IBJNews

Downtown projects face crucial hurdles

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Two downtown apartment projects seek critical government approvals in the next month, while  another commercial project is on track to start this year.

The following are updates on the projects, all of which were previously reported in Real Estate Weekly.

— Milhaus Development's plan to add apartments to the 600 block of North College Avenue was sketchy back in early October, shortly after Milhaus put the former Mitchell & Scott industrial site just south of Massachusetts Avenue under contract.

Since then Milhaus has hammered out the details of a $26 million development that would house 236 studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. The apartments, the majority of which would be one and two bedroom, are to rent for between $900 and $2,000 a month.  

The apartments would be spread among five buildings, four of which would be new and between four and five stories in height. The new buildings would line College and North and Fulton streets. A fifth building is a historic structure at the site that Milhaus plans to incorporate into the complex. Some of the first-floor units along College would be marketed for live/work space.

Before work can begin, Milhaus must get design approval and have the site rezoned from industrial to mixed use. That could come as soon as March 6, when Milhaus' case will be heard by the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission, which has jurisdiction because the site is in the Chatham Arch Massachusetts Avenue historic district.

Plans call for the complex to have one parking space per unit. The adequacy of the parking plan has been questioned by some neighbors of the project.

Milhaus' goal is to clear the site and begin construction in the third quarter and have units ready to lease by the fourth quarter of next year.

— Two obstacles stand in the way of locally based Englewood Development's breaking ground on a 50-unit apartment and retail project at 460 Virginia Ave.

One is zoning. Englewood won what could be a decisive battle in its quest to rezone the site from industrial to commercial when the city's Metropolitan Development Commission voted 7-1 in favor of the request Feb. 6. Now the matter goes before the City-County Council, which could approve the rezoning at its Feb. 25 meeting.

The other obstacle is financing, which Englewood should get word on late this month. That's when the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority will announce which projects from around the state have been chosen this year to receive housing tax credits, which Englewood would sell to raise money for the project.

Besides apartments, the project  would include about 5,000 square feet of retail space and an underground parking garage. Some neighbors of the project strongly oppose the apartment component, which they say would pack too many residential units onto the site. But they might have to save that fight for another day. The issue on the table now is zoning. And city planning documents for years have recommend the site be zoned for commercial development.

If the rezoning is finalized and Englewood wins tax credits from the state, the project itself would have to win support from the city before it could be built, possibly beginning later this year with an opening in 2014.

— A 1927 retail strip near 11th Street and College Avenue that's been vacant for at least 30 years is still in line to be purchased and redeveloped by Larry Jones, who has plenty of experience with infill retail projects in urban neighborhoods.

Jones  was a partner in the redevelopment of the Murphy Art Center at 1043 Virginia Ave., and developed Chatham Center, a retail/apartment project at Ninth and East streets and Lincoln Park Shops at 25th and Central.

He said last fall he'd buy the dilapidated College Avenue retail strip, whose owner had sought permission to demolish it, if he could secure enough parking to serve the building and if environmental testing came back clean.

Though the 6,600-square-foot building once housed a laundry, soil samples didn't reveal contamination, Jones said. He's waiting for the state to certify those results.

On the parking front, Jones is working with the city's Department of Public Works to allow street parking on College Avenue and on the south side of 11th Street. He expects the City-County Council to take up the matter in late March. If the plan is approved, tenants and visitors to the building would have access to about 30 street spaces close to the building.

Jones expects to spend about $540,000 to buy and rehab the building and lease the space for $14 a square foot, less than what tenants pay on nearby Massachusetts Avenue.

If the environmental and parking issues can be resolved, he'll buy the building and start work on it this year.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
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
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Gay marriage is coming, whether or not these bigots and zealots like it or not. We must work to ensure future generations remember the likes of Greg Zoeller like they do the racists of our past...in shame.

  2. Perhaps a diagram of all the network connections of all politicians to their supporters and those who are elite/wealthy and how they have voted on bills that may have benefited their supporters. The truth may hurt, but there are no non-disclosures in government.

  3. I'm sure these lawyers were having problems coming up with any non-religious reason to ban same-sex marriage. I've asked proponents of this ban the question many times and the only answers I have received were religious reasons. Quite often the reason had to do with marriage to a pet or marriage between a group even though those have nothing at all to do with this. I'm looking forward to less discrimination in our state soon!

  4. They never let go of the "make babies" argument. It fails instantaneously because a considerable percentage of heterosexual marriages don't produce any children either. Although if someone wants to pass a law that any couple, heterosexual or homosexual, cannot be legally married (and therefore not utilize all legal, financial, and tax benefits that come with it) until they have produced a biological child, that would be fun to see as a spectator. "All this is a reflection of biology," Fisher answered. "Men and women make babies, same-sex couples do not... we have to have a mechanism to regulate that, and marriage is that mechanism." The civil contract called marriage does NOTHING to regulate babymaking, whether purposefully or accidental. These conservatives really need to understand that sex education and access to birth control do far more to regulate babymaking in this country. Moreover, last I checked, same-sex couples can make babies in a variety of ways, and none of them are by accident. Same-sex couples often foster and adopt the children produced by the many accidental pregnancies from mixed-sex couples who have failed at self-regulating their babymaking capabilities.

  5. Every parent I know with kids from 6 -12 has 98.3 on its car radio all the time!! Even when my daughter isn't in the car I sometimes forget to change stations. Not everybody wants to pay for satellite radio. This will be a huge disappointment to my 9 year old. And to me - there's so many songs on the radio that I don't want her listening to.

ADVERTISEMENT