IBJNews

16 Park developer to rebuild after 'heartbreaking' fire

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The developer of the $34 million 16 Park housing project said it will begin rebuilding as soon as possible after a building was destroyed by fire Friday night.

The Indianapolis Housing Agency is developing 16 Park, an 11-building project that was set to open in October along 16th Street between Central and College avenues. The blaze engulfed a four-story, 28-unit apartment building due to open this fall. Four occupied buildings in the complex were not damaged.

Park 16 fire aftermathFire destroyed a 28-unit apartment building under construction Friday evening. (IBJ Photo / Perry Reichanadter)

IHA Executive Director Bud Myers and Bruce Baird, its director of strategic planning and development, watched the building burn.

“It was heartbreaking,” Baird said. “We put our heart and soul into the redevelopment of Caravelle Commons, so it was discouraging.”

Caravelle Commons was a 65-unit, low-income housing property built in 1975. The seven-acre property had become a magnet for crime, with dead-end streets and fenced-in apartment homes surrounding crowded parking lots. But the Indianapolis Housing Agency was betting the new project would jump-start interest in the area.

IHA will begin the process of rebuilding as soon as the Indianapolis Fire Department finishes its investigation and gives the agency control of the site, Baird said.

IFD Lt. Larry Tracy said Monday morning that the probe is ongoing; he was unsure how long it might last. IFD estimated damage to the building at $3.5 million.

The destroyed building was insured, Baird said.

Four of 16 Park’s 11 buildings are complete and occupied. When finished, the entire project will consist of 155 housing units.

Baird said he has no idea when the project might be completed.

“We’re still assessing that now,” he said. “We’ll be aggressive in resuming construction and moving just as quickly as we can.”

IHA bought Caravelle Commons in March 2009 from the Near North Development Corp., which took over the complex in 2003. Near North stepped in to refinance, renovate and stabilize the property with an eye toward eventually selling it to a more appropriate owner.

IHA is financing most of the 16 Park project with nearly $28 million in federal and state tax credits and another $4.4 million in federal stimulus funds. The housing agency used a grant of about $400,000 from a city housing trust fund to acquire the property and begin drawing up plans for redevelopment.

The fire is particularly devastating to IHA because 16 Park is the largest project in its $120 million portfolio, which includes the redevelopment of Barton and Lugar towers downtown, and the construction of The Braxton at the base of Lugar Tower.

Baird, though, said the fire at 16 Park could have been worse. No other apartment buildings were damaged by the blaze.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Was it
    Arson?
  • Location
    I saw the location in the second paragraph of the story: "along 16th Street between Central and College avenues."
  • location of apartments
    These apartments are on the north side of 16th Street, roughly between Park and College. They are located just north of the Old Northside Historic District in downtown Indianapolis
  • More information needed
    Was the location of this apartment complex? What is the address in Indianapolis of this apartment fire? Was it left out of this story for a specific reason? If not, to those of us in Indianapolis who do not know where the 16 Park development is (or other locations connected with news worthy events), please add the location to your news stories. Thank you

    Post a comment to this story

    COMMENTS POLICY
    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
     
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
     
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
     
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
     
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
     

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by
    ADVERTISEMENT

    facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
     
    Subscribe to IBJ
    1. Thank you to the scientists who care enough to find a cure. We are so lucky that their intelligence has brought them to these understandings because it is through these understandings that we have new hope. Certainly the medicine will be expensive, these drugs usually are, especially the ones that are not mass produced. If I know anything from the walks that my town has put on for FA it is this: people care and people want to help. Donations and financial support can and will come to those who need it. All we need is a cure, the money will come. I mean, look at what these scientists have done thanks to the generosity of donors. 30 million dollars brings us here where we can talk about a drug's existence! There is so much to be frustrated about in this world, but this scientific break is not one of them. I am so happy for this new found hope. Thank you so much to the scientists who have been slaving away to help my friends with FA. We wish you speedy success in the time to come!

    2. I love tiny neighborhood bars-- when I travel city to city for work, it's my preference to find them. However, too many still having smoking inside. So I'm limited to bars in the cities that have smoking bans. I travel to Kokomo often, and I can promise, I'll be one of those people who visit the ma and pa bars once they're smoke free!

    3. I believe the issue with keystone & 96th was due to running out of funds though there were other factors. I just hope that a similar situation does not befall ST RD 37 where only half of the overhaul gets built.

    4. It's so great to see a country founded on freedom uphold the freedom for all people to work and patronize a public venue without risking their health! People do not go to bars to smoke, they can take it outside.

    5. So, Hurko, mass transit has not proven itself in Indy so we should build incredibly expensive train lines? How would that fix the lack of demand? And as far as those double decker buses to bus people in from suburbs, we can't fill up a regular sized buses now and have had to cancel lines and greatly subsidize others. No need for double decker buses there.

    ADVERTISEMENT