Condos in Ripple & Cottage Home

October 15, 2007
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A developer is taking another shot at a condo project along Winthrop Avenue in Broad Ripple. The project was denied at a rezoning hearing June 20. The Metropolitan Development Commission is scheduled to consider a new plan Wednesday that calls for 23 condos on 1.5 acres just south of 62nd Street. The developer, PTP Enterprises LLC, has reduced the number of units by two, added one building and four more parking spaces, and reduced the project height to 30 feet from 35 feet. Will the minor changes be enough to win approval?

Cottage HomeAlso Wednesday: The Commission is scheduled to consider an interim preservation plan for the Cottage Home neighborhood (pictured). The designation would require a limited architectural and zoning review process by the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission until a final preservation plan is enacted. The area is just east of I-65/I-70 between Michigan and 10th streets.

  • i know the exact lot where they want to build (my neighborhood). i don't mind condos/height/density/etc. what bothers me about this and kosene & kosene's recent condos next door is the destruction of historic homes. kosene's home was not derelict, on the contrary very well-kept. an even nicer and seemingly older home sits on the proposed ptp lot. besides the stopped-in-process paint job, it's a great home. this needs to be saved or incorporated. there's only so many home like this and then they're gone. kosene razed a nice victorian (i think it was the former roses and lollipops store) for another broad ripple project when there is a decent amount of parking, empty lots, or even modern homes/buildings that should be replaced. i like the cottage home plan. these guidelines need to be put in place (too bad they weren't back in the 50's, 60's, 70's)...
  • Yet another historic district in an area that isn't historic. You can believe that the #1 goal of this district is so that the neighbors can keep out condos of the type proposed in Broad Ripple.

    In another thread several posters bang the drum for transit, but this goes to show that there is no desire or will in Indianapolis for even modest densification even in already established urban neighborhoods. No one wants anything but low density, single family housing, even downtown. The only place where the political will has existed to push through densification is Carmel, where Jim Brainard has staked his political future on the voters not turning against of him on account of it.

    This is one of the many reasons that mass transit remains a pipe dream in Indianapolis.
  • As long as there are more hot skinny women in BR, i'm all for it. We need more hot skinny womens.
  • If done well the condos could be an asset. Broad Ripple needs more owner-occupied QUALITY living units and less run-down rentals left to deteriorate by their absentee landlords. The argument about density just doesn't hold water. Years ago the former grade school building nearby was converted to condos, with a much higher density than would be found with single-family units...yet that just enlarged the base of solid homeowners.
    To survive over the long term Broad Ripple needs to have more than dozens of bars and restaurants. People's tastes for entertainment venues can change the next hot spot. Having a strong base of homeowners with good, steady incomes is what the area needs...and attractive new construction should be part of the mix.
  • I live in this neighborhood. These houses need to go, but the current owner is seriously neglecting the properties. One of the houses in this row was recently gutted by a fire. I was walking through the yard of the last vacant house (the yellow 1/2 painted one) in this row to get to the Monon and noticed the sound of running water as I was walking past. Upon further investigation, the rear door window was smashed in and water was pouring out of the doors (a couple inches above the floor). After calling the water company and talking to a passing fire inspection truck and receving unsatisfactory responses as to when or if the situation would be dealt with a friend and I returned to the property to manually turn off the water meter ourselves. There has to be serious water damage inside this house... but I hope that that will not be used as further reason by THIS developer to redevelop as it is largely their fault for neglecting and not securing the property.
  • LOL!!!! Historic houses on Winthrop!!!??? I saw what K tore down! They were crappy little post WWII SHACKS!

    Urbanophile: you hit the nail on the head! Further, if we don't densify, we die! People of Indy, go to Carmel and really study what their doing up there. It's amazing. As a MK and Broad Ripple lifer it makes me sick to say this but it needs to be heard!

    AFTER 29 YEARS OF INDY I'M SERIOUSLY LOOKING AT MOVING OUT OF THE RIP TO CARMEL!! Better schools, way lower taxes, lower crime (sick of people I know getting mugged just because their out at night), and... wait for it.... BETTER NEW URBANIST, WALKABLE COMMUNITIES!!

    It's simple: Densify or Die!!!
  • that's funny, ivo. i realize the cresent -shaped four post ww2 shacks needed to go. that's not what i was talking about. there was a two-story, red home to the north of that property. five homes total. and, yes, there are historic homes on winthrop ave (they don't have to be brick and stone mansions in mk to be considered historic). couldn't agree more about carmel, which is an exciting place to watch.
  • Yet another “historic” district in an area that isn’t historic.

    I live there. My home was built in the 1890s, as were many in the Cottage Home neighborhood. What is your definition of historic? Do a little research before talking out your ass.
  • I think the Urbanophile is well aware how old most of the buildings in Cottage Home are. Clearly your definition of historic is simply old. The dictionary says historic means well-known or important in history.

