$12M apartment project serving homeless veterans planned for former foundry

November 8, 2012
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Lincoln Apartments IndianapolisCity and local Lincoln Apartments Indianapolisnot-for-profit officials plan to break ground Lincoln Apartments IndianapolisThursday (Nov. 8) on the city's first supportive housing facility for homeless veterans. The 75-unit Lincoln Apartments project is planned for the former home of an iron works foundry along Holmes Avenue just north of West Michigan Street on the near west side. The project cost, including the value of grants, federal housing tax credits and site remediation, totals about $11.6 million. The city donated the land, which had been vacant since 1962, and paid for remediation with federal and state grants. Great Lakes Capital Fund arranged the sale of tax credits to provide $9.8 million in equity. The development team includes Building Blocks Non-Profit Housing Corp., Volunteers of America of Indiana Inc. (which will manage the facility), Milner and Caringella Inc., Roudebush VA Medical Center (located about a mile away), and Keystone Construction. The architect is Axis. The project's fully furnished apartments are scheduled to open in fall 2013. What do you think?

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  • Fantastic
    I'm very happy to see this...
    • Great
      It's about time we started addressing the biggest housing problem in the city. The success will depend on management. We must keep on top of it after occupancy.
    • Yes
      Nice design work from Axis. I think the West Michigan Street corridor and areas between West Washington and north to 16 Tech are the next urban frontier in Indianapolis. It's good to see solid design work and a project which supports the area with positive growth.
    • Interesting
      An excellent and much needed addition to affordable housing in Indianapolis. Keystone Construction, seriously? A republican making big bucks off a construction project funded by stimulus funds? Will all of the profit will go back into supporting politicians who believe granting money to projects like this is what is ruining our country?
      • Fantastic!
        This is fabulous news! We ask our men and women to risk their lives for their country so the least we can do is make sure they have a roof over their head.
      • Wonderful, but not the first . . .
        While I applaud the efforts of Building Blocks and Volunteers of America and the goals of this project, this is not the "first" supportive housing for homeless veterans. Partners in Housing Development Corporation, a local area not-for-profit, has been providing supportive housing for vets for many years - including at our Blue Triangle, Mapleton Park, and Linwood Manor properties. Check out Partners and the great work our staff is doing for the Indy community at www.partnersinhousingindy.org.
      • Responding to Wendy
        Would it be more accurate to say first "ground-up" supportive housing? I think that's what they meant when they said "first", but I'm all for more precise over less precise!
      • Homeless Vets
        Bravo! Great idea and yes, the success of this will be in how it is managed and maintained. It's great to see the city moving forward with progressive and sustainable housing initiatives for Veterans.
      • HVAF of Indiana, Inc.
        Is this a continuation of HVAF of Indiana, Inc.? I know they have been assisting homeless Veterans here for many, many years and have a great sucess rate. Just curious if this ties in with them.
      • Gimme a break
        Wow. Another handout to our favorite city sponsored government backed "minority" contractor... What a joke! When is a reporter going to peel back the covers on that scam?
      • Housing for Homeless Vets
        Good deal that this complex is opening for our homeless veterans. South Bend has a similar complex, and the vets are so appreciative and proud of their home. More vets will be returning home soon. There is a big empty hospital building in Beech Grove...
      • Who Cares
        Who cares who the GC is or how much money they make off the project. It is a good thing for the homeless veterans (who by the way have fought for your freedom). I think it is a great idea and applaud the City of Indianapolis for doing it.
        • Justifiably concerned about the GC
          Janice, I think we are well aware of what veterans have done, thank you very much--we need no reminder. No one here is criticizing the project's mission. But if you think we are only allowed to judge a development on the basis of its final goal, you're blinding yourself to potential for cronyism. Keystone seems to win almost every bid the City introduces; we have every right and reason to question it.
          • balconies
            Units should have balconies. This building resembles a nursing home or prison: all locked up and clamped down. Balconies are a semi-private space which provides a sense of freedom and self-sufficiency.
          • who's doing this?
            No Janice, you don't get it! Federal dollars are funding this project, not the City of Indianapolis. The City is entrusted to spend these funds in a fair manner. Awarding multiple projects funded with federal housing grants to the same contractor is not spreading money around and building up the economy of Indianapolis. The owner of Keystone Construction has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Mayor Ballard's campaigns. In addition to this project the company was gifted $6.3 million of city money to build a parking garage in Broad Ripple. Broad Ripple is a vibrant, sustainable business district with a parking problem. That is a situation which should require zero incentive from the city to encourage development. Zero. The concept is called "Pay to Play" and it shouldn't take much to connect the dots of how a small campaign donation turns into huge, unwarranted windfalls.
          • Two different stories
            Housing for veterans = great! :-) Keystone Construction collecting even more taxpayer dollars = sad, but not surprising. :-( By the way, what side of the building faces Michigan Street?
          • Big empty roof
            Would be nice to see some solar panels or a green roof.
          • I AGREE!
            Project = Commendable Design = Complimentary Keystone Construction = Criminal
          • Federal vs. City
            Actually, the tax credits are a federal funding stream allocated by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority on a competitive basis. The City doesn't decide who the GC is...the (independent) project sponsor decides that when they put their proposal together.
          • But
            Free Site = Influence on GC Selection Process
          • Keystone
            To my recollection, Keystone Construction has only been around for the last few years. Not sure if they even existed before Ballard was elected?
          • connections....
            From Keystone Construction website: Mr. Paul Okeson Vice President of Business Development Mr. Paul Okeson is Vice President of Business Development for Keystone Construction Corporation. Previously, Mr. Okeson served as Mayor Ballard’s Chief of Staff. Mr. Okeson graduated from Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Indiana. Mr. Okeson has more than 5 years experience as a public servant and community leader. He has been a strong asset in establishing a more efficient local government in Indiana. While working on Mayor Ballard’s team he helped lower taxes, lower crime and make Indianapolis a more livable city.
            • Low Bidder
              Maybe they win the contracts because they are the lowest bidder. I don't care who is building them as long as they are built for our Veterans. If you are so aware of our Veterans it should not matter who builds them. You must work for another contractor and are jealous??
            • Poor Veterans
              Another PRISON-LIKE & ALL-CONTROLLING mandatory 12-step religious Aa/NA cult "Higher Power" & "Jesus Saves" insane asylum ran by VOA; those poor veterans...more being USED & ABUSED. Homeless Veterans need REAL HOUSING... not an institution.
            • SENIOR COMMUNITY
              This is a great idea and it will definitely serve it's purpose. I would just prefer to live somewhere without feeling as though it is prison.
            • Seriously
              Every Politician claims to have lowered crime. The fact is crime will NEVER go away!! So STOP using CRIME as YOUR platform to garner support!!!

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