Developer readies second Virginia Avenue residential project

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A local developer in the rejuvenated Fountain Square neighborhood southeast of downtown is poised to launch another residential project in the area.

Deylen Realty’s latest development along bustling Virginia Avenue calls for 68 apartments and 9,900 square feet of retail space between the existing Mozzo apartments and Villagio condos in Fletcher Place.

Virginia ave mixed use rendering REW 15colThe $10 million Deylen Realty project would add another residential option in the booming Virginia Avenue corridor. (Image courtesy Blackline Studio)

The yet-to-be-named $10 million project would be built at 501 Virginia Ave., where an occupied warehouse now sits. It would follow The Hinge, Deylen’s $7.5 million project that opened in August 2012 a few blocks south at 719 Virginia Ave.

The Hinge brought to Virginia Avenue 56 market-rate apartments over a parking garage with 57 spaces, along with 12,000 square feet of commercial space mostly occupied by Rook restaurant and The Bureau, a shared workspace.

“People definitely want to live there,” Deylen principal Craig Von Deylen said of the area. “It amazes me how many people are walking up and down Virginia Avenue on a day-to-day-basis.”

The Indianapolis Cultural Trail’s leg linking downtown to Fountain Square contributed to the renaissance. The trail, which opened in May, has brought more pedestrian traffic to a part of the city previously isolated from the central business district.

The trail has helped spawn a slew of residential and commercial development, including a pair of mixed-use projects from Milhaus. Its $5.8 million, 64-unit Mozzo opened in March. Another Milhaus project, a proposed $6 million development with 57 apartments and 3,100 square feet of retail at 1015 Virginia Ave., is in the approval stages.

The Metropolitan Development Commission’s hearing examiner is set Nov. 14 to consider Milhaus’ request for a variance to build a four-story structure taller than the height allowed in the area.

“The Cultural Trail stands by far and away the No.1 reason [for the success],” said David Leazenby, vice president of development services at Milhaus. “It’s the main outdoor recreation activity for downtown today.”

Milhaus built Mozzo where a BMV branch and parking lot once stood, next to the warehouse occupied by Impact Group Inc. that Deylen is in the process of purchasing for its residential project. Impact, a scenic arts and display company, has yet to announce where it will move.

Deylen plans to raze the warehouse to make way for a five-story building. It hopes to begin constructing early next year. Completion is set for spring 2015.

Monthly rents, including parking, for Deylen’s market-rate apartments would start at $850 for a studio and run as high as $2,000 for a luxury two-bedroom with a skyline view.

Deylen is targeting a bank to occupy the first-floor space. The bank could feature a drive-through and access to the Cultural Trail for what could be the first bike-up teller window in the city, the firm said.

A 104-space parking garage with 76 underground spaces also is part of the plans.

The architect for the project is Blackline Studio, which designed The Hinge and is co-owned by Von Deylen. He also is a co-owner of the Murphy Arts Center in Fountain Square.

Deylen Realty launched in 2006. Its other projects in the area include Fletcher Place Lofts and Fletcher Place Terrace.


  • It's not in Fountain Square!
    It's in Fetcher Place.
  • Great
    I definitely would not be for a drive-through on VA Ave, and I think the design could use some work. But, other than that, I'm all for the density and new people this project will bring. I'm moving out of state in a couple weeks, but until last Monday was a Fountain Square resident of 8 years. I sincerely can't wait to visit in a few years and see all of the life that projects like these bring along with them.
  • Developers Build What Sells
    I appreciate that the new buildings may not be everyone's cup of tea, but there are no such things as "aesthetic" building regulations. Also, developers only build what they are reasonably confident they can sell or rent, as their desire is to make money, not construct apartments that don't rent out or condos that don't sell. There are certain zoning controls regulating height, density, parking, etc., and in some neighborhoods, in particular city-designated historic districts, there are more rigourous controls on what building materials may be used, the types of windows that can be installed, etc. However, even in those specially protected neighborhoods, there is no rule against building what someone may subjectively consider to be an "ugly" building. At the end of the day, developers build what sells (i.e. what appeals to the renters or buyers they are targeting at their sales price point), and within their alloted budget to make their targeted profit. As for the construction of apartments versus condos, again, developers build what is currently selling. Downtown, and it's immediate surrounding neighborhoods, are a hot rental market, and there is pent up demand for apartments, so developers are building them. Once sales slow down, they stop building them, and that is just the way things work in a market driven economy.
  • try a little harder
    I, too, live in this area and for the most part appreciate the development but how many ugly apartment buildings must one neighborhood endure? Most have empty retail space and are uninspired. These "attempts" at trendy design will just be laughable and plagued in a few years. Isn't there anything else that is economically viable for this stretch of Virginia Ave other than a bunch of UGLY apartments and condos?
  • Shaking My Head
    I live in this neighborhood, and love that it's finally getting some new development, and with it, new energy. But, these crackerbox designs are so tedious, and don't reflect the historic neighborhood that surrounds them. The Villagio building would look nice on a beach (maybe), but its outlandish design was the first mistake on Virginia Ave. And now, the wave of unimaginative design continues its ripple on its way down to Fountain Square. Is Indianapolis' Urban Design Committee part of the Government Shutdown? It would appear to be.
  • Villagio
    The Villagio building has condos, not apartments. Currently the market doesn't demand condos. Most of these buildings could be converted into Condos at some point if the market demands it.
  • Oversaturated
    Isn't there a point where this particular area has too many apartments (renting) and not enough condos, townhomes or homes (buying)? I feel like areas around downtown are too focused on renters and not buyers. I'm not a real-estate guru so maybe someone could enlighten me to as why this is happening.
    • drive-thru?!
      this bologna has to stop!

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