City selling more Central State land

May 1, 2007
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A development team that bought 115 acres at the former site of Central State Hospital may soon buy another 33 acres from the city, at a cost of $223,500. Sound cheap? Mike Higbee, president of Development Concepts Inc. and one of the buyers, said the price reflects a need to clear the land and address environmental issues before development. "It's certainly not a gift," he said. His development team, which also includes Charles Garcia of GM Construction Inc., is planning between 200 and 300 single-family residences and 20-30 acres of commercial space for the property at the corner of West Washington Street and Tibbs Avenue. The Metropolitan Development Commission could approve the sale tomorrow. The first chunk of land sold for $1.45 million.
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  • The environmental concerns probably include bones and other bodies that were dumped on that land many many years ago. I think this will be a great project if it is done right. Are they planning on making it a community like West Clay or even like Fall Creek with a mix of commercial and real-estate, or just another conglomerate of houses?
  • The developers haven't filed a site plan yet, so it's hard to tell. But I get the sense the project will feature mainly single-family homes, park land and a commercial component.
  • please, please make this a destination! i get nervous at the thought of teardowns (enough history has been unfortunately torn down there) and not-dense-enough development. this could be an absolute gem if done right with a solid/creative (did i just say that about an indy real estate development?) use of the land. mid-rise and single-family (think of the skyline views that could be embraced or wasted), multi-story retail/condos and park space. maybe a community center or an area for local art? i'm eagerly waiting for this project to unfold!
  • Speaking as someone who works in this area, many issues need to be addressed. This area desperately needs retail, affordable housing, and restaurants which appeal to low, working and middle class families. Also, acknowledge the historic nature of the land and dedicate/address signage to explain it's significance. The growing population in this are is Hispanic. Keep the soccer fields and parks and expand the recreation areas which the Hispanic neighbors fully utilize. Also, give incentive to property owners and landlords in this area to update, renovate and improve current housing to compliment the land development.
  • I absolutely agree with you Jim. In addition to development concerns, I hope they make an attempt to save some of the HUGE trees on that lot, particularly the grove in the center of the property. It could be left as a smaller version of Military Park, or developed as a kind of town square with retail lining the edges.
  • Cory, do you ever send any of these comments to the actual developer or to the people involved with whatever blog you post. It would be a waste of all of our time and comments if you don't submit these great ideas! IBJ has a strong backing of intellectual, well connected people. If the developers aren't reading this blog, which my guess would be they don't have the time, then someone needs to let them know. Will that be you?
  • Mike, you raise a great question. My sense is the developers appreciate feedback and discussion like this as much as anyone. Hopefully they'll check in regularly and join the conversation. I'm open to other ideas, too.

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