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Apartment craze shows no signs of slowing

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focus-lofts-cover-bt-15col.jpg A local developer turned the old Bush Stadium into the Stadium Flats apartment community. (IBJ file photo)

Apartment developers continued their blitz on the downtown market with several projects under construction or in the planning stages.

Within the next three years, 3,500 additional units are expected to become available, nearly double the amount (2,000) built between 2000 and 2012.

If the new units are all occupied, the downtown population will increase by about 5,300 people.

A study Indianapolis Downtown Inc. released in November downplayed any fears the downtown housing market might become saturated with apartment units.

One of the strongest indicators is downtown’s vacancy rate, which hit a 12-year low in 2013 of 3.5 percent, while rents per square foot increased to $1.24 from a low of $1.12.

Among the larger downtown apartment projects were three redevelopments—the Indianapolis Fire Department headquarters property near Massachusetts Avenue, a portion of the former Market Square Arena site, and the property of The Indianapolis Star headquarters. The second phase of Artistry also was unveiled. All told, the four would add more than 1,500 units to the market.

The first phase of Artistry calls for 258 apartments and up to 68,000 square feet of first-floor commercial space that will open in sections. Construction will continue into spring.

National studies are finding fresh demographic populations interested in living in downtowns: millennials, those 30 and younger, and empty-nesters over 50.

Residential brokers see the trend toward apartment projects taking precedence over condominiums; apartment developments are easier to finance since construction isn’t dependent on units selling in advance.

Most downtown apartment projects are part of mixed-use developments featuring office or retail space on the ground level. One drawback: Much of the retail space has sat empty, unable to keep pace with the residential units being built.

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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.

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