Ripple redevelopment, take two

May 1, 2008
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Monon PlaceA local firm has a new plan for redeveloping a 14-acre site in Broad Ripple. The $15-million Monon Place project calls for 150 new apartments, a clubhouse and pool and about 12,500 square feet of retail space. The property, which sits just east of the Monon Trail between Kessler Boulevard and 61st Street, includes the 136-unit Monon Place apartments and an 18,000-square-foot commercial building anchored by McNamara Florist. The plan calls for an overhaul of the existing apartments and demolition of the existing commercial building. It would be replaced by nine apartment buildings and two mixed-use structures along 61st Street. Potential retail tenants include McNamara and a new concept from Cafe Patachou. Buckingham Cos. bought the property in 2000 and proposed a larger project with 36,000 square feet of retail space, but a rezoning request failed in 2002 after neighbors expressed concerns about traffic and compatibility. A hearing on the new proposal is set for May 7.
  • not this again.
  • I live within 1 block of this soon to be monstrosity. This neighborhood cannot support a project of it's size without some major problems.
  • This will be a great improvement to the area. I live about 3 blocks to the east and walk past this site often. Nothing much on site to look at now. This plan provides less retail than what is already there, but making the retail much better looking. The proposed apartments are also much better than the run down, box style apartments to the north of 61st street. I'm glad to see companies still wanting to invest in Broad Ripple. As a Broad Ripple resident, I look forward to this improvement.
  • What is it that people don't get about beachfront property being too valuable to be developed in a suburban-sprawl manner?

    This is an appropriate densification of a place where people WANT to live inside the IPS district. The re-development will INCREASE the tax base and INCREASE the rentals, these units will pay 2% of assessed value in property tax, not 1% like single-family homes.

    The redevelopment will remove an ugly eyesore building (the McNamara quonset hut). Lots of people will be easily able to WALK to the shops from the OTHER dense developments along the trail.

    Folks, this is big city. We need projects like this to succeed, in order to demonstrate that Indy's metro-area growth does NOT need to be vinyl villages at 199th and Boondocks Rd.

    Sermon over.
  • Well said Thundermutt.
  • Go, thundermutt! Very well-stated.

    I wish it were more modern and more dense - right now it still looks quite suburban.

    Major problems are growing pains of a small city becoming a big one. If the commercial space offers more choices in restaurants and local shopping (as proposed above), it's good in the long run. If it's more Subways and Little Caesar's, not so good.
  • I have to agree with Thundermutt.

    That street is nasty at the moment, this would help in so many ways. I also would envision that this would make the Broad Ripple Farmer's Market more successful and would help take some blight away from BRHS.

    I am activly looking for a home in Broad Ripple and I hope these projects continue!
  • Thunermutt: you da man! Well said argument.

    As a lifetime MK and BR resident this is exactly what's needed in the area. Crystal, please move to the burbs and get out of my urban village. Yes, that's right, you live in an urban village. We need dense, smart development to attract more people to our area. We aint getting any more land in the rip so we better make darn sure to get more value out of what we have!

    Side note: with more feet/eyes on the street in this area the safety factor will get better!

    Cory: have you ever thought about posting hearing details here so that all the folks can come out and show support?
  • I agree the neighborhood would so nothing but benefit from this. HOWEVER, the neighbors won't let it happen. It makes too much sense. IMHO.
  • The hearing is at 1 p.m. Wednesday in the second-floor assembly room of the City-County Building.
  • There will no doubt be a lot of opposition from broad ripple residents to this project. A 150-unit apartment complex brings folks into the community who aren't invested in broad ripple's long term success. The residents will most likely be younger, and they'll add to the noise, the trash, and the traffic. From an economic development perspective though, the new residents will be a boon to existing local businesses, and should help make Broad Ripple more competitive (especially vs. the 96th Street area) in attracting even more new investment.

