Penn Arts developer buys another historic Indy apartment building

August 24, 2010
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Da Vinci BuildingA prolific developer of urban apartments has acquired another building near downtown and plans to turn it into an affordable artists' community. Reverie Estates last week closed on a deal to buy the 72-unit St. Regis apartment building at 26 E. 14th St., just two blocks south of the company's largest undertaking to date, the Penn Arts at 16th and Pennsylvania streets. Property records show it was built in 1929, and list James Candler as owner. Reverie President Christopher Piazza said he plans to rename the building "Da Vinci" and develop it into a "community for creatives" with studio and one-bedroom apartments in the range of $400 per month (with all utilities included). Piazza says he also plans to open a community art gallery in 2011. He's working with the King Park CDC on a potential subsidy to assist with the development and keep the units affordable.

  • Encouraging
    Nice to see this happening!
  • Nice
    Always nice to see developers buying and renovation existing structures rather than tearing them down (uh oh, don't let thundermutt get his opinion about "historic structures" in the mix...).
    I hope that the arts community is able to help make this a success. I have a feeling that if the company is "selective" about what constitutes an "artist", it will be a success. Otherwise, $400? Talk about affordable low-income housing...
  • Artists' Studios
    I've been contemplating moving downtown from the Northeast suburbs. Put me on the list!
  • IndyArchitect
    Just goes to show you're putting (the wrong) words in my mouth based on your own need for straw man arguments.

    This is exactly the kind of historic structure that I think we should save our energy and fight for.

    It is in the Old Northside Historic District, it is relatively intact, and it's in a neighborhood of similar structures (including the developer's Penn Arts project).

    I applaud Chris Piazza for taking on another one.
  • Where do I sign up?
    This is exciting news! Where do I submit my application?
  • Concept works well
    This concept has worked well in other communities (even in Cleveland), so I hope this project is as succesful here as it has been elsewhere -- including the Wheeler in Fountain Sq.
  • Thundermutt
    Just messing with ya, Thundermutt.

    I applaud anyone who's willing to invest money in a project which will continue to bring people back to the city. In the long list of things that need to be done to the downtown area, this and other similar projects are going a long way to put a dent in the "to-do" list.
  • waiting list
    when was the penn arts building acquired? 1/10th ot the buildings lifespan has been spent empty, waiting for development. i would start by finishing up penn arts and getting it liveable first before jamming econo.
    I am thrilled that Chris and the crew at Reverie Estates has purchased another building on Pennsylvania Street. This building is in much need of some TLC but has amazing potential. I personally can't wait to see the finished product.
  • Nice Work
    We are looking forward to helping Reverie Estates with this project, nice job Chris and team!
  • What's in a name?
    This is all generally positive, but why rename these buildings? Why not celebrate the city's history instead of trying to erase it? I imagine the neighborhood will continue to use "Penn Arts," which is a much beloved landmark.
  • Cautiously optimistic
    I wish the best to Chris and his team, but based on the progress made on Penn Arts I'm a bit doubtful anything will get off the ground. Maybe Penn Arts is closer to being done than I think it is, but it looks just as bad as it did before.
  • Kudos
    Chris Piazza and Reverie Estates are to be commended for continuing to bring life back to the city's neglected historic buildings. We Irvingtonians are proud of the work they have done in our part of the city. Good luck with your new venture, Chris!
  • No Change
    Kyle, I believe they are keeping the Penn Arts name......the Da Vinci name will apply to the St. Regis building.

    Ben, I believe they purchased the Penn Arts building a little more than a year ago. It's only been vacant for that long, the ground floor retail area had been vacant for quite some time. They are working on the building now, but due to lending restrictions, the progress has been slowed.
  • AC?
    Glad to hear about this development but wonder if they will cut the AC from the budget for this place as well...If so I would pass, many other better options for downtown living that include Air Conditioning.
  • Change?
    I am not optimistic. I like at 14th St and Meridian and can see that building from my apartment. I watch as the drug dealers run their game every night from that building. Even using the church grounds across the street. In the last 2 weeks, there have been at least 5 cars broken into on 14th Street between Meridian and Illinois. (There is only street parking for that particular building) The crime is public record! As to why I see police cars drive right by this drug activity every night, I do not know. I'm tired of these low life criminals and their disrespect for other people's property. And the price range as it stands @ StRegis today is equivalent to what is mentioned in the article. I do not see this problem being solved. How do the new owners plan on targetting 'artists'? I really suspect that it may draw a few artists/students who will leave immediately when they realize the building continues to be full of thugs and thieves. I do not mean to contend that everyone living in that apartment is disreputable, but there are a number who are. I support change in that area because it would make my own home safer for myself and guests. I just hate to read what sounds like a simple changing of the name/ownership of the slum.
  • Oops.
    I *live* not like. Sorry about that!

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