Plans for $32M development near Herron-Morton Place neighborhood move forward

July 22, 2010
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New Caravelle thumbA $32 million plan to replace a troubled low-income housing project at 16th Street and Park Avenue cleared a final hurdle Wednesday at a hearing of the Metropolitan Development Commission. The development arm of the not-for-profit Indianapolis Housing Agency, Insight Development Corp., plans to redevelop the complex to better connect with the Herron-Morton Place neighborhood. The agency bought the failed co-op called Caravelle Commons in 2009. New Caravelle 1
                              thumbThe 1970s suburban-style complex at 1643 N. Park Ave. sits in the middle of a historic urban neighborhood and invites crime with dead-end streets and fenced-in apartment homes that surround crowded parking lots. New Caravelle 2 thumbThe more urban replacement, slated to break ground in October, is dubbed 16 Park on renderings from locally based Domain Architecture (click on the images for larger versions). The housing agency, which administers the federal Section 8 program, used a grant of about $400,000 from a city housing trust fund to acquire the property and begin drawing up redevelopment plans. The agency has won stimulus grants and low-income housing tax credits it expects to apply to the project’s cost. An earlier post looking at efforts to target blight along 16th Street is here.

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  • Groovy, Comrade!
    Replacing a "1970s suburban-style complex" with a 70s-inspired neo-communist banality. Looks like worker-housing for the Minton-Capehart Federal Building POS.
    • Not that Bad
      Considering what they are replacing, I see this as a vast improvement. Please remember that since this will probably be a low income housing tax credit property, there are limits to the amount of high end bells and whistles they can put into the design.

      I would say the orange is the only thing I find really bad. The rest is a good start for a bad area.
    • Good work
      Love the orange. Love the mixed materials. Good work!
    • Not that impressed
      The first picture of the entire complex reminds me of tenement housing I have seen in London, UK.

      Also I thought dead-end streets reduced crime because there was less ways to drive through and exit a community.

      More neighborhoods are trying to close off some of their streets to prevent people from driving through. Also I thought fencing helped with crime also. Community East just put a huge wrought iron fence around their property.
    • Fences
      @Irvingtonguy
      "A fence will only keeps an honest man out."
    • fence...
      *keep*
    • Heh
      All the people they've drawn
      are WHITE folks! Gnome sane?
    • Kroger
      Time to step to the plate Kroger. I am proud of the redevelopment and invite any public or private business investment to the area. Those that are critizing the change either wish to keep what is there - bad idea - or have nothing to offer. Kroger has promised an investment and redevelopment for sometime and I think we now need to hold them to the promise.
    • Great
      Looks great. Can't wait to see the positive affect it will have on the neighborhood. Hopefully this will help bring the new Kroger!
    • Lighten Up, Comrade!
      SCUBAchef, I guess there must be lots of Communists in the suburbs because the renderings looks like your typical suburban apartment complex. Also, remember these are very preliminary renderings, just to show the basic massing, height and placement. When the details are filled in and the buildings are warmed up with color and texture, they will look much more inviting.
    • Development
      Where are the machine gun turrets? These "residents" will tear this place up just like they have other public housing. The "gov'mint" should not be in the public housing business just like they should not be in the business of health care, banking, mortgage lending, auto making......

      Ultimate failure is the unfortunate result of socialized objectives involving the government.......
    • Looks like a cheap motel
      Howard Johnson's called and they want their design back.

      Too bad we keep building this low-income housing. It hasn't worked.
    • HoJoKro-ghetto
      Who you callin' HoJo, MoFo?
    • I like it
      It's modern and a vast improvement on what is currently there.
    • Digging the cribs
      Love the renderings especially the orange detail and mix of materials. It's a million times better than what's there now and hopefully this will motivate Kroger!!!

      BTW, not sure about the statistics and dead-end streets however in this particular case its best not to make a wrong turns into this development and try and get out of there without getting jacked. . . I made that mistake awhile back but my smooth driving skills and bright smile got me out alive and in one piece . . . I'm just saying. . .
    • 16 Park
      The plan has one fatal flaw: it's replacing a troubled low-income housing project with a low-income housing project. I suppose the newly built low-income housing project will be nicer than what currently exists - at least initially. However, it will inevitably become a "troubled" low-income housing project again soon enough. Until the residents are allowed to own the property, it will descend into trouble.
      • 16 Park
        The design looks uninspired,generic, and anti-urban. I have to wonder if Domain Architecture collaborated with urban designers as I doubt they would have allowed for such a mish-mash of a site plan. The architecture seems...ok, but judging from these renderings, the urban design is all wrong as the buildings seem randomly placed.
      • LIHTC Vs. Section 8
        This property used to be/is a Section 8 property. However, the new development has won (according to the article) Section 42 Low Income Housing Tax Credits which are different from Section 8. LIHTC has been used at the places like the Davlan and Trailside on MassAve. Yes, it allows for lower rents, but depending on the income, the tenant does pay rent and there will be market rate units. So, this is a VAST improvement over a Section 8 property.
      • Kroger
        I'm sure Kroger can't wait to build a store catering to subsidized housing residents. Are they going to have bulletproof glass in front of the cashiers like the gas stations around there?
      • Owners
        Hayek Canoe, you didn't read the story very well. The property started out as a resident-owned cooperative, was in deep weeds, and was turned over to a community development corporation to bail out and stabilize it about 8 years ago.

        Bulldozing the existing site and reopening Park Ave. is the right thing to do. And unfortunately, strict government regs prevent "dislocation" of existing Section 8 tenants, so they will be part of any mix of housing on the site. Sec 42 is the way to go; it will be similar in that way to the replacement projects built at Red Maple Grove and at 38th & Sherman.
      • not randomly oriented
        I've had the opportunity to spend some time with the land use file, and am very impressed by what was approved.

        Re Meckstroth's post... Every building will front a public right-of-way, with one exception: In the third rendering, above, you're looking south, across 17th Street. The building skews to the northeast, so that travelers on Park Avenue gain a broad vista of King Park. It's a clever and useful design.

        Overall, the site layout is actually quite well thought-out, and there are a lot of features that haven't received much notice yet... like three parking areas located under active green roofs, a dramatic upgrade to the 16th Street sidewalk, the extension of Park Avenue north to 18th Street, and much better integration with King Park and all adjoining neighborhoods. Also, the renderings don't do the project justice, in terms of form and exterior materials. If this thing is in any way typically suburban, then I've yet to visit the suburb where one like it exists.

        Operationally, the housing authority agreed to grant a legitimate advisory role to a coalition of project residents and adjoining neighborhood organizations, which, so far as I know, is unprecedented.

      • Agree!
        I really like this design and don't quite get what anyone would consider "typical suburban" about it.

        And thanks for the additional details, all day breakfast.
      • Big Mistake
        It looks very suburban and very modern and doesn't fit at all with the style of the surrounding neighborhood (except the development it is replacing).
        1. Lose the orange. Jeez
        2. I thought these cinder block public housing projects were discredited long ago. To me this place looks dated before its even built. Orange?
        3. One defining feature of good urban architecture is that buildings have a recognizable entrance, front door, whatever, and its in the front of the building so people can find it. How do you enter this place? I don't see a front door in any of the renderings. Even the corner, which one might think would be a logical place for one, has row of bushes where there ought to be a gate or something that says "this is how you enter".
        It looks like at least one of the frontages has a six foot fence along the street. You can plant all the trees you want and it will never make this an inviting city scape. This is more of the same bland architecture you find in many modern developments that kills the character of the city.
        I could go on and on. It doesn't cost a lot to incorporate good design into these projects, just some imagination and creativity. This design is a mistake.
        • New Jack City
          And that heavily-shaded central courtyard
          looks about as inviting (and safe) as a
          prison "Big Yard". But, yeah, it'll
          probably serve as a great safe-haven
          for "dealing".
        • Suburban Angel
          Hey Angel, You might want to take off the shades so the orange doesn't clearly blind you. The entrances are as clear as the nose on your face in two of the renderings. I understand why you don't like it (especially since it is throwing more public money into the "chucky" hole, but I think you've missed the point on some of your objections.
        • D'oh!
          BerwickGuy,
          You might want to take your shade off and
          take a closer look; it's Suburban "Angst",
          not ANGEL. Correction FAIL.
        • SCUBAchef
          Noted SCUBA, just a little satire, admittedly very little!
        • Get a Clue
          Hey Berwick Guy you are so off base with your right wing rhetoric. This is a section 42, low income housing project which your hero Ronald Regan signed into law in the 80s. The only people who are going to make money off of this project are the private developer, attorneys, accountants and tax credit syndicators. The majority of which live in Hamilton County or some other high income neighborhood. To say this is a socialist program is so far from the truth. Unless you call transferring wealth to the wealthy "socialism". Again, Get a freaking Clue.
          • Big Daddy
            Big Daddy, With all due respect, I did not know this project was a Section 42. My mistake. Nonetheless, my comments had nothing to do with who makes money off these projects, but how the project holds up over the years with low income residents. I will say this, however, if the feds owned the project outright, it would surely end up as a place no one would want to go to. So, we'll see in time what is the preferred method of ownership.

            Oh, and just so you understand, that's how things are supposed to work in the USA. It's called America's Incentive System. Nothing on the socialist scale will work over time without incentives.

            Lastly, how is a clue freaking???
          • Hank Rearden
            Hank,
            Perhaps your self-proclaimed rightiousness can enlighten the rest of us with a possible solution to the problem of "bulletproof glass"? Ignorant people are often quick to criticize without offering a suitable solution, and since I know you're not ignorant... I'm all ears.
          • You Still don't get it
            Berwick Guy, it sounds like you have no problem with private developers getting subsidies or as your type like to call it, "welfare" or handouts. Why is that okay? That's all a section 42 development is, a corporate handout. I think it is pretty offensive for you to label all low income people as people who don't take care of their property. I came from a very low income household and our house & yard was meticulous. There are decades of housing policy in this country that I suggest you read up on before you start blaming low income people for their housing conditions. While the government is handing corporate "welfare" they should demand employers pay a livable wage.
          • Kroger
            Kroger has missed it's chance. A new grocery is planned for 24th and Meridian. They are already in the process of getting zoning. There are also preliminary plans for one at 22nd and the monon. Not to mention Goose Market is one of the best deli's in town. As far as I'm concerned...after 8 years of failing to meet our needs Kroger can close down, and someone will do something with the property.
          • Careers
            I appreciate the concern which is been rose. The things need to be
            sorted out because it is about the individual but it can be with
            everyone.
            Careers
          • What for?
            They will look nice for a couple years tops, then look like what is there now
          • There's a lot of similar style on Alabama
            This design actually complements a lot of the newer construction just north of Alabama on 16th, so it's not completely out of character for the neighborhood.
          • Historical
            This area which is between the Herron Morton and old north side needed to be evaluated in the context of preserving historical history. Section 8 housing is not historical in this area....it is against why historic sections were created in the first place. Under mayor hudnut and the city council wanted to revaltilize the neighborhoods...now we see section 8 having been documented thousands of times throughout the united states..issues....which hudnut was trying to turn the tide to improve these cities neighborhoods. Everyone needs a roof over their heads but to add more section eight in neighbors who have worked for years to improve property values is very interesting. I wonder what hudnet would think about this....we are in a designated historical neighborhood and welcome diversity. Section 8 increase in a community taking years to build up so there are more tax revenues for the city...figures don't lie. This isn't about poor people. It is about people who have no respect for their neighbors or their neighbor properties....so the bad element is mixed with upstanding folks...who need a roof over their heads. So if you live in a historical neighborhood...you want to showcase the history and the improvements to all people. To be proud of your commumity....and to share all our blessings...poor people need our charity....but felons needed better education ...by the time they do their first crime it is known it is a downward slide.... To many issues but each one of us has to stay viligent of keeping the historical designation in our hearts and minds. To protect our property values and to share concerns and opportunities. Keep viligent of anything sliding us backwards....always be welcoming but understand we are all in this together....

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