    this thing has been delayed once, i hope it gets on the fast track now (hippies be damned)
  • Not always the hippies. If anything. The hippies are more for a denser more urban environment where they can walk to everything, bike to everything. Not have to use their car and is close to parks and nature. Hippies are against sprawl, not infill development and maximizing resources. I want to see it go and I could be characterized as one of those hippies in Broad Ripple
  • The resistance to change from a vocal minority of Broad Ripple residents cracks me up. This kind of investment in the area should be embraced especially when new development is relatively stagnant in BR. I challenge the opposition to offer better ideas instead of blind resistance to any change. There are some spacious lots up at 199th St. and Corfield Corner for those who don't like being around people.
  • Very well said thundermutt. The reason why projects like this fail to get approved is because the hearings are at 1 pm Wednesday. The only people who can attend these meetings are retired NIMBYs. People like me that live in Broad Ripple and support these projects actually have jobs.
  • What is it about beach-front property that makes people WANT
    to live there? THE BEACH!!! Let's tear the beach up and stick residential
    dwellings there and see what we have left. The song Paved Paradise
    and Put Up a Parking Lot keeps running through my head.
    This isn't appropriate densification in this location. People who
    walk along the Monon want trees. We want a peaceful, shaded place
    to walk. They've put in so much residential along the Monon now.
    Personally, if I lived along the Monon I wouldn't want to look out my
    window and see people walking by. This is beach front because of the
    Monon. The Monon is there because of the green surroundings. This is desirable
    real estate because of the beach. We're tearing out the beach to make
    room for this high density development. See the conflict there???
  • Matthew, IMO Broad Ripple's many diverse attractions are the beach. The Monon is one of many, and there is no reason trees can't be replanted along the Monon as part of this project.
  • Matthew, you sound exactly like the people who didn't want the Monon to go in to begin with: I don't want people walking by my back windows.

    Let me clarify: the beach here is The Monon Trail, an URBAN is a paved multi-user trail, an alternate transportation mode, a shared social space.

    Further... anyone who thinks that ripping up the sea of asphalt around the McNamara building is a bad idea isn't thinking straight. The tangle of trees on that plot are largely non-native and invasive (mulberry, tree-of-heaven, and honeysuckle). I'd guess that Buckingham, IndyParks, and Keep Indianapolis Beautiful will be glad to collaborate on replanting native species in their place.

    Finally, apartment dwellers are people who might buy a house or condo in the neighborhood after they get established. In fact, they're the most likely to do so because they WILL be familiar with the area...and nowhere else in Indianapolis can they find the same sort of living.

    ps. This is from someone who lived and worked in that area for the better part of 20 years. My second apartment and my first and second homes were less than a mile away.
  • Well said, Thundermutt. The NIMBY's need to just move out to the burbs if they don't ever want to have other people around. Of course, the vocal minority will be in attendance at the hearing, since they don't have anything else to do with their precious remaining years besides complain about change.
  • Perfect. Finally a great BR development. Too bad it didn't come sooner. I may not have moved away from all the NIMBY's. If you don't want to live in an urban environment..get out!
  • I was going to comment, but thunder said it all.
  • You YIMBY's are so smart with your plannerese.
  • YIMBY? Thats a new one, lol. I completely agree with thundermutt. I guarantee you the same people whining about this development were the same one crying about property taxes. You can't have it both ways.

    People are always whining about traffic and parking in Broad Ripple. Yes, parking is tough if you are used to parking right in front of your favorite Applebees at your local suburban strip mall, but this is an URBAN area. It won't kill you to walk a little.
  • They're going to replace part of the Monon with a long, slender Applebee's? Yikes!
  • Can't everything just stay the same forever, or else be replaced with exactly what was there before... or less... or nothing?
  • Re: 'BR-support' and 'Thundermutt'- this is exactly the kind of development B.R. does NOT need...I've lived within 6 blocks of this site for 18 years and I can tell you the traffic and congestion is worse than ever and even the side streets are getting dangerous and crowded. We don't need any more greedy freaking developers building overpriced apt./ condos for more freaking uppity yuppies/guppies or whatever the hell you call yourselves...we need people who want to buy/ invest in the single-family homes that already exist and wo want to become members of the community, we don't need more freaking 'customers' to 'market' to...buncha freakin' idiots!
  • actually MOST of the commenters on here who are supporting this ridiculous 'development' are freakin' idiots who either don't understand the negative effects of this monstrosity or who don't live in the area and don't give a damn
  • JoeMama, I lived in the immediate area for more than 20 years, and owned a business there for 15 years, and drove (or walked or biked) past the site daily.

    It's never been a neighborhood of single-family homes. The McNamara building dates to at least the 1940s, and the apartments in the corridor between Compton and the Monon from Kessler to 62nd are all between 40 and 60 years old. The strip mall between 62nd and Broad Ripple (built in 1989) replaced the old Bud Wolf car dealership.

