Rico is the Social Impact Director for the Pacers Foundation. He has a love for collaboration and community building and strives to improve the quality of life of Hoosiers across the state of Indiana. Rico is also a board member at IndyHub, and organization built to connect 20 and 30 somethings to people and places around Indy. Prior to his role with Pacers and IndyHub, Rico worked in education.
Broad Ripple is the perfect blend of urban and suburban living in Indianapolis.
Photo courtesy of Michael Durr of North Indy Magazine
I am pretty new to the Indy Region. I grew up on the East Coast and moved here a few years ago. I grew up in a very suburban neighborhood but always wanted pieces of city life, whether that was restaurants or trails or cultural attractions. When I moved to Indianapolis I searched for that blend and I found it in Broad Ripple, the perfect balance of urban and suburban living.
Living in a neighborhood that is a part of the city but is also a part of a suburb is really important because one I love living around families. I’m a part of the Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Central Indiana. My little brother lives right down the street.
And similar to neighborhoods like Speedway and Irvington just west and east of downtown, Broad Ripple is a quick 5 miles just north of the Indianapolis city center. On days when I don’t want to drive I can just as easily jump on the Monon Trail and bike downtown or catch a ride on the Red Line, Indy’s bus rapid transit system.
One thing that I’ve noticed being a young professional in my late twenties, there are plenty of things for me to do in terms of bar and nightlife vibes, but also when I hang out with my little brother, there are equally just as many things to do for him and I to do together with him as a middle schooler. Whether that’s going to play Basketball at Arsenal Park, going to have a bonfire, there’s always a good mix of city life and suburban activities we can choose from.
Broad Ripple is great for young professionals looking to grow their network.
As a young professional I’m always looking to network. That is another reason Broad Ripple stood out in my housing search. There are several great (and affordable) co-working locations, including The Speakeasy. These spaces infuse the neighborhood with a lot of entrepreneurs and creatives who bring a great energy.
The Broad Ripple Village Association is one of the things I really enjoy. The meetings a a great mix of established families and young professionals alike. Again, it is just another small element that combines the best of both worlds for me – city and suburban. I’ve never felt out of place attending and contributing to our association meetings.
And our close proximity to Butler University leads to unlimited networking opportunities with graduates and grad school students alike. Broad Ripple has long been known as THE college nightlife spot in the Indy Region, but it is also a great neighborhood for college students looking to develop their professional network. This can been seen any time you head out during the day and stop at a local coffee or lunch spot. So for me one thing is for sure, the variety of ages you mingle with every day when you live in Broad Ripple is a huge benefit to young professionals.
Broad Ripple has a great mix of unique historic homes and state-of-the art apartments.
Currently I’m a renter here in Indy, and Broad Ripple allowed me to rent a great house with unique features and a back yard for my dog. Renting a home was perfect for what I needed and wanted. It is part of what gives me that suburban feel that I was looking for.
And while I chose to go the house route, I know so many young professionals who love Broad Ripple because of the new and updated apartment complexes located just off of Broad Ripple Avenue – a college and young professional hot spot. I can’t say it enough, this neighborhood really is the perfect balance of urban and suburban. The selection of housing is just one more element that showcases that blend.
Broad Ripple is one of the most active communities along Indy’s historic Monon Trail. You can stop by and grab ice cream from Brics on a hot summer day biking the trail.
Every year, Broad Ripple residents have first row seat to a fun rubber duck race. You won’t want to miss it.
In 1924, the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials were at Broad Ripple Park’s pool, then the largest outdoor swimming pool in the country.
Broad Ripple residents have many different transportation options.
I mentioned it briefly before but the proximity to both public transportation and a major walk/bike trail played a major role in my selection of Broad Ripple. A quick walk east of my house brings me to the Monon Trail, and an equally quick walk west of my house brings me to a Red Line stop.
I use the Monon Trail daily. As a dog owner, it is an amazing advantage to have a dog-friendly walking trail so close by. If I’m being honest, I would say my mental health is dependent on my proximity to the Monon Trail. There is just some thing good for my soul being that close to to nature and getting out there every single day. If you are someone who loves to walk, run, or bike, neighborhoods right on the Monon Trail like Broad Ripple are perfect.
And as someone who grew up in Washington DC, I have been an avid user of public transportation my entire life. I love being close to Indy’s first bus rapid transit line. And Indy isn’t stopping with the Red Line, plans and construction area already in place for additional lines throughout the city.
Broad Ripple is also a great place to raise a family.
While I can’t speak to raising kids directly, I do know that the parents raising kids in my neighborhood love it. Similar to my love of Broad Ripple urban and suburban balance, parents seem to love that for their kids as well. There is something unique and special about having that suburban feel in your front and back yard, while only being a quick five minute walk to one of the most urban locations the Indy Region has to offer.
I’m sure our close proximity to the largest children’s museum in the world doesn’t hurt either!
Irvington is an easily walkable neighborhood.
Everybody wants to live in a walkable neighborhood these days, and I get it. There’s nothing better than being a short walk away from just about everything. Here in Irvington, we’re only a short drive from downtown Indianapolis, but you definitely don’t need a car to access all of our local amenities.
You can live anywhere in Irvington and easily walk to all of our local sites and shops. We have Ellenberger Park, an amazing urban park with a pool and a tennis court. That’s also where you can go for local concerts and our seasonal Farmers Market. We have a library and lots of nearby school options. We’ve got the Black Acre Tap Room for a night out and Jockamo Pizza for a night in. There’s an ice cream shop, a bakery, a tiki bar, a Starbucks, and just about anything you could need—all within a mile or so of your house.
- Center for Inquiry 70
- Purdue Polytechnic High School
- Butler Lab School
- The SHOP
- Three Dog Bakery
- Indy CD and Vinyl
- Monon Trail
- Broad Ripple Park
- Arsenal Park
- 8.6 Miles from Indianapolis Airport
- 28 Minute Drive
- Broad Ripple Park
The proximity of Butler University provides many resources to Broad Ripple residents.
Being one neighborhood over from Butler University provides additional opportunities to get out and do new things. The campus has many events, performances, and speakers that are open to the public. Some of these are even free, which is something many young professionals are looking for.
And it wouldn’t really be fair to talk about how close we are to Butler without a quick mention of historic Hinkle Fieldhouse, home of the Butler Bulldogs and location where the famous movie Hoosiers was filmed. I worked in education when I first move to Indy, so I love the historical significance of Hinkle.
In addition to that urban and suburban blend, I think one of my favorite things about Broad Ripple is the great location. Things like Butler, the Children’s Museum, and Monon Trail (just to name a few big ticket items) are all within a five-minute drive of the neighborhood.
Whether you are in college, just graduated, or are raising a family, Broad Ripple is a neighborhood worth exploring. And I’m a firm believer that people make the city, so above everything else I’ve talked about, the people I’ve met who live in Broad Ripple are amazing.