Rendering courtesy of Tiffany BakerBike lanes: An artists rendering shows an example of how the streetscape of 12 Points could be improved.
Rendering courtesy of Tiffany BakerBike lanes: An artists rendering shows an example of how the streetscape of 12 Points could be improved.
The nonprofit 12 Points Revitalization Inc. has plans to enhance the streetscape of the historic neighborhood on Terre Haute’s north side.

That includes installing a “Welcome to Historic 12 Points” arching gateway sign in front of three pillar historic buildings on Lafayette Avenue as well as installing string lights over Lafayette Avenue. Some other suggested improvements include installing six bike racks, adding murals in the neighborhood and adding flower boxes.

The plan also includes a fundraising campaign in May, expected to last 30 days, to obtain a matching state grant.

On Wednesday, the Terre Haute Redevelopment Commission in a 3-1 vote approved up to $50,000 to 12 Points Revitalization Inc. from non-federal funds.

Real estate investors Tiffany and Mark Baker, representing the nonprofit, told the Redevelopment Commission of the plans the nonprofit believes can be done in a year.

The nonprofit will initially use $10,000 of the funds to meet a state-required match through the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. The state agency will match up to $50,000 raised during 12 Points Revitalization’s fundraiser in conjunction with, an online fundraising platform. The state grant is called “CreatINg Places,” which encouraging citizens to support improvement projects in neighborhoods.

Once the fundraiser starts, it will be open to anyone online to contribute, giving $5, $100 or “whatever amount they can give, so once that big arch sign goes up over the street, they can drive right underneath it and look up and say, ‘I did that.’ So a lot of people can feel like they contributed and are a part of these big changes,” Mark Baker said.

Additionally, string lights over Lafayette Street, he said, can “bring a different type of neighborhood to Terre Haute as we are on the verge of a really big tourism push that will bring a lot of visitors to the city,” he said in reference to a new convention center and casino. “We just want to help create another destination.”

The Bakers are fully invested in 12 Points, this week purchasing the former 12 Points Hotel on Lafayette and Maple avenues. The couple also own a building at 13th and Maple, and have named it the PARQ at 12 Points.

Tiffany Baker said one project for the couple is the “Year of 12,” with a goal to bring 12 businesses to Terre Haute’s 12 Points neighborhood in 12 months. She said six businesses have already committed and the couple is confident that it will exceed its goal to bring a dozen businesses to 12 Points this year.

Amy Lore, a member of the Vigo County School Board and a non-voting member of the Redevelopment Commission, asked how the school corporation could partner. Tiffany Baker said the nonprofit will go before the Terre Haute Board of Public Works and Safety on Monday to seek approval for placing planter boxes in city right-of-way.

If approved, the group, through approval of Vigo County Schools Superintendent Rob Haworth, would then supply materials to a high school to make 27 planter boxes, each measuring 18-foot by 18-foot, Tiffany Baker said. Then each school in Vigo County will receive one planter box to creatively design and color to represent their school. The planter boxes then would be placed in 12 Points.

“So every school in Vigo County should have representation in 12 Points in the next 12 months,” Tiffany Baker said.

Board members Brian Conley, Troy Helman, and David Heath voted for a resolution to provide an amount not to exceed $50,000, while Karrum Nasser voted against.

Prior to the vote, Nasser, who said he supports the enthusiasm of the neighborhood, sought to limit the initial commitment from the board to $10,000, an amount needed to meet the local match to participate in the IHCDA grant. Then the commission could make future payments on invoices received from the nonprofit.

Tiffany Baker said the remaining $40,000 from the commission would also go toward streetscape improvements.

Additionally, Baker said the nonprofit is working on obtaining corporate and business contributions as part of its Patronicity campaign in May.

Nasser voiced concern that other neighborhoods, such as Collett Park or Farrington Grove, could also seek such funding from the Redevelopment Commission. Steve Witt, executive director of the city’s Department of Redevelopment, said the Bakers have set a high mark for such requests.

Witt said the Bakers have made significant personal investment in the neighborhood, have obtained other funding through grants, as well as will seek public participation through fundraising. Any future funding requests should be considered through this benchmark, Witt told the commission.
© 2021 Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.