Milhaus set to launch $26M downtown apartment project

May 2, 2013
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Milhaus college
                              development view to north 225pxMilhaus Development won design and rezoning approvals Wednesday to begin construction this summer on a five-building, $26 million apartment project in the Chatham Arch area downtown. The development (south of Massachusetts Avenue and north of North Street on the east side of College Avenue) will include 236 units ranging from studios to three bedrooms. Monthly rents will run between $900 and $2,000. The project will include the construction of four new buildings four to five stories tall and the complete renovation of the historic two-story former office building of the Mitchel & Scott Machine Co. The building will include the leasing office and apartments with rooftop patios.  About 7,000 square feet on the ground level could be developed as either residential or commercial space, Milhaus said. The first apartments should be available in the spring of 2014. The project’s design is a collaboration of Milhaus, Blackline Studio for Architecture, Anderson + Bohlander Landscape Architecture and CEC Engineering. This is Milhaus’ fifth project in the past three years. The others are Mozzo on Virginia Avenue, Solana Apartments at the Crossing near Keystone at the Crossing, Artistry within the former Bank One Operations Center and Penn Circle Apartments in Carmel. Milhaus also has bid to redevelop the former Market Square Arena site.

IBJ first reported on Milhaus' project in Chatham Arch here.

  • Wonderful!
    What a wonderful project. Kudos to Milhaus for contuning to build so many quality projects in the downtown area. One thing I would like to see is this section of college turn into a two way street. One way streets KILL pedestrian activity.
    • Architects
      Just a note: The architects, "Blackline Studios", are also the designers of the new mixed-use project that is taking the place of the United Package Liquors in Broad Ripple.
    • Great Stuff!
      This is great! It's exciting to see some life coming in on the northern end of Mass Ave.
    • Need Homes To Buy
      while i love that this area of Chatham Arch is being developed, as a Realtor what we also really need are more condo's under the $300,000 that could be bought by people wanting to make downtown long term home! There has been such an influx of apartments built but not one single new condo development
      • Ugh and Yuck
        Ugh - $900 for a studio apt. That is NOT affordable for the average worker who also wants to save for retirement and/or general purposes, live debt free and still have money left for entertainment. I'd LOVE to live downtown if there was truly affordable non-subsidized properties available. For now, I'll stick with my 2 BR historical building in the hood with it's $700/mo rent and hope the area never becomes gentrified, lest I be priced out of that also. Yuck - totally personal opinion but I think the design is truly awful and depressing.
        • RE: Andrea
          Andrea, I guess you haven't been paying attention, but there is a GLUT of affordable rate apartments being built around Mass Ave. I would say a majority of the projects are in this category. We need more market rate apartments for young professionals.
          • Affordable Housing
            Maria: Andrea doesn't mean affordable housing, which the majority of what you are referring to is Section 42 Low Income Housing Tax Credits properties, where you have to meet a certain threshold to qualify. She's speaking purely about cheaper "market rate" apartments. Granted, if the market couldn't sustain these rents, then they wouldn't start so high, but as a renter, I can see her point. I have a pretty affordable rent, but it is still over a 1/3 of a paycheck + utilites, but if someone can afford more, I don't have a problem with that either!
          • Affordable Housing
            I agree with Will and that I would love to see more resonably priced condos and apartments downtown. I have a decent paying job but I can't afford a mortgage on a $300k condo or $900 on a studio apartment. If there were more of a middle zone, I would move downtown in a heartbeat.
          • Condos...
            Will: The reason many/most developers are NOT building condos is because they are a legal nightmare. If your goal is to get sued, the quickest and best way to do so is build condos. Honestly, $900-$2,000 is what the market calls for, so why are you complaining about it? If you can't afford it, you can't afford it. Personally, I like my 2,400sf house with a <$900 mortgage in a quiet neighborhood, but some people would rather live in the city. Good for them. Don't ask developers to reduce the rent simply because you don't think people can afford it. You know what that leads to? Reduced quality projects.
          • RE: wafflefries
            Great points wafflefries.
          • UGLY
            Why do so many of the new projects have to look like this?? You see something similar all around town. Why the heck are they hiring an designer, these plans look like copies anyway. Come up with some original designs please.
            • Ed Beilouny
              If you think that this is a good project, then you should thank Ed Beilouny. Ed had the foresight to build the Beilouny at Mass and College, and was in the process of building another lusury conto project at 707 East North St before his bank got cold feet during the economic downturn a few years ago and took it all away from him. I wonder if these other folks would have started without these two fine buildings already raising the value of the area?
            • Good InFill
              Rich, I don't think the designs are ugly--they may be derivative in that they reflect the current popular urban apartment style, but what specifically is "ugly" about them? They may not be to your personal tastes, but that does not make them ugly. What I see is a crumbling one-story building and an empty lot being replaced with some solid urban infill, which is a good thing. I don't find the buildings to be beautiful, but they are aesthetically pleasing and functional and that is all they need to be. If you want a building that suits your personal tastes, you are welcome to get a bank to lend you money for a construction loan to build your own apartment building designed to your personal specifications. What is ugly to one person is quite attractive to another. Also, tastes change with the times. The old Marion County Courthouse was generally viewed as a gaudy Victorian rat-trap when it was torn down in the early 1960's. Now, many people lament the building's destruction and dislike its boxy International-Style replacement, the City-County Building, which was considered a sleek and modern building when it went up in in 1962.
              • Response
                Maria, I know there is a large amount of affordable housing and that's wonderful in my opinion. One of the things I love most about my current neighborhood is that I live within blocks of both million dollar homes and low income homes, it's a completely diverse area. BUT, there are many individuals like me -- single, making a more than decent living (I would never, ever qualify for true affordable housing) who don't want to spend the majority of their take home pay on housing. I set a limit of 25% and my current rent falls right around that amount. That market is under served in the downtown core as far as I can tell. I don't know if it's even economically feasible to build apartments priced in this range (I suspect it's not), but I'd jump at a two BR with minimal amenities (just give me a W/D hookup and I'll be happy) that would allow me to walk to a work, dining and downtown entertainment. Wafflefries - I'm one of those people who prefers the city :) -- I know I could get more for my dollars in a suburban area but I love the noise and bustle and variety of urban areas.
              • Indy's Growing Up
                The city is becoming more and more attractive, and people wantto own single-family homes in much lower proportions than in recent years. Is it any surprise that downtown rental rates are skyrocketing? Compared to most cities, we're still a bargain.
              • Parking
                I forgot to put this in my previous post, but one of the things that absolutely kills affordability is city-required parking minimums. Two spaces per dwelling unit is absurd, especially when that parking has to be contained within a structure where it costs maybe $10k per space... or god forbid, underground. That could be $20k per unit out of the box. ANd for what? To fight local NIMBYs who will use any excuse they can to bemoan new density in their neighborhood, so developers are forced to put in the required parking to avoid the variance process. The result? Very expensive parking garages that are usually less than half full and at a couple hundred dollars per month to any rental unit. Getting this city to rethink its suburban parking standards in the name of urbanity and affordability is an absolute must.
                • Amen!!
                  I am not in real estate and am fairly new to Indy so I am probably missing something, but why are so many apt projects going up downtown and not more or at least some condos/townhomes (and affordable)? Simple economics would say there is got to be a point of oversaturation. I agree Will...more condos for under 300k
                  • Super boring design
                    Glad to see more development, but the design by Blackline is insanely boring and typical of their past work...not that they are the only architecture studio whose attempt at "modern" design is uber derivative by a long shot. it's like all the hipsters you see walking around who think they are fashion forward but actually look like a pack of lemmings. Hopefully the developer considers a different look for this project.
                  • RE: Bryan
                    Bryan, you hit the nail on the head with your comments about parking. The amount of parking this city requires is DISGUSTING.
                  • Please
                    I'd like to see future property lines projects with an accompanying map, please! Also, PLEASE, INDY, turn College into a two-way road. Third, the vinyl siding is truly awful but the rest of the project is ahead of the curve for Indy. PLEASE refrain from using suburban-grade vinyl siding in the middle of the city. People can see this. THAT is ugly, regardless of changing tastes.
                  • More information
                    More photos of the development are available on the UrbanIndy website: To Quinn, I don't know where you are getting vinyl siding from. This development sits within the a district governed by IHPC (Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission). They would never approve vinyl siding. They were also the ones that pushed the developers to add more brick to the buildings so that they reference the warehouses across the street to the west.
                  • Afford it
                    Not everyone can afford to live anywhere they want. I'd love to live in Beverley Hills, you know. Nobody is compelled to make housing that "anyone can afford"
                  • The right direction
                    So, just from the looks of other projects, it seems Blackline understands that good architecture isn’t about being pretentious and ‘splashy’ looking. It’s simple with the right density and, most importantly, fits into the neighborhood with a true street presence. I like the variation with elevations and materials. It’s obvious IHPC made them add more brick to fit into Lockerbie which I don’t necessarily agree with at times, but I think the architects used brick in a subtle enough manner to achieve a more urban, contemporary and edgy feel: something downtown Indy needs more of! I laugh at anyone begging for more condos during this time of economic crisis: havn't we all learned from the past over saturated markets? Also, while it seems ideal to have more attractive commercial space...this particular stretch of College Avenue is not the place for it! This development is much more exciting than what Schmidt is proposing in a much more PRIME LOCATION in the middle of the MASS AVE 'Arts and Theatre District''. Luckily, there are some architects---like Blackline Studios---which understand the importance of restraint in design. This project is a game changer for downtown Indy: it's not trying to be something other than it NEEDS TO BE. This area should not mimic DISNEYLAND or try to be NYC.
                  • Middle class savers need not apply
                    Housing prices and rental rates aren't keeping in line with wages. The reason is simply we have crony capitalism at work. Government picks the winners and losers with their direct tax infusions, land giveaways, tax abatement, etc.. If you are lucky enough to have one of the government subsidized high paying jobs at companies like Simon, Colts, Pacers, IUPUI, Lilly, the state, the city, or the county, or any other of the "not-for-profit" entities that exist, then everything is great. It is true there are only so many "rich" taxpayer subsidized folks working for so call private companies. The other issue is that there are many middle income types who could careless about the future. They have been conditioned to believe that their middle income is the fault of the rich not paying their "fair share," thus they are entitled to live the lifestyle they want. If people are willing to live on tens of thousands of dollars on credit card debt, rent can never truly reflect the incomes of an area. Gov. bails people out all the time. It authorizes and handles divorce for failed marriages. It authorizes and handles bankruptcy filings. It doles out numerous dollars in various welfare programs, which anyone with an income is forced to pay into. There are plenty of young professionals who have no problem never saving a dime for retirement, future higher ed costs for future kids, for a future home, for anything. Government and other people's money is there to provide. As such, no one cares about paying one paycheck towards rent to "live downtown." One paycheck for rent, the other monthly check for food, drinking, and dating, maybe not in that order though. As long as this type of "live large" young professional is around, rents will never stabilize. Urban downtown areas are where these folks want to live, so middle class savers can forget about ever being able to afford downtown.
                  • Parking
                    Bryan, so you just park three blocks away and carry you groceries in the rain.
                  • ugly
                    The design is too common. I agree that there is too much copy-cat design going on in this city.
                  • Still Ugly
                    You can also find them in 5 year old Architecture magazines.
                  • Next!
                  • Roommates
                    In my experience, most (or at least very many) apartments like this are filled by people with roommates. They may also be "young professionals," but it's more likely that you have two people making $40k each splitting a $1400 two-bedroom than that there is one person making $90k in the same space. IMO, the person making 90 will be looking to buy a house or condo soon and won't want to spend so much on an apartment that he can't save for a downpayment; the people making $40 probably can't afford a house where they'd like to live, but can easily come up with $700 for their half of the rent...and get to live in a nice place in a cool location with many other like-minded individuals.
                  • @Toms
                    Tom, in an ideal world I agree with you completely. The free market supply and demand would dictate these developments. However I understand this is not the world we live in and virtually every development gets government assistance in some way (tax abatements, city secured bonds, etc). And even though I don't necessary like the process, I do, for the most part, like the results. The City of Indy is growing like crazy with tons of shiny new developments that help showcase and glorify our downtown. And it makes me proud to live here.
                  • Canyon!
                    I love the canyon affect that this will for College! It's too bad that they couldn't have proposed a building about the same height as 707 North that would have provided additional height diversity, but I'll take this. I would LOVE to see a 7-10-story proposal for Mesh's parking lot, but my guess is that pigs will be flying first.

