Apartment developer plans 217 units in Lawrence

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Developer J.C. Hart Co. is designing plans for a $17 million upscale apartment community in Lawrence.

The New Urbanist project, part of the master-planned Lawrence Village at the Fort, will consist of 217 mostly one- and two-bedroom units with some three-bedrooms. Rents will range from about $700 to $1,000 per month.

The Carmel-based developer has agreed to pay $1.2 million to the Fort Harrison Reuse Authority for the parcels it plans to develop along the new Otis Avenue, near the YMCA and Fort Harrison State Park. It also has an option to buy more land for a second phase that would add about 35 units.

Preliminary plans call for apartments built to the streets, with parking spaces hidden behind. The buildings would extend into the neighborhood, rather than being grouped together. Designs would vary. The main building at the corner of Wheeler Road and Otis Avenue would include a first floor that's convertible to retail space if demand eventually warrants.

"The whole idea is to be part of a thriving mixed-use development that'll give our residents the opportunity to come home at night, park their car and walk to get dinner or find entertainment," said company president John C. Hart Jr. "It will be rather unique in that we'll have buildings and units spread throughout the redevelopment area."

The company submitted a letter of intent to build the project this month. IBJ first reported on the plans in a January story about J.C. Hart's $100 million bet on apartments in Hamilton County.

Luring J.C. Hart is a coup for Lawrence Village at the Fort, the 90-acre final phase of a decade-long redevelopment of the former Army base, said Kris Butler, executive director of the Fort Harrison Reuse Authority.

The roughly 700 apartment units within the boundaries of the old Fort Ben are more than 90-percent occupied, she said. The new apartments also will help feed demand for the retail and commercial components of Lawrence Village.

"I think things could happen fairly quickly for us," Butler said.

The Lawrence Village plan calls for a new downtown with shops, offices and public plazas mixed among condos, townhouses and apartments. The area to be developed is bounded by Post and Lee roads and 59th and 56th streets.

The project started last year with a $9 million installation of streets, landscaping, utilities, lighting, three parks, signage, rain gardens, raised median planters and entrance columns. More than 350 trees will be planted along streets featuring bike lanes, sidewalks and on-street parking.

Plans for the community were developed by the Fort Harrison Reuse Authority in partnership with Carmel-based Eden Land & Design Inc., the city of Lawrence and Indianapolis-based Browning Investments Inc.

Only about 73 acres remain of the 2,500 acres left by Fort Ben's closure in 1995. The Reuse Authority has led the efforts to redevelop about 500 acres.


  • Expansion
    Lawrence expansion will have a great positive impact on the community, but we want to keep in mind to continue to provide affordable living because of single parent families in the area and Lawrence Township schools are still nearby. Alot, of homeownwers are downsizing because of the economy but still would like to live in the close area where they previous resided in.
  • Lawrence Taxes
    One percent of assessed value at the most. Property taxes in Lawrence Township are not high unless your house is very valuable.
  • Lawrence Taxes
    Why do you say Lawrence taxes are high? I thought in Indiana everyone paid 1%.
    • new J.C. Hart project
      Upcoming J.C. Hart project
    • Urban Design
      I find it amusing that this project sounds more sensitive to urban design goals than JC Hart's Waverley project that was actually built in an urban environment.
    • Public Transit missing in Lawrence
      I live in Indy but work in Lawrence. Lawrence, with high property taxes, doesn't support mass transit. Hopefully they will with the new master plan and that would be a plus for this development.

    Post a comment to this story

    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

    facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
    Subscribe to IBJ
    1. Really, taking someone managing the regulation of Alcohol and making himthe President of an IVY Tech regional campus. Does he have an education background?

    2. Jan, great rant. Now how about you review the report and offer rebuttal of the memo. This might be more conducive to civil discourse than a wild rant with no supporting facts. Perhaps some links to support your assertions would be helpful

    3. I've lived in Indianapolis my whole and been to the track 3 times. Once for a Brickyard, once last year on a practice day for Indy 500, and once when I was a high school student to pick up trash for community service. In the past 11 years, I would say while the IMS is a great venue, there are some upgrades that would show that it's changing with the times, just like the city is. First, take out the bleachers and put in individual seats. Kentucky Motor Speedway has individual seats and they look cool. Fix up the restrooms. Add wi-fi. Like others have suggested, look at bringing in concerts leading up to events. Don't just stick with the country music genre. Pop music would work well too I believe. This will attract more young celebrities to the Indy 500 like the kind that go to the Kentucky Derby. Work with Indy Go to increase the frequency of the bus route to the track during high end events. That way people have other options than worrying about where to park and paying for parking. Then after all of this, look at getting night lights. I think the aforementioned strategies are more necessary than night racing at this point in time.

    4. Talking about congestion ANYWHERE in Indianapolis is absolutely laughable. Sure you may have to wait in 5 minutes of traffic to travel down BR avenue during *peak* times. But that is absolutely nothing compared to actual big cities. Indy is way too suburban to have actual congestion problems. So please, never bring up "congestion" as an excuse to avoid development in Indianapolis. If anything, we could use a little more.

    5. Oh wait. Never mind.