    There may well be structures in Cottage Home that fall under that definition, but simply declaring any old building or area historic is not appropriate.
  • The dictionary says historic means “well-known or important in history.”

    On October 3, 2007, the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission unanimously voted to list the Cottage Home area to the Marion County Register of Historic Places and recommend that the Metropolitan Development Commission incorporate the Cottage Home Interim Conservation Plan as part of the Comprehensive Plan for Marion County.

    Yeah, what would the HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION know about something being historic.

    Just because something is not well-known to YOU, doesn't mean that others should be limited by your lack of knowledge.
  • You seem to be out for a fight, so I'll make this brief and simply point out that I didn't say Cottage Home wasn't historic. In fact, I said it may well be historic (clearly the old grocery and neighboring mansion ARE historic). My only point was that old does not necessarily mean historic.
  • Indianapolis is replete with neighborhoods full of older buildings. There is little or nothing unique about Cottage Home. Many older neighborhoods are likewise full of tiny shacks.

    I maintain that this historic districts, as well as many of the others in Indianapolis, are not about bona fide history protection, but about giving neighborhood organizations almost dictatorial land use control powers that they'd never have under standard rules of zoning. Open any month's edition of the Urban Times and you'll find that the IHPC pays incredible deference to neighborhood association views on new development, nothwithstanding that few if any of the people in those associations are qualified historic preservations experts. The vast majority of the time those neighborhood associations are primarily concerned only about the density of development. Ironically, I've seen strong endorsements of new development with contemporary architecture - as long as it is low density and in keeping with the neighbors views of land use in the neighborhood, which almost always means nothing but single family homes.

    If this was really about history, then the neighbor's views wouldn't count for anything. Why should a project be deemed compatible with history just because the Chatham Arch neighbors voted in favor instead of opposed to it? Rather, the city would seek independent review from qualified historians who don't have a stake in the outcome and base decisions purely on that, not the residents land use vision. The place for land use discussion, where residents can and should be involved, is through the planning and zoning process.
  • My only point was that old does not necessarily mean historic.
    Nice straw man.

    It was YOUR position that: clearly my definition of historic is simply “old.” When, in fact, that was never the entire basis for deeming Cottage Home historic. I have heard no argument why Cottage Home should NOT be considered historic - in so much that any grouping of land/houses can be such (vs. Chatham Arch, Fletcher Place?).

    Not out for a fight; just low to deflate blow-hards once in a while.
  • good points ryan. I'm all for saving some historically significant buildings. With that being said I think there's plenty of place we should tear down 4 to the acre and build 100 to the acre! Yes, that's right... I said 100. I've seen some cool 4 story that's designed so well and looks so good you don't even realize it's 100/acre. The rip may need some 230K+ product but what we really need is 150K or less multifam. Expensive ground + price point restrictions dictated by market = density!!
  • Ironically, I’ve seen strong endorsements of new development with contemporary architecture - as long as it is low density and in keeping with the neighbors views of land use in the neighborhood, which almost always means nothing but single family homes.

    I fail to see the irony? Seems consistent to me. As long as it is low density and doesn't overwelm the existing structures, new structures wouldn't necessarily have to mimic older styles.

    And it also seem incredibly logical that those LIVING in a neighborhood SHOULD have the greatest stake/say in its development - not some outside process. I say more power to the people. Unless you have some underlying tie to the process, and its loss of power - how does this affect you? Just curious.
  • ivo - well said! i agree...the good ole' rip (and really, the whole city) would do very well to have more density and lower price points. i was hoping that the l.a. fitness area would have been densely developed incorporating the big green box (can't think of the building name). glendale as well, for that matter. there are so many lots along brip ave going east to keystone that are ripe for taller, more dense projects. anyone else chomping at the bit to see the shuttered marathon station across from the vogue turned into a cool mixed-use development? relocate marco's pizza and make it a flatiron building. same goes for the cvs across the street and the whatever-it-is south of binkley's. just a few ideas i wanted to bounce off of you all....
  • Ryan, are you talking about the big green office box with the Charter One sign on the top? I think that's the one that has the elegant name Glendale Office Building. (Or at least it used to.)

    One of the important counterpoints to raise about dense development is that it needs to be done with an eye to preservation of porous surfaces that grow grass and BIG trees. 100 percent coverage eliminates tree canopy and landscaping (even with green roofs, unless they're built to carry massive weight loads), and one of the main attributes of that area (I lived and worked just a couple of blocks away for 20+ years) is that you can't see the ground from the air in summer when the trees are leafed out. Those neighborhood attributes aren't just nice to have, they are imperative to reduce energy consumption and stormwater runoff.
  • SCUBA, if historic designation isn't designed to regulate architectural styles, what is it supposed to regulate?

    Process is very important. That's why due process of law is a fundamental right. It is all about the rule of law, not the rule of an un-elected, un-accountable commissariate.

