Browning plans apartments for Broad Ripple property

April 3, 2013
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Broad Ripple Shell station 225 pxLocal developer Browning Investments is poised to submit new plans for a key piece of real estate it previously pitched as a potential site for the Broad Ripple parking garage project. Jamie Browning, a principal of Browning Investments, told IBJ Wednesday that the firm is proposing a mix of 60 to 70 apartments and commercial space on 1.9 acres on the northeast corner of College Avenue and the Central Canal. The development would replace a closed Shell gas station (shown above) and a handful of older apartment buildings on the site, bordered by College and Carrollton Avenue. Browning had been set to present its plans to rezone the property April 11, but the developer has received a continuance from the Metropolitan Board of Zoning Appeals due to the lack of a site plan. Jamie Browning said the firm has the property under contract but declined to discuss further specifics until it presents plans to the city. A rendering of the project should be available within the next week. Browning Investments was among several developers vying for the Broad Ripple parking garage project before city leaders ultimately chose Keystone Construction. Browning had proposed a $24 million project called Canal Pointe that would have had 185 apartments, 18,000 square feet of retail space, and 544 parking spaces. Keystone’s parking garage features retail space on the ground floor. It’s located at the southwest corner of Broad Ripple and College avenues.

  • Bad plan
    Another plan is needed Browning. As Villagers we do not want more apartments. We need culture, community, and an infrastructure conducive to a healthy, friendly, and active life.
    • Great plan
      Love this plan. Broad Ripple needs more modern apartments. Everything now is run down and trashy.
    • .
      Respectfully disagree. Nice, new apartments are exactly what the village currently lacks. I know and know of many young professionals who would like to live in the Broad Ripple area but do not because of the lack of nice, newer apartments. Those people have been driven either downtown or to Carmel/Castleton. Retail vacancies in Broad Ripple seem fairly low, but there wouldn't seem to be much need for additional retail/shopping, especially without the added density apartment developments like this and the one planned(under construction?) at the old McNamara Florist location on Compton will provide. I'm curious to know what Villager would like to see instead that falls under the umbrealla of "culture, community, and an infrastructure conducive to a healthy, friendly, and active life" that will also generate the return needed to drive investment using private dollars.
    • Rendering
      Urban Indy has some of the renderings for those that haven't seen it.
    • Proposal
      Im sorry that this plan does not meet YOUR specific approval. Maybe Browning needs to come directly to your door to present plans on how it would like to develop the property they own.
    • Rendering
      Property Lines should have an updated rendering, which Browning says has changed dramatically from the original, within the next week.
    • Adam is 100% correct
      What a win-win for Broad Ripple. The plan gets rid of an awful looking, very visible old service station that's on the doorstep to the Village. More importantly, it provides QUALITY high-density housing. Broad Ripple has needed something like this for years. When sharp young professionals that graduate from college or relocate to our area...just where in the Village do they find really nice apartments? Currently there are NONE. Don't people realize this is the best way to attract new residents that may likely want to buy a house some time down the road? And these are people who LIVE here and shop the stores, go to Kroger, and eat in the opposed to the bar-hoppers that drink and drive away. HOORAY for this plan.
    • lotsa people small space
      Many long time Broad Ripple residents are not against development. It's the cramming of as many units into a small space that has gotten out of hand. Broad Ripple is not downtown or Castleton. It is an older neighborhood surrounded by older neighborhoods. Part of the charm is walking around seeing green space and the actual sky. Sixty to seventy apartments and retail space on 1.9 acres of land is RIDICULOUS. The developers and supporters of this plan obviously do not live in BR. They have $$ in their eyes or they would value the area and build appropriately. The BR powers-that-be have to give the green light to their developer buddies instead of protecting the "charm" that makes it a such a draw. Traffic is already atrocious and please enlighten us, where are these folks in the 60-70 appartments and retail going to park every day? We are so excited for all the retail,can't wait for a Gap or a Chipotle or maybe even a KFC to open. We can just start refering to BR as "Fishers South" at that point.
      • Good fit
        Great project, hope Browning gets it to work out. Much-needed housing type in the area, and this is the perfect spot in BR for a higher-density project like this. It will improve the landscape there dramatically to (hopefully) better blend in with the canal. Can't wait to see the rendering.
      • lotsa people, small space
        Oh and people worried about the impact of this project are aware of the the parking spaces planned for the site. What the developers won't acknowledge is the fact that there aren't enough spaces to acommodate the residents, retail, friends and family who will show up to hang out in "cool" BR. This will mean more street parking and restrictions on single family homes and small businesses to the north and west. Please, build something beautiful and useful on that space, just make it REASONABLE for Broad Ripple.
