History

The history of NEAR begins with the history of the Near East.

Once hailed as Indy’s first suburb, the Near East was a thriving community of neighborhoods that featured beautiful homes, streetcars, and rows of shops along 10th, Michigan, and New York Streets. The neighborhood saw a decline in the 50s & 60s, and when I-65 was built in the early 70s, the Near East was further separated from downtown.

Cut off from the heart of Indy, the Near East continued to decline. But it was around this time community organizers began to lay the groundwork for what would eventually become NESCO, the John H. Boner Community Center, and the numerous partner organizations working to reinvigorate the Near East community.

When Eastside Community Investments closed in 2001, it left an obvious gap in the community’s development efforts. A group of near east residents came together to plan a new organization that would focus on building up the Near East’s greatest asset: its people.

In 2003, Indy-east Asset Development (I•AD), the organization that would eventually become NEAR, was officially formed.

Under the Overpass

For the past decade, NEAR has worked with Near East residents and partner organizations to bring people under the overpass. We serve as the community’s leader in residential development, from renovating historic homes to developing affordable housing opportunities like St. Clair Senior Apartments.

Our work is guided by the Near East Quality of Life Plan, developed by the Near Eastside Collaborative Taskforce. During the Plan’s creation, the taskforce interviewed more than 100 Near East residents, and held a community-wide visioning event with more than 400 attendees. The plan represents the values and priorities of Near East residents, and continues to grow and change with our community.

Visit our Initiatives page to see past projects and what we are currently doing to encourage and inspire growth in our neighborhoods.