    I guess when you're wrong on the facts, it sometimes works to resort to namecalling.
  • No Ivo I will not move to the suburbs and yes I know I live in a village and there is no place to park now in that area. Yes the Mcnamara space can be utilized in a different way but the plans seem to big for this little area.
  • Well stated, Thundermutt. Joe Mama is another, like Dustin, that should be deleted from these pages for a total lack of decency, class, or professionalism.
  • Well said Thundermutt. JoeMama has no freakin idea for someone who has lived in the area for so long. For the record I have lived in the area for about 10 years and go past this site daily. JoMama just has a case of NIMBY as he is confussed with single family investment and the site in question that multi-family and retail. BR does need this type of investment. As for traffic, there has been studies and plans for a calm street design for Broad Ripple Ave, Kessler, and many of the side streets. This would help with traffic flow, congestion, plus adding some beauty and making it even more bike and pedestrian friendly.
    One more thing JoeMama, Keep up the name calling....your point (if any) gets lost when you start the 3rd grade name calling.
  • Every time I have a petition in Broad Ripple, I make sure to use the phrase dense URBAN village in my staff report. It probably does nothing, but it's my little way of showing support for further density in the area.
  • I drove past this site today. The existing apartments between McNamara's and Kessler actually look very well-kept, and the streets were not overcrowded with parked cars. On the other hand, Compton NORTH of McNamara's was very crowded with parked cars. The thing is, cars parked on the street makes for a better pedestrian experience.

    Densify densify densify, this BR resident says! (Actually I'm Warfleigh, but walk into BR all the time.) And please someone move a new grocery store into the former Sunflower space! (The Kroger remodel looks excellent.)
  • How many apartments will this new development replace? That aspect could be apples to apples. Those current apartment buildings are fugly. Once again, the concern is parking and retail development for me. As a home owner for the last 15 years in BR, I see the nighttime tourists in BR as the biggest problem. They don't live there, they're just there to party, and as someone who has been awakened at 2am only to look out and see someone peeing on my front lawn (not to mention the protein deposits spewed on the sidewalks), I just don't want any more bars. Nice upscale retail/restaurants with no booze, that would be best case.
  • I love how everyone with the NIMBYs sounds like some sort of Soviet-style master planner. You live in the community, but you don't own every plat of land. This is America, where people take measured risks and sometimes make mistakes. I'll take that over a lack of freedom any day of the week. Drop the planning commissions and zoning plans and return to the Coming of the Nuisance principle and encourage density by adjusting property taxes so that lower density areas are paying for the services that stretch out to unnecessary dimensions so that they don't have to see people. That's called paying your own dues for your choices. Let's stop having high-value properties like businesses and retail subsidizing NIMBYs who want a 3 acre lot, but don't want to pay a representative share for the governmental services they use.
  • tony - that's awesome! i've never thought of sprawl in that way before...
  • Tony, beautifully said. Beautifully said. NIMBYs are DESTROYING Broad Ripple. Its sad to say, but I hope they all die soon or move out to BFE.
  • Why does everything have to be high density. I read that all the time on this blog.
    Downtown is the metro area. It's about high density. This is quaint (though
    there could be a better use for the space) area. Some people want
    large lots. The term NIMBY is overused in this string of comments.
    If you're a home owner in BR would you want something like this in your
    backyard? No. Forget the property tax issue. Forget NIMBYs. Not every place
    in all of Marion (or Hamilton or anywhere else) has to be about high density, and
    a mix of retail and residential. That's Fishers. That's Carmel. That's not
    Broad Ripple. You have Broad Ripple Village which is quaint shops, and BR
    residential that is older, charming homes with yards. And yes, if they have a 3
    acre yard, they should be paying the tax on that.
  • What does NIMBY stand for?
  • Matthew, your point might be valid if this proposal involved knocking down a bunch of houses on large lots to build this, or even if it involved a vacant lot. But the parcel in question currently contains an apartment complex and a run-down retail building. If this project is completed, there will be a somewhat larger apartment complex and some much nicer retail. This development isn't preventing a single person from having a large lot.
  • any word on Williams Realty Group. heard they laid a bunch of people off.
  • Matthew, I am a homeowner in BR and FULLY SUPPORT THIS!!!!!!!! So do 95% of the home owners in Broad Ripple. I'm sorry that I actually have a job and cant spend ever free hour of my life compaining about density like you fools can.
  • Another way to look at this: the nearby homeowners, at least those who bought in the last 20 years, have always known they bought houses next to apartments, retail, and BRHS, just a few blocks off club/restaurant row. All that stuff has been there for half a century or more.

    Why start complaining now?
  • We all talk about more denisty because, Marion County, for one needs the population to offset the large amount of property taxes that are off the roles because of the government buildings. Two, Broad Ripple is a destination village where people want to live/work/play.

    Your right there are a lot of nice single family homes, but people are cautious about homes right now. Believe it or not. More people are moving into the Metropolitan area and Indiana. They want to live near downtown. BR makes this an ideal location. Whoever mentioned High Density should only be for the downtown urban core hasn't traveled. Look at DC and Chicago, and Atlanta, and Boston, and Phonenix and San Diego. Those are all cities with a major urban core, then for a few miles it is houses, then it pops up again with more of a village feel (i.e. Broad Ripple) and the density gets hire (like Lincoln Park in Chicago, Eagles Landing, in Atlanta, Alexandria, Crystal City, and Huntington in DC).

