City moves to sell canal parcel for development

July 20, 2011
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Canal Bible propertyPlans by a Valparaiso company to build 150 apartments along the Central Canal are closer to reality after city officials picked the developer's bid to buy an adjacent canal-front parcel. Investment Property Advisors LLC already has control of 1.2 acres at 335 W. Ninth St., the former offices and warehouse for B.B. Kirkbride Bible Co. But to build the mixed-use project it envisions, the company also needed a .26-acre, city-owned parcel left over from the canal's redevelopment. The company has agreed to pay the city $25,000 for the vacant land and commit to including public restrooms, handicap accessibility to the canal and space for an information kiosk in its project, said Krieg DeVault Partner Andy Buroker, who represents developers Larry Gough and Chase Sorrick. The other bidder for the property, Indiana University, had planned to bank the land for future expansion. The Metropolitan Development Commission is scheduled to consider final approval for the property transfer on Aug. 3. The developer plans to submit design plans for the project once it gains control of the property, Buroker said. An earlier story on the proposal is here.

(Image / Google Street View)

  • Sorry IU
    While I appreciate all IU has done in the area, I would hate to see more parcels of land along the canal banked and/or used for more office space. As long as there is some sort of retail aspect, apartments are a much better option for the vitality of the canal.
  • Laughable
    It's laughable that IU would even attempt to bid for the canal-front strip when they don't control the adjacent land.

    Double so, given how they've proven their incompetence with developing along a wonderful piece of urban infrastructure. Their developments at the head of the canal are single-user entities that do not engage the canal and require a gigantic surface parking lot to service. Great job, IU.

    I look forward to seeing the apartment developer's plans. Hopefully they take the city's public restrooms requirement more seriously than the Cosmopolitan did.
  • Optimistic
    I was thinking the same thing about the bathrooms, CorrND. It's sad that the Cosmopolitan/Flaherty & Collins is not honoring their agreement and that the city is not enforcing it.

    And I agree, IU has done a terrible disservice to the city and the canal with their approach to canal front development. They treat it as if it's nothing more than a run of the mill office park retention pond.

    I'm optimistic about the quality of this development and the inclusion of canal level retail space. I'm very glad to hear that canal access is a priority and an information kiosk will be included as well. I'm not expecting an architectural masterpiece. Sometimes I think before we start demanding that, as a city we need to learn the basics of urban design. :)
    • parking provided?
      is a parking garage part of the development, like it was on the Cosmopolitan?
    • 150 spaces is not enough
      The developer plans 156 parking spaces for 150 apartments (a combination of 2 and one bedroom units) If the one bedroom units have 2 students and the 2 bedroom have 4 students...with 75 apartments each that is 450 students. If only 75% of them have cars that means that you will need 338 spaces.
      The students will either walk or ride bikes to IUPUI and that means these spaces will have to be available 24/7...156 spaces won't hack it and the streets will be loaded with cars from existing businesses from buildings like the Stutz, Reel and Canal Walk Lofts
    • IU
      Am I truly getting the sense that the once highly renowned and hallowed Indiana University is becoming an incompetent corporate citizen? Does that imply that more things are in runamuck status from the Bloomington kingdom than meets the eye?

    • Win Win For Either Redevelopment Or IU
      Listen to you people...

      How do the facts of this article in anyway reflect poorly on IU.

      IU has had a stake in massive redevelopment in the area and is very forward looking in their future planning.

      If you recall their Future Vision Plan they conducted over the last few years, they are attempting to set up their growth for the next 20-30 years and beyond. Purchasing parcels of land is not just strategic it's also quite wise.

      The City would just need to decide highest and best use of the property and if they'd rather just have it developed now instead of Banked. Either way is a Win, but IU absolutely shouldn't be criticized for planning future development.
      The city has no idea what kind of parking nightmare this is going to create for both the people attempting to live in the apartments and for the surrounding businesses. Ultimately, they'll figure it out once everything is built and it will be all too late.
    • multimodal
      Glad to see a reasonable proposal for parking for this facility. Its good to promote more biking, walking and transit use. This site is three or four blocks from campus. At least some of the students - if they have a car - could keep it at a remote site where they can access it if they need to do some major shopping or traveling longer distances. Not everyone needs to have a car sitting within the building for most of the week just waiting for them so they can simply take an elevator ride to get it for a few occasional car trips they may need to do each week. Zip cars could be a good option as well. This site is on the cultural trail; on the canal near several other bike trails / bike lanes and is close to several transit lines. Again - glad to see a smaller amount of parking as part of the project. This isn't like living in Fishers or Avon!
      • Transit
        I agree that the parking plan seems perfectly reasonable.

