It's Indy's arts community and hub for all things cool in the city but even a hipster district needs a makeover once in a while. This fall, Mass Ave is getting a splash of orange, courtesy of RebuildIndy.I walk by this eyesore on the backside of The Chatterbox building every day on my way to work. I've checked city records and know for a fact that the business owner was cited several years ago for doing work without a permit and issued a stop work order. Instead of getting the necessary repairs made in conformity with city regulations, the business owner simply left the work unfinished since the day he was issued the stop work order.
"The area has exploded. The Cultural Trail is good but it doesn't have quite the impact that it does unless we can do these roads and sidewalks a little better, they were very, very bumpy," said Mayor Greg Ballard . . .
"The work needed to be done," said David Andrichik of the Mass Ave Merchants Association. "That's a problem. No matter how much you would ask for it, it wouldn't necessarily get done until you get on a schedule and the money becomes available, and now it's in the line." . . .
Andrichik believes most merchants are pleased to have the improvements.
"Realistically, if you're a merchant in any kind of city, you have to realize there are going to be inconveniences along the way for construction," Andrichik said
People have repeatedly complained to the Mayor's Action Center about the eyesore, but the Ballard administration refuses to do anything about it because Andrichik, as the head of the Mass Ave. Merchants Association, advocated in favor of the Ballard administration's plan to privatize the City's parking meter assets in order to provide a big time financial windfall to a major Ballard campaign contributor, ACS, while shortchanging Indianapolis taxpayers. As a reward, the Ballard administration is turning a blind eye to this eyesore while his administration has hauled thousands of Indianapolis homeowners and business owners into court over the last several years and fined them for far less serious code compliance matters. I've heard several Mass Avenue business owners quietly complain about Andrichik's building, but all of them are afraid to speak up about it for fear of retribution. Just consider this a favor to the other business owners on the Avenue who think it's high time the City did something about this eyesore but are afraid to speak up about it.
UPDATE: The Ballard administration actually tampered with the online system on the City's website to remove references to the prior code violation issues referencing the stop work order issued on the property. Yep, there is very selective enforcement of code violators by this administration. Talk to the people who handle code enforcement and they will complain that political considerations often prevent them from taking enforcement action they would normally take against a property owner because someone higher up ordered them to back off.