however, and one can see the beautiful high-rise parking garage recently built, virtually free of charge, for one of Mayo Ballard's chief campaign donors. Variances are not daunting barriers to overcome when one is backed by Mayor Greg.
Perhaps worst of all is the project is subsidized by tax dollars to lure organic food (feel warm and fuzzy) Whole Foods to Broad Ripple. One could argue Whole Foods already has a store in Nora, to which it recently added floor space. Then again, drive out of Broad Ripple can be difficult with lanes for cars eliminated for bicycles.
Whole Foods puts local organic food stores out of business. One may argue such is the way of free markets. Here, though, the local merchant lacks the advantage of taxpayer subsidies. Good Earth employs people. The store has been a success for over three decades. This corrupt administration has seen fit, in its quest to destroy Broad Ripple, to bring corporate giants at both local businesses' and taxpayers' expense.
Thursday, May 23, at 6 p.m. at Broad Ripple United Methodist Church will be an information panel presented by the developer and Whole Foods. What? Nobody will be on the panel who objects to this boondoggle? That would be silly. The purpose of the panel is to sho there is support for a variance. Protests are for naysayers.
If you oppose this thing, you can attend the meeting and let your voice be heard. You also can go to tinyurl.com/keepbroadripplelocalpetition and sign.
Saturday's Show will stream "live" from Good Earth at 11 a.m.
With all due respect, I think the appeal of Broad Ripple is overstated. Maybe years ago when it had a village type feel I think it had appeal for living and working. It's really lost that. When I think of BR today, I think of horrible traffic congestion and, on weekends, party central for people in their 20s. I don't really see the appeal anymore.
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