    The key to the rule of law is that it involves general rules that provide a clear guide to compliance. Zoning is just like that. You know what is allowed, what you are required to do, and what is not allowed. These historic districts subvert the rule of law by allowing completely arbitrary judgements by commissars (i.e., the IHPC). There is no way to know in advance if you're project complies or not - it is basically a popularity or beauty contest. This is the exact opposite of the rule of law. This is one of the many, many problems with historic districts in Indy.
  • thundermutt, I agree totally. I believe you actually can have good density without putting in soul-crushing monstrosities. As much as I dislike the IHCP process, outside of the historic districts today, there is free reign for developers to put his terribly obnoxious structures. We definitely need trees, permeability of structures at the street level, etc.

    Actually, I should note that I don't advocate high density development Indy, which is out of character with the city. But some level of modest densification is desireable to support more vibrant neighborhoods and possible better transit. Remember, household sizes were much larger in the past. The decline in average household size means we need to increase the dwelling units per acre just to stay even.
  • thundermutt - yes, i think it says charter one. but you do have to love the creativity of the broad ripple office building! it's kind of a cool building and has always been a bit of a landmark to me, if you use some imagination...
  • I wanted to introduce myself to this thread. My name is Mike Morgan and I am the salesman in the Townes at Winthrop by Gusntra builders and I just wanted to pop out a quick update on The Townes at Winthrop. Things are very exciting there right now, we just opened out new model, it looks fantastic, and is being very well received by those coming through.

    Our second homeowner has just moved in and the third is anxiously awaiting completion on theirs. We just completed our ready move in home with the Essex in 7-C, it turned out beautifully with the hard wood floors and
    granite. It is now ready for someone to move right in!

    So, if you haven't stopped by to take a look at The Townes at Winthrop, I hope you do soon!

  • Who knew I'd live long enough that the modern buildings of the 50's and 60's (ones where I went to school, the doctor, dentist, and bank most of my life) would turn into mid-century modern and be considered kind of cool by GenX and GenY...the way my generation liked Art Moderne and Art Deco structures that our parents wanted torn down.

    Next up: folks will learn to love Bedford-stone ranch houses with breezeways, low-pitched hip roofs, picture windows, and sea-foam green living rooms. LOL.
  • Regarding the claim that Cottage Home is not historic. The IHPC website says: A portion of the neighborhood was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1990. In 1995, an expanded district was listed in the State Register of Historic Places. The National Park Service keeps the National Register list and the nomination process is not simple. The fact that Cottage Home is listed demonstrates its significance a little more than the non-expert opinions of some posters here.

    Urbanophile wrote: If this was really about history...the city would seek independent review from qualified historians who don’t have a stake in the outcome and base decisions purely on that, not the residents land use vision. The IHPC has a staff that writes reports and recommendations for each case. According to their website, the staffers all hold advanced degrees in history, historic preservation, or planning.

    Regarding the implication that there is something wrong about the commission approving contemporary-looking architecture in historic districts: a basic tenet of preservation is the idea that architecture should be a reflexion of the time in which it was built. Any architecture student who takes an introductory course in historic preservation learns as much.

    Urbanophile seems to be saying that there should be no public process through which concerned neighbors can voice their opinion. I agree with SCUBA--when you take away the voice of those who live and work in an area, that's when there's really something wrong with the process.
  • Historical preservation should be a need in Cottage home, it is a very historical neighborhood, but Broad Ripple? 0_o
    I hope that as my neighborhood(Cottage home) developes, we will preserve our wooden victorians to keep the charm that drew people here in the first place.
  • Helen,

    Broad Ripple has been settled at least as long as Cottage Home, maybe longer. Its origins date to the digging of the Central Canal in the early 1800's and there are several historically significant structures.

    What is worth preserving there is the whole urban fabric...the village feel. Just as the main reason to preserve Cottage Home is that it's a neighborhood of cottage homes.

    Personally I reject the elitist approach of saying a place is historically significant only because some prominent citizen(s) had his/her home there or because an important event occurred there, or of saying a place isn't worthwhile because of how it looks now. Our past, present, and future are all a part of the urban fabric.
  • The old victorian referenced in this article is 125 years old. It was our first home. The home was beautiful. We sold it about 15 years ago. It is sad to see the shape it is in now due to this developers lack of upkeep! This home should be spared in this proposed redevelopment. It is a shame to destroy a part of Broadripple History!
  • I'm late to this thread (been out of town) but I wanted to add comment to ryan:

    ryan, I totally agree about the old Marathon and Marco's site. I live in Warfleigh and every time I go by that corner I imagine a 5-7 story building on the site, retail at the ground, condos above, STREET TREES on both sides (why does BR ave not have any street trees?!?). It could make the intersection feel so much more like the gateway that it is.

    Density in BR would be wonderful - it is already the most livable community in the city IMO - where else can you walk to an organic grocery store? And more density would bring in more services for those of us who live there.
  • I am concerned about letting this developer build in our neighborhood. From what I know about these builders is that they do not stand behind their buildings.

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