Lockerbie Park phase 2 on hold

September 5, 2007
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Lockerbie ParkThe foundations and garage slabs are in place for the next phase of Lockerbie Park, but construction is on hold for now. The project at College and Michigan streets has not sold well, to say the least. Out of 22 units built, only two have been sold. And plans call for a total of 77 condos and brownstones developed by a partnership that includes locally based Hearthview Residential. Company officials blame sales woes on a sluggish market and a glut of homes for sale. Units at Lockerbie Park range from mid-$200,000 to more than $400,000. Across downtown, there are about 150 condos listed in that range. Still, the developers are confident of a recovery. “The reality is that property, on a per-square-foot basis, is one of the great values downtown,� said Jim Thomas, a Hearthview partner. “It should absorb fine as the market recovers.�
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  • It's finally happening. The market is flooded. Here's an idea guys, let's build some decent condos at a lower price point 150-200K and watch those go. Or you can sit on some valuable property and do nothing...
  • When I got an email from Hearthview a couple months ago advertising discounts in the $10s of thousands, I knew they were in trouble. Just took them a little while to fully admit it.
  • I'd move there in a second...if I had the money. I'm sure the market will turn around, there is still a strong intrest in downtown. People are still just recovering from the whole property tax ordeal. Its just like when gas jumped people freaked out but everyone just adjusted and moved on. Thats my theory.
  • The high-priced condo glut is clearly the problem. They should built the Lockerbie Plaza building they have planