Area 3 has a lot of strengths and opportunities related to its rich history. As shown in Figure 1, the brick streets of North Street complement the many historic homes in the area. Nearly every street in Area 3 has sidewalks, many of which feature street trees. Infrastructure in Area 3 features rear-loading garages, back alleys, and telephone poles behind houses, allowing for walkable streets. The low vacancy rate and sizable amount of permanent residents with a high education level inspire a healthy neighborhood. With its close proximity to the Village, Area 3 has a vibrant and healthy energy that matches its historic character.
Area 3 has minor sidewalk damage due to large street trees and a slightly damaged brick street that could use improvements to maintain its historic reputation. If infrastructure improvements like fixing potholes and the brick streets are not made a priority, the neighborhood could lose some of its historic character. The area could also use a few more parks on the southern side to accommodate families who do not live on North Street. The vacant lot on West Main Street and South Graceland Avenue could cause problems with increased crime if not filled with something beneficial to the community. Some of the houses in the area could also help the neighborhood reputation by taking better care of unmanaged lawns.
The surrounding area has a number of connections to the community. With close proximity to the Village and BSU, Area 3 can take advantage of helpful resources that may not be available in a typical neighborhood. Along with interpersonal connections are physical connections to bike and walking infrastructures like the White River, Cardinal Greenway, and Downtown Muncie. Students bring youthful energy and economic opportunity of which the neighborhood can take advantage. Area 3 also has lots of space for parks and features historic structures like the Hazelwood Mansion and Church that bring character into the neighborhood from surrounding areas.
Some threats to RNC from the surrounding area would be a potential increase in student renters and vacant lots. With more student renters and fewer permanent residents, ensuring neighborhood safety during academic breaks may prove more difficult. If vacant lots are left vacant and the percentage of renters increases, the potential for increased crime exists. With Muncie’s slow population increase, the neighborhood might find it harder to sustain itself if the percentage of renters increases, resulting in a lower average income for the area. Losing historic buildings like Hazelwood Mansion may result in a degradation of character as well.