      • .
        Not sure I can agree with "enough already" regarding too many people in a small space. Broad Ripple is largely low-density single-family homes. There are a few apartments, but hardly to the scale seen in many newer developments. Apartment complexes mixed into neighborhoods with single-family homes is nothing new. There are examples 54th/College (condos, I guess), 46th & Washington, 52nd and Carrollton, 52nd and Central, etc. The plans call for below-grade parking as well as additional spaces behind the building, so I don't see any concerns with parking. There's zero chance the city is going to fork over the TIF dollars to clean up the gas station site without getting some sort of return (say, for a pocket park). The position at the corner of 62 and College really only lends itslef to retail/multifamily. The renderings on Urban Indy address the canal and leave space for development fronting College; it looks like a winner to me.
      • Parking
        "What the developers won't acknowledge is the fact that there aren't enough spaces to acommodate the residents, retail, friends and family who will show up to hang out in "cool" BR." ........ The plans show a minimum of 229 off-street parking spots for 60-70 units and 3 commercial spaces. How is that not sufficient?
        • Confused
          I think it's funny that "enough already" complains about this development being too dense but then complains he doesn't want BR to become Fishers South. Fishers is very low density and you can see lots of green space and sky there. Maybe that's where you should live?
        • lotsa people, small space
          Figured the Browning trolls would be monitoring this board to "dispute" any locals' legitimate claims. Wouldn't want logic and fairness to get in the way of profit at all costs. See ya at the meeting, fellahs!
        • enough already
          Apparently "enough already" thinks the word "profit" is a four letter word.Gap, Chipotle, and KFC build where there are "rooftops". 60 to 70 units with 229 parking spots represent "rooftops". Perhaps "enough already: should move to the country. Plenty of green space and sky.
        • not a troll
          The "locals" haven't made any legitimate claims. College Ave. is exactly the right place for higher density.
        • enough already?
          enough already needs to move to Avon already. Broad Ripple needs to have this type of density to support the retail that everyone wants in the area. I honestly think this project isn't dense enough.
            How about providing density and building a beautiful, well-designed building? I haven't seen enough to judge the design, but i reject the objections that say it should be something beautiful instead of 60-70 apartments.
          • Charm?
            I agree we shouldn't cross the line between "reinvigorate" and "overdevelop," but there's nothing charming about that decrepit Shell station and the shabby apartments currently on that land. If greater density makes a tasteful project work financially, I'd go with that.
          • Not enough yet
            Count me as a BR local who thinks this project will be a very good thing. There is a serious shortage of nice apartments in the neighborhood. There is no legitimate concern regarding parking with more than two space per apartment, and I promise the sky will still be there after this gets built. Unfortunantely its always the NIMBYs who seem to have the most free time to attend zoning hearings on weekday afternoons.
          • Clueless
            Dear VILLAGER and ENOUGH ALREADY, Do the two of you not see that BRV continues to struggle? It's the mixed use, higher density developments like this proposal that your so called 'village' lacks...BUT NEEDS TO MOVE IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. You want more culture, infrastructure and community for a healthy, more active living? But how are you going to support this without a mass of residents in the area. Do you expect BRV to be the ultimate 'commuter community' or something? Why would anybody wish crime to rise due to low density standards? Makes no sense to me. BR should feel like an urban village in the future...not a sprawling Avon, Fischers or Plainfield. The fact remains BRV is a very large space for the # of 95% of Indianapolis. I'm just happy it's people like these 2 who indirectly helps promote downtown with their backwards, suburban thinking. 'See you at the meeting, FELLAS!' ??? Seriously? Maybe ENOUGH ALREADY has had enough suburban living and needs to find a cornfield to 'live' in? Just a thought.
          • Glad to see...
            ... that the overwhelming majority of posters here support quality, dense development for this area. Its needed here... and throughout the city.
          • Rumour has it....
            Rumour has it that a Whole Foods will be a part of this project! What other retail would everyone else like to see in Broad Ripple?
          • Can't wait
            Great project. I live a block away, and I am very glad to see recent developments in BR (garage, apatments and commercial buildings).
          • About time
            I have only lived in Indy for 2 years but i drive down College to work everyday and I really like BR but the fact this piece of land, an "entrance to BR", has been left like this for as long as it as is a joke. I thought BR villagers were better than this and don't like this kind of garage. I think the renderings are pretty good and hopefully bring in some more local or regional businesses.
          • FINALLY
            I am excited that Broad Ripple is finally getting a development like this. Long overdue! Bringing in high density development like this will move Broad Ripple away from being a ghetto of bars. People like 'enough already' and 'villager' are the same people that complain when another bar like Brothers or Kilroys move in, but guess what, they are the only type of business that can survive with that rent in a low density enviornment.
          • Positive Growth for Broad Ripple
            This is a great addition to Broad Ripple. Density, walkability, ample below-grade parking, and nicer apartment living than currently exists are all beneficial. My only comment is to encourage the developer and architects to engage the canal with more walkable commercial space. Indy has generally done a terrible job of utilizing our waterways as pedestrian amenities. I like the look of the canal interaction, but the preliminary scheme seems to give about 50% of the canal frontage to commercial. I would challenge the developers to go all the way with commercial there.
          • Help me understand...
            Hi, I'm another villager. I'm wondering if any of those so pro for more apartments actually live in the village proper or have had enough life experience to recognize the negative aspects of more apartments. In BRV, I've raised a young family, became a young professional, helped with the Monon Trail development, assisted with the art and culture scene, help keep the streets clean, watch out for our fellow neighbors, run/walk/ride, know the shop owners, havemy own business, and am on the streets nearly everyday. I can think of no one that is beyond a transient resident that thinks more apartments are a good idea. It's going exectly the opposite direction of where a community with roots needs to be focusing. I am surpised by the reactions and postings in this blog and suspect many of these hyper-reacting posts have some other agenda than the good of the village in mind. If you really are villagers, say hello at the development meeting, we'd like to get to know you, you will recognize us when we introduce ourselves as Villagers and will listen to your ideas.
          • Live/Work
            Density is fine, if that's the direction we're headed in. We're having a conversation about mass transit, with plenty of opinions, and may of them revolve around the lack of density. Something that rarely gets discussed is jobs and how they integrate into Broad Ripple Village. More daytime traffic will help support a sustainable village that functions 24/7, not just on Thurs-Sat nights. I'd love to see a medium sized employer target BRV or somewhere near Broad Ripple and see if the City would step up w/ incentives to help them locate there. The City has committed millions to Keystone Construction for more retail and a garage, and I get that as support for our cultural destinations and the Cultural Trail, why not help an employer locate there to create a more balanced Village?
          • This IS the best use.
            Yes, I live here, and own a home just 2 blocks away. There is room for everyone at the table - homeowners and apartment dwellers as well. A few of the posters keep talking about more retail. Wait a minute...have you noticed the number of empty storefronts now? They are scattered all around, but most notably at the vacant property on the corner across from the new garage and several just east of there along BR Ave. And there have been no announcements of retail for the garage, except for the return of Marcos. Look, if a private developer wanted to replace the Shell station with retail...they would have done it a long time ago. Thank goodness nobody decided to put another liquor store in this spot. The Village has two really bad properties that give a lousy first impression to visitors - the Shell station and the ugly (and vacant) stores mentioned above - in the crummy looking building with the corrugated aluminum sideing. Come on folks - more quality housing brings the people who support the retail! Let's pray that this development gets the go-ahead.
          • Another Villager
            Another Villager, please explain what you mean by "many of these hyper-reacting posts have some other agenda than the good of the village in mind." Do you think that we all work for the developer? Here's a newsflash, not everyone wants to buy a house or condo. Just because someone rents, doesn't mean they don't care about the community they live in. Its ignorant people like you that cause a negative stigma around renting and mass transit.
          • RE: Parking
            Tht's not fair. You used facts to rebut their stupid argument. Don;t you know, you are not allowed to use facts. (Notice "enough already" didn't use any facts to claim there wasn;t enough parking. And no, I don't work for Browning.
          • Mass Transit
            Everybody wants mass transit, but just not the density needed to support mass transit. At least not in there back yard.
          • So it begins...
            This discussion is following a well-worn path that these NIMBY vs. YIMBY issues always seem to take. 1.) New development proposed. 2.) One or more NIMBY’s presume to speak for all the residents of the neighborhood in reflexively opposing said development. 3.) Other residents speak up, making it known that the NIMBY opinion is not universal. 4.) NIMBY appoints him/herself as gatekeeper of the discussion, setting some qualifications a person must meet in order to have an opinion. So far in this case, they are as follows: a.) Must be old. (sorry, I meant “have had enough life experience”) b.) Must have lived in the neighborhood for at least x number of years, where x is approximately however many years NIMBY has lived there. c.) Must have children d.) Must own and occupy a single-family detached house. e.) NIMBY must be satisfied that said home is really, truly, located in the neighborhood. 5.) If discussion is taking place anonymously online, NIMBY can slam the door with a little bit of paranoid conspiracy theorizing. Anyone who claims to meet all the above requirements, but still disagrees with NIMBY, must be a paid shill for the developer.