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                  1. Great article and post scripts by Mike L (Great addition to IBJ BTW). Bobby's stubborn as a mule, and doubt if he ever comes back to IU. But the love he would receive would be enormous. Hope he shows some time, but not counting on it.

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                  4. Jim, your "misleading" numbers comment is spot on. This is the spin these posers are putting on it. News flash, fans: these guys lie. They are not publicly traded so no one holds them accountable for anything they say. The TV numbers are so miniscule to begin with any "increase" produces double digit "growth" numbers. It's ridiculous to think that anything these guys have done has awakened the marketplace. What have they done? Consolidate the season so they run more races on consecutive weekends? And this creates "momentum." Is that the same momentum you enjoy when you don't race between August and March? Keep in mind that you are running teams who barely make ends meet ragged over the summer to accomplish this brilliant strategy of avoiding the NFL while you run your season finale at midnight on the East Coast. But I should not obfuscate my own point: any "ratings increase" is exactly what Jim points to - the increased availability of NBC Sports in households. Look fans, I love the sport to but these posers are running it off a cliff. Miles wants to declare victory and then run for Mayor. I could go on and on but bottom line for God's sake don't believe a word they say. Note to Anthony - try doing just a little research instead of reporting what these pretenders say and then offering an "opinion" no more informed than the average fan.

                  5. If he's finally planning to do the right thing and resign, why not do it before the election? Waiting until after means what - s special election at tax payer expense? Appointment (by whom?) thus robbing the voters of their chance to choose? Does he accrue some additional financial advantage to waiting, like extra pension payments? What's in it for him? That's the question that needs to be asked.