    Mid-High Density in Broad Ripple is good. we'll run out of land at somepoint, might as well stave that off with higher denisty now and get the tax benefit.
  • Also, as a side note, as gas becomes higher and COGS becomes higher, more people will want to locate near their work and closer to where they spend their time and shop.

    It is all on an average cycle of 23 years. It first was that people couldn't wait to get out to the suburbs, get their cars, travel in to the city. Well that trend is slowly cycling around again. There will be a bigger demand for more of this type of living all over the Inner 465 loop to downtown Indy. All NIMBY's better get used to parking their car and walking, taking the bus or get out now while the getting is good.
  • Circlecity18 Says:
    May 3rd, 2008 at 2:37 pm
    What does NIMBY stand for?

    Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY)
  • Spider, Thanks for answer to my question. Now that I know what it stands for, I wish everyone of these NIMBYs would just pack up and move to Carmel.
  • Circlecity18, these NIMBYs would hate Carmel, which is embracing development like this. They need to move to Avon, or some place like that.
  • Please, please let this be approved! I've lived in this neighborhood for 24 years, in 3 different houses, and I have retired friends that have rented for 20 years in the apt. they are talking about replacing.
    Just for the record, if 61 St. is so overcrowded, why was it being proposed a few years back that this street be turned into a pedestrian pathway?
    I am thrilled that a developer would want to replace the eye-sore of McNamara and re-do the apartments! What a great investment. Let's support these upgrades to our neighborhood! I welcome the investment and addition to the tax base.
  • I'm a ripple resident and a supporter of upscale redevelopment in this area. I agree in large part with thundermutt's posts, however I think their are unavoidable challenges in dealing with the impacts of such an ambitious project. Any word on how the developer and the city plan on dealing with issues such as increased traffic flow, and lack of parking? Will this project have sufficient parking for its residence or will their be an increased number of vehicles parking in the already cluttered streets? It will be interesting to see how things... develop.
  • This seems like a reasonable development, but increased traffic flow on 61st street is a concern, as it is widely used by pedestrians and bikers on the way to the Monon. Presumably this could be alleviated by having the entrance to the apartments/retail on Compton - but it's something that requires attention.

    Sophia writes:
    Circlecity18, these NIMBYs would hate Carmel, which is embracing development like this. They need to move to Avon, or some place like that.

    If you have such a poor opinion of BR residents, why did you move there in the first place? Certainly there are some stick-in-the-mud residents - but those are, by and large, the people who made BR the nice place it is to live now - and they did so by specifically *not* moving out to the suburbs when so many other people were moving out there. You may not like these people, but rest assured that they have no desire to move into a vinyl village.

    Carmel is doing some nice things, in part to develop a village feel like BR. But, AFAIK, Carmel is not adding 150 apartments to any existing neighborhoods.
  • Peter, more than 150. From the Gramercy website:

    Indianapolis-based Buckingham Cos. are developers of...the $500 million plan for Gramercy, a redevelopment of the Mohawk Hills golf course and apartment complex at 126th Street and Keystone Avenue into more than 2,200 apartments, condominiums and town homes.
  • You're right about Gramercy; I thought it was only condos.
  • Several large apartment complexes have been added to Carmel in recent years. There is one that is just being finished up at Main and Meridian that is adjacent to the new Browning development.
  • Approved 9-0. HAHA!
  • Y'all are a bunch of freakin''s already a MAJOR pain in the butt to drive thru B.R. and this will only add to the congestion and quality of life while eliminating greenspace and replacing it with bricks and asphalt...what an environmental and residential nightmare...why don't y'all move to BFE or someplace else with the nutjob right-wing nazis...I'll gladly pay my fair share of taxes NOT to have this piece 'o crap in my neighborhood but it doesn't work that way...they raise my taxes anyway, but the city doesn't repair the streets or the sewers or clean the garbage and filth left behind by every overgrown frat boy/girl who comes to BR to party and trash the streets...but they WILL approve the zoning for any corporate whore RE estate deveolper with big pockets and willing to donate to the 'right' political party...I'm moving to a more progressive city and state and I'll keep my nice little BR home and turn it into another BR rental with an absentee landlord and tenants who don't give a hoot!!!
  • to BW...Go F*ck Yourself!
  • I do not currently livein BR, but hope to someday, but I understand the concerns of the people who have lived there forever, and don't want to see it changed into disneyland, but I also understand the need for updated amenities. Somewhere in between those two points lies compromise.
  • and don't want to see it turned into disneyland...

    Just thought I'd fill you in on a little bit of history. BR started off as an amusement destination, as Broad Ripple Park was originally an amusement park with carnival rides, roller coasters, and a beach on the White River...

    Sorry...just found your choice of words slightly amusing...

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