            • David and NIMBYs
              Brilliant post, David. One for the annals of history. Kudos!
              • David
                Bravo David! One of the best posts I have read on the internet in a LONG time. Brilliant!
              • Lacking life experience
                Have any of you had the "pleasure" of attending a BRVA development meeting? I have and thanks to that I was able to see the "life experience" held by the board. I've never seen any group of people so stuck in the past. When Kilroy's was seeking approval, someone on the board actually suggested someone should build a diner instead. A diner. These people want BRV to go back 50 years and have diners and malt shops everywhere instead of actual solid urban development. They are in denial that BRV is even urban. They've been here so long, that they still think it's a suburb of downtown Indy. If this is good project (I haven't even looked to see if it is)it will get approved, as the city and state are the actual decision makers and use tax revenue potential and growth potential as their factors. The BRVA is basically an HOA run by a bunch of NIMBYS that actually think they have any power.
              • BRVA
                I completely agree with the comments above about the BRVA. I went to a couple development meetings a few years ago and was completely floored with the NIMBYism and how critical members were of comments from someone my age. The BRVA is stuck in the past and needs to understand that without dense, urban development, Broad Ripple will slowly continue to deteriorate.
              • Call Back
                This is a call back to a story IBJ ran 5 years ago about another BR development. The comments are a great read. You will see a lot of very familiar themes.
              • Blast from the past
                DRT, thanks for that link. It looks like the same NIMBYs are still acting as a parasite on Broad Ripple. I wonder if Another Villager and the other "Families" will be using their kids as props this time around?
                • New n'hood voice?
                  From the comments I've read here on this proposal, Kilroy's, and others, it sounds like BR might be ready for a new group to be formed to provide an alternative voice to that of the BRVA.
                • BRVA and Enough Already
                  enough already is completely looney. BR is no longer a stand-alone village where it was surrounded by farm fields all the way to the south where the fairgrounds are and where Keystone is. It is now an URBAN VILLAGE. If you want a village move out of the states largest urban core if you don't like density or growth. Most of thse BRVA people are the same ones complaining about how their taxes have gone up. Getting more mid-high density development will help that. BRVA is a bunch of old whiners who don't like change because they decided to buy their house 30 years ago and didn't like that the world is changing around them. Can't wait for some our LEADERS that are holding on to retire or move....they really are impacting change and not being receptive to younger voices who want to live in the Village for the next 30 years as well like BRVA NIMBYers did.
                • Brilliant??
                  Everyone needs to calm down and take their medication. Lets all do a little more study on this and see what the renderings look like for the final concept. It would also be nice to stop telling people to move to different areas of town, or the state, if they have different opinions. Again, just take a deep breath and perhaps have a beer.
                  • Indy in transition
                    I believe Indy (including BRV) can only grow with density. The proposal is heading in the right direction but needs to address College Avenue and the canal obvious asset any developer or architect should recognize? I can't imagine anybody making the argument for the current low density found around the village as beneficial to our community. However, I guess it's more important to figure out why there seems to be this NIMBY vs YIMBY scuffle. It's all about the standards UNIGOV set for our community back almost 50 years ago: zoning regulations that conform to a very suburban lifestyle that becomes more obsolete with today's demand for a more sustainable (and urban!) lifestyle. It's just hard for many people here to accept this fact, let's face it. I still think Indy needs a good 8-10 years before we notice neighborhoods and districts defined by updated infrastructure and good infill development. I can only hope it doesn't take this long. Until then, there will always be voices heard from neighborhood associations, no matter how dated or obsolete their view is.
                  • Actual rendering?
                    Perhaps the same NIMBYs, but also the same developer shills who are in favor of *any* project, no matter how badly designed. While I'm fairly optimistic that any use of this particular property will be better than what already exists there now, all we have is a placeholder rendering. No one should make up their mind about this until we see the actual design.
                  • David, Great Post
                    David said it best. NIMBY seems to be a universal reaction to anything new that does not represent what the NIMBY's think should be the automatic collective reaction of all.
                  • factoids?
                    At the presentation Browning made at recent BRVA, they said nothing can be built on the Shell site: it will be a plaza and that sounds good. The problem is with the height of the apartment building. Eighty feet is out of proportion with the rest of the village. We need to go up incrementally. Browning said they need that density to make money. Of course it needs to be a profitable venture; the question is of a balance between profit and livability by the community residents.

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