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One Mass Ave project starts; another one is in limbo

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The development arm of the Indianapolis Housing Agency has closed on financing and started construction of an $11.5 million, 61-unit apartment project at Massachusetts Avenue and East and North streets.

It's the first of two phases of housing and retail space known as Millikan on Mass that Insight Development plans to build on ground surrounding the Barton Tower Apartments. But the fate of the second phase is up in the air because its financing had been tied to a project that the team of Insight and Flaherty & Collins Properties had hoped to develop across Mass Ave at the site of the Indianapolis Fire Department headquarters.

The city announced Oct. 24 that it had selected the team of J.C. Hart Co., Strongbox Commercial and Schmidt Associates architects to build a $43 million, mixed use project with 235 apartments on the fire department site.

Insight President Bruce Baird said his development team is beginning the process of evaluating its options for phase two of the development. That project, with 68 apartments and 9,000 square feet of retail space, would line Massachusetts Avenue and East Michigan Street across the street from the Athenaeum.

Baird said it's possible the project, which already has received city design approval, will proceed even though the project across the street was awarded to the Hart/Strongbox team. He said Insight/Flaherty is only now beginning to focus on phase two after closing phase one financing last week and beginning construction Nov. 12.

Phase one, which includes 5,000 square feet of street-front retail, is financed almost entirely from the sale of rental housing tax credits awarded to Insight by the state last March. The credits are being syndicated by locally based City Real Estate Advisors and are being purchased by Huntington Bank and Fifth Third Bank. The construction lender is Merchants Bank of Indiana, with participation by First Merchants Bank.

The use of rental housing tax credits places limits on the income levels of those who occupy the units. More than half of the 61 units will be leased to people with household incomes between $23,000 and $40,000 a year. The balance will have even tighter income restrictions.

Baird said the five-story brick structure, most of which will front East Street, is scheduled to be ready for tenants in December 2013. Though work has started, a formal groundbreaking is expected to happen early next month. The design, by a partnership of the architecture firms Ratio and A2S04, preserves surface parking used by residents of the 21-story, 246-unit Barton Tower, a 1967 building where the Indianapolis Housing Agency recently completed $8 million in improvements, including new mechanical systems and cosmetic upgrades.

Baird said the Barton, which is open to seniors and the disabled, lost tenants during the renovation but is now back up to about 88 percent occupancy.

 

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  1. I think the poster was being sarcastic and only posting or making fun of what is usually posted on here about anything being built in BR or d'town for that matter.

  2. Great news IRL fans: TURBO the IMS sanctioned movie about slugs running the Indy 500 has caught the Securities and Exchange Commission because Dreamworks had to take a $132MILLION write down...because the movie was such a flop. See, the Indy/IMS magic soiled another pair of drawers. Bwahahahahahaha! How's CARTOWN doing? HAHAHAHA...Indy is for losers.

  3. So disappointed in WIBC. This is the last straw to lose a good local morning program. I used to be able to rely on WIBC to give me good local information, news, weather and traffic on my 45 minute commute.Two incidents when I needed local, accurate information regarding severe weather were the first signs I could not now rely on WIBC. I work weekend 12 hour nights for a downtown hospital. This past winter when we had the worst snowfall in my 50 years of life, I came home on a Sunday morning, went to sleep (because I was to go back in Sunday night for another 12 hour shift), and woke up around 1 p.m. to a house with no electricity. I keep an old battery powered radio around and turned on WIBC to see what was going on with the winter storm and the roads and the power outage. Sigh. Only policital stuff. Not even a break in to update on the winter storm warning. The second weather incident occurred when I was driving home during a severe thunderstorm a few months ago. I had already gotten a call from my husband that a tornado warning was just southwest of where I had been. I turned to WIBC to find out what direction the storm was headed so I could figure out a route home, only to find Rush on the air, and again, no breaking away from this stupidity to give me information. Thank God for my phone, which gave me the warning that I was driving in an area where a tornado was seen. Thanks for nothing WIBC. Good luck to you, Steve! We need more of you and not the politics of hatred that WIBC wants to shove at us. Good thing I have Satellite radio.

  4. I read the retail roundup article and tried Burritos and Beers tonight. I'm glad I did, for the food was great. Fresh authentic Mexican food. Great seasoning on the carne asada. A must try!!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...

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