16 Park set to officially open following last year’s fire

June 18, 2013
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park_apartments_225pxInsight Development Corp. on Wednesday will officially open the $34 million 16 Park Apartments, about a year after fire destroyed one of the housing project's buildings while it was under construction. Insight, the development arm of the Indianapolis Housing Agency, led the 11-building, 155-unit project that was set to open in October along 16th Street between Central and College avenues. “It’s been very well received and already has a waiting list,” Insight President Bruce Baird said. The June blaze engulfed a four-story, 28-unit apartment building that was due to open last fall. Four occupied buildings in the complex were not damaged. The Indianapolis Fire Department estimated damage to the building at $3.5 million and ultimately determined the fire to be accidental. 16 Park replaces Caravelle Commons, a 65-unit, low-income housing property built in 1975. IHA bought Caravelle Commons in March 2009 from the Near North Development Corp., which took over the complex in 2003. Near North stepped in to refinance, renovate and stabilize the property with an eye toward eventually selling it to a more appropriate owner. IHA financed most of the 16 Park project with nearly $28 million in federal and state tax credits and another $4.4 million in federal stimulus funds. The housing agency used a grant of about $400,000 from a city housing trust fund to acquire the property and begin drawing up plans for redevelopment. 16 Park is the largest project in IHA’s $120 million portfolio, which includes the redevelopment of Barton and Lugar towers downtown, and the construction of The Braxton at the base of Lugar Tower.

  • Oh boy, more projects!
    Who cares about this? Housing projects are never newsworthy. I doubt the people interested in this are reading IBJ.
    • Eh...
      They look like nice apartments and it is good to see there is a waiting list and also an up and coming neighborhood, but just don't walk a couple of blocks in the wrong direction from here
    • Well Micky....
      ... you obviosuly cared enough to put your two cents in. The project looks very nice and is a definite improvement for that area.
    • Mickey
      We CARE about you Mickey! You're quite a grumpy bear. Buy yourself a doughnut today...maybe pet a puppy? Turn that frown upside down. It's OK if the kids get on your lawn.
      • Thanks Concerned
        That comment made me laugh and made my day. So many people are so negative on here. I like your approach to dealing with them. Now I think I'll go give a puppy a donut.
      • Don't need a puppy, but
        I love the finished look of the building, great fit for the area and definitely a nice focal point. My only question is what incentive do poor people have to no longer be.... poor? When you are poor, you get free or dirt cheap housing that looks better than most new developments in town, with great amenities, utility vouchers to cover or help cover your utilities, food stamps for free food, free cell phone with text messages included, and the list goes on. I wonder sometimes if our government knows the difference between "helping" and "enabling".
        • Just some thoughts about your thoughts
          The incentive for poor people to get themselves off public assistance and "no longer be poor" is even with help...they're STILL POOR! Being poor, even with some assistance, isn't all that pleasant. (I speak from experience) It's a stubborn myth that poor people, who are on public assistance, are sitting in the lap of luxury. You should try living on just those "freebies" that you mentioned and see how meager they actually are. By the way, I didn't mean you had to buy/own a puppy...just pet one. :)
          • You are missing the point,
            As you mentioned, "they are still poor"...... which is my point exactly. So why are tax dollars going toward an unending cycle of rewarding those who continue to always be poor? If they are poor today, and poor tomorrow, and poor next year, then why are providing them with a free cell phone and text messages? It's not the concept of assistance that I have an issue with, it's the application of that concept that I have an issue with.
            • You're welcome for the thoughts.
              Why are you assuming they all stay on public assistance? They don't! ;)
              • doing the math
                $34,000,000 divided by 155 units = $219,354 per unit.
                • Correction.....
                  You are correct, not 100% of people on assistance stay on it. I have been dealing with low income families for the past 12 years, from my crude recollection and basic daily interactions, I have seen a small percentage utilize the system the way it was likely intended. They took the assistance, used that time to develop their lives, then moved off of it once they could stand on their own. The majority of families I have worked with however have done the opposite. There is no incentive for them to progress. If you get a job, your housing voucher is cut, if you live with someone who gets a job, your vouchers are cut. If you stop receiving assistance, you have to pay for your own phone service, etc., etc. The system is setup to encourage those on assistance to stay stagnant, for fear of losing the payday, while albeit small, it is still free. The only real incentive is self motivation and a self desire to better yourself, otherwise, why go out and get a job, when you can suck on the government teet from the comfort of your free apartment.
                • The Usual Falsehoods
                  All the supposed "benefits" of poverty listed are generally temporary assistance. Welfare benefits last for two years with work requirements, there are some limited exceptions, but you cannot simply just be on it for life. There is Soc. Security Disability, but most people worked to pay into the system, and then you must prove you are disabled and cannot work in order to qualify to collect it. Also, having housing and basic food and medical care provided is not a luxury, it is generally consider basic human decency to ensure people have life necessitates provided. Go to a third-world country where they cannot provide adequate public assistance and you see dangerous slums that make even the worse U.S. neighborhoods look wonderful, starving people in the filthy streets, and a crime-rate that is so high that the wealthy live fearfully behind walled compounds with military-style armed protection. Few people would want to live in such societies, and those with money often leave or spend a good portion of their time abroad. As for the supposed "free" cell phone, get your facts straight. The program Lifeline was created under President Ronald Reagan and expanded to cell phone coverage under George W. Bush, and it does NOT give welfare recipients, or anyone, a free cell phone. The program is supported by fees collected on phone service and it provides discounted land line and cell phone service to qualifying low-income people. The actual phone is NOT paid for by the program, and qualifying individuals still have to pay something for monthly service. There is no free phone provided by the program.
                • Do the Math Again
                  Try your math again. You have to factor in the cost of landscaping, the cost of the community center and computer lab space, the cost of the parking garage, the cost of the office space, and the cost of all the common areas. Simply dividing the project cost by living units does not correctly reflect the actual cost of constructing just the living units.

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                1. On my rental property, before tax caps, I was paying $2,000/yr in property taxes. After the tax caps I'm paying $4,000/yr. How exactly am I "benefiting the most"?

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