        In addition to the alternate modes Urbanguy mentioned, there's also the campus loop shuttle that goes to the HITS Building at 10th & DMLK and then drives south on Fayette to St. Clair and then back to campus. Students could easily walk from this complex to Fayette & St. Clair to grab the shuttle to anywhere on campus.
      • enough parking
        Totally agree with Urbanguy. As a matter of fact, even if they built it with zero parking, these units would be rented out. There is enough international students without cars to fill it up. Less parkings means more density, more walkable communities, healthier lifestyle.
        • Parking
          you guys are correct, parking is not the issue, it is a result of poor and one sided investment. 156 spaces is more than enough for a student based housing project. I live downtown and work in a suburb and don't have a car. It can work out and those buying into the project will know that. Charge for the spaces and those that think they "need" a space will pay. Parking is abundant in DT and if only more development could occur instead of parking lots. Have you been by the One America parcels? They completely destroy that edge of DT.
          • paring availability
            Parking is not abundant in this area of down town. Those who do not pay for the space will park on the streets.
          • Zip Cars
            And....where do you propose to put the ZIP CAR lot?
          • remote parking?
            Do you know of any remote parking lots near to the downtown area in question that are safe, well illuminated, available 24/7, are reasonably priced and near 24/7 public transportation?
            As a matter of fact do you know of any remote parking areas that are available in the downtown area?
          • Several questuions to be addressed
            Who will police public restrooms 24/7...
            who will pay for the protection that will be needed and the cleaning they will require?
            I thought that no building on the Canal could be higher than 3 levels from the Canal surface.What about the density of living units per acre...I believe 150 units on this space far exceeds the rule. Apartments on the other side of the Canal from the proposed have 1/4 of the units in the same space and all parking spaces as well as street parking are always filled to over capacity.
          • lets not get him involved
            lets not get him involved.....
            We think that the questions we have raised, and will raise, deserve legitimate answers.
            Lets think truly long term while considering what this project will do to the people who are now living in the apartments on the West side of the Canal, by this project, who will now stare at the side of a building instead of the nice blue sky which could still be seen if this project met present standards and was only 3 levels up from the Canal instead of 7 levels up from the Canal...these are just legitimate questions that deserve legitimate answers not about what is acceptable in a standard urban area...I do not think the original plan was for a standard urban area but for a unique
            downtown attraction.... student housing belongs where they are building units along Stadium Drive....NOT HERE....Thank You
          • In Febrauary.....
            Come february are these kids hopping on the "bike path" to go to classes in a foot of snow for the mile long walk to school. The obvious answer is no. They drive to school just like any other kid staying in off campas housing. And are this kids buying bags of groceries and then tying up their rollerblades to head home with them? They'll drive. Anyone who thinks they won't do all this in a car is blind.
            • Other Cities have problems
              This is a portion of a recent newspaper item from a city facing a student
              Housing problem………….

              City setting rules for off-campus student housing

              A proposal for off-campus student housing for XXXXXXXX University has kicked off debate over the future of off-campus student housing in XXXXXXXXXX.
              The City lacks specific guidelines and they say “We are pretty much starting from scratch”.
              In October the City Council passed a comprehensive plan that would permit affordable student housing in some industrial areas, and the City must create regulations for these new developments.
              Residents and Council members are concerned about security, noise and housing density in student housing developments.
              “We have many problems with these students,” said XXXXX , vice president of the XXXXXX Home Owners Association near
              the University. “They throw wild parties, they drink….We’re supposed to have two people in a condominium, and in some condominiums we’ve had as many as eight.”
              Many homes and apartments already serve as student housing, bringing extra traffic, noise and parties into neighborhoods,
              Councilman XXXXXX XXXXX said Tuesday during the City County Council meeting.

              This newspaper article goes on about the problems that come with student housing and they recommend additional performance standards even though they can only be built on land zoned for industrial use!

            • Facts Matter
              PACER FAN: Wrong. Lots of students do not have cars.
            • Amature Hour
              CRUM BUM: Journalists do not write articles about successful student housing projects because the stories are boring and do not self newspapers to the masses. That was sort of a silly article to reference, really.

              Where did you get the 7 story number? The size of this plot seems like 4 stories would hold the 150 units. Did you invent that figure? That's a little embarrassing. People who RENT on the west side of the canal will move if they want morning blue sky and those who like having lots of neighbors around to interact with will move in.
              • Jeff G Amature
                For you information the preliminary plans show
                Canal Level parking spaces
                Street Level spaces plus apartments
                Second Level Apartments
                Third Level Apartments
                Fourth Level Apartments
                Fifth Level Apartments
                Roof with mechanical units
                If you leave off the roof units (which will block views)you cans see that there are 6 levels....just look at the plans!
                Lets follow the LAWS and zoning...what if you paid $700,000 for a unit in the 600 block
                of Senate...would you want this density, 150 units, instead of 3 single family units just one block North of your home? Maybe some of these students will invite these home owners to their wild parties.
                The newspaper item is a fact...a very good city and a very good university....
              • no more parking lots
                crum bum: the people interested in living in this area will likely be enticed by its proximity to the school so they do have the option to walk or ride a bike. why would a student pay the fees to park on campus when they live across the street? also, there are public transportation options available as well. considering your comments, you may want to consider other living options outside the city center, where you would not have to worry with buildings blocking your view of the sky or too much pedestrian activity.
                • accross the street?
                  This project is not across the street from IUPUI (it is about 10 blocks to the Campus)...I do think students will walk or bike to classes...BUT...they will leave their cars at the project and at least 75% of them will have cars...just look at the number of cars around present Student Housing on the IUPUI campus. I LIKE TO LIVE DOWNTOWN AND STILL SEE THE BLUE SKY....I thought this was the original plan to have a
                  unique canal area....not multi story apartments that are packed with students...put them on Indiana Av where they are building some right now!(only 2 blocks to campus and retail) They will have a shorter walk to classes and Retail stores.
                • Journalists
                  Good Journalists write news worthy items. I would not make such a blanket statement like " Journalists do not write articles about successful student housing projects because the stories are boring and do not self newspapers to the masses. That was sort of a silly article to reference, really."
                • Downtown
                  Downtown needs more apartments. That's the long and short of it. We need to encourage more people to live Downtown, and that critical mass won't come from condominiums. You can't have a large population living in the city center in single-family homes. Downtowns deserve density. Downtown residents deserve density. That's how cities develop. I can't help but point out that truly exciting, invigorating, fun cities that draw young, educated professionals do not have single-family housing in their downtown cores.
                • Crum Bum
                  Crum Bum: You haven't made an inteligent statement this entire thread. That's five levels with air conditioners on top. (Pal, the Canal level won't block the blue sky.)

                  All the developments along the Canal have a significnat number of university students living there and continue to desirable places to live. This is proved by the long waitlists to obtain a unit. People like the buildings, the locations, and the neighbors. You should probably move out of downtown Indy if it makes you this angry. I doubt you'll be missed.
                  • Heigth of building
                    The present rules for Canal Development limit
                    height to 3 stories from canal level....and require a set back from the canal sidewalk...
                    you seem to not have a clue....
                    • Good News Crum Bum
                      Good news Crum Bum! This may make you feel better. Students will not choose to live two per room (I just reread your first post.) Those are called "dorms." Student apartments are far more likely to house one student per room. That's been the growing trend for the past 15 to 20 years; and is definitely the case when housing is off-campus such as this. As a result your estimation of 450 students living in the building is way too high. The acutal number will be much closer to 225, leaving close to 70 of the tenants without a dedicated parking space. International students who almost never own a car will find this place perfect.

                      See, when you make stuff up it just creates problems. I hope that calms you down a bit. I still think you should move.
                    • I Need to Learn the Rules
                      Three stories. Sorry I didn't know that. Someone should tell the city that all 3 IU Health buidlings, The Cosmo, Canal Square, Canal Overlook, the Marriot hotel, the State Government offices, and Museum all violate this zoning rules. We'll knock them down and building shorter buildings, so we can finally have a great city! (Actually I wouldn't mind seeing a few replaced with better developments.)
                    • 3-story limit?
                      CrumBum, where do you come up with this law or ordinance limiting development to three stories along the Canal? I've never heard of such a regulation. Could you please cite it?
                      • rules that apply to this development
                        Please refer to Comprehensive Plan Regional Center Plan #2020
                        Residential units per acre 27-49
                        This space is 1.19 acres
                        Maximum # of Units would be 58.31 Units with the max of 49 per acre.
                      • Plans aren't law
                        A comprehensive plan in Indiana does not equal zoning. Such plans are just guidelines, and they are ignored all the time. And, you didn't answer the question about a three-story limit. You could build a 10-story building and still be under that density recommendation, especially if you put in a big parking lot next to it.
                      • Ownership
                        Do any of the people who are so pro to this project own property or reside on the Canal?
                        These are the people whose investment and lifestyle will change if this project proceeds,
                        not the casual user of the Canal Area the 6 months of the year that the weather invites them.
                      • Plans aren't law
                        WHY NOT?
                        Seems like us land owners pay taxes to these people to do comprehensive plans...maybe we should stop paying them and doing these studies if you feel they are done not to follow.....
                      • Regulations
                        Crum Bum, please show us where the Zoning ordinance limits the height of development along the Canal to 3 stories? The site in question is zoned CBD-2 (RC). The only height limitation for CBD-2 is the Sky Exposure Plane Two, defined as follows:

                        Sky Exposure Plane Two.

                        On all streets in the CBD-2 (excepting those street specifically designated in section 735-203(b)(2)a.), the Sky Exposure Plane Two shall have a base which is coincident with the center line of each such street; and

                        At the base has an elevation equal to the average elevation above mean sea level of the street center line from the intersection of one (1) street center line to the intersection of the next; and

                        Is inclined at an angle of sixty (60) degrees measured from the horizontal; and

                        Extends to a vertical elevation of two hundred (200) feet above the base; and

                        Then continues vertically at an angle of ninety (90) degrees measured from the horizontal; and

                        Extends to a vertical elevation, above the base, equal to infinity.

                        I don't see how this in any way limits development to three stories. Oh, yeah, and the Regional Center Plan is just that- a plan. It is not zoning code.
                      • Fear Mongering
                        BOB: Crum can't answer your question because he made it all up.

                        CRUM: Lies and half-truths about student apartments, the proposed number of tenants, and Indianapolis zoning laws have all been exposed. Do you not have any shame?

                        OTHERS: Normally I do not attack people so aggressively on boards (apologies to anyone still reading this train wreck...), BUT the use of fear mongering in public discourse about our neighborhoods is unacceptable.
                        • Sticks & Stones
                          OK….I was wrong on the zoning issue but I have asked many legitimate questions regarding this project that were never addressed by my Critics:

                          • Inadequate parking (156 spaces for 75 one bedroom [75 cars] and 75 two bedroom [150 cars] apartments). Where will guests park?
                          • Available remote parking?
                          • Restroom protection and maintenance costs?
                          • High density, as compared to neighboring properties?
                          • Do any of my Critics live on the Canal?
                          • Do any of my Critics own property on the Canal?

                          It seems that there was a height and set back recommendation for the canal as work progressed north of Michigan Street.

                          Just walk the area North of Michigan Street.
                          You will notice (if you ever walked the Canal) that all of the buildings, both residential and commercial, North of Michigan Street (except for the Cosmopolitan)
                          are 3 levels and have landscaped set backs from the walkway. Some of the larger buildings have really large set backs with vast landscaping and are still only 3 levels.
                          The new IU buildings North of 10th Street are taller but they do have large set backs, great landscaping and are on a large lagoon.

                          There must be a reason these buildings were approved. The 3 levels and large set backs are what makes walking the Canal a wonderful “Open” experience.

                          Some of the buildings South of Michigan Street are taller and some have little or no set back. The area where these buildings are is not as nice as the area North of Michigan Street. The Historical building has a wonderful set back and makes for a nice setting though.

                          If the 5 level building is built for Student Housing, there will be very little set back and this building will stick out like a “sore thumb” where all of the apartments and Historical homes on the west side of the Canal are only 3 levels with set backs or one and two story Historical homes on Fayette Street .

                          A lot of effort, time and money has been spent in planning and construction to create this wonderful venue. Lets not screw it up with inexpensive Student Housing. Don’t
                          “kid” yourselves…the efficiency, one and two bedroom apartments will be very small and have layouts geared to Student Housing.
                          The developer is in the process of creating a Student Housing development at the University of Louisville. This project has floor plans which are dormitory “like” in configuration. BUT …….the main point is that this project is RIGHT NEXT TO the University……not 10 blocks from the nearest classroom like this project is!
                          Who will live in these apartments if of these students decide the walk or bike ride is to far when the weather turns cold? And do not “kid” yourselves, College Students bring a lot of problems to the areas they live in off Campus Housing regardless of the propaganda the developer will tell you. Remember, the project stays and the developer sells off the project and moves on leaving these problems with the neighbors or OWNERS or rent and stay. Students are here for 9 months a year, owners are here forever.
                        • Better arguments
                          You should raise all these concerns when the developer files for Regional Center approval which is when the actual design of the development will be reviewed for compliance with the Regional Center design guidelines. Try US 1.1.1, MD 1.1.1-1.1.3, and CA 1.2.1 in the RC guidelines. Maybe you'll find other good arguments as to why this should not be five stories.

                          On the question of why all the other apt buildings are only three stories, I wonder if it is due to the fact that it is considerably less expensive because you can build a three-story building with wood frame construction, but a five-story building requires a steel frame because of building codes. That could have more to do with the existing environment along the Canal than a conscious, City-planned effort to limit building height. I don't know. Just guessing.
                        • Paul
                          Thanks for your help...the information was very helpful.
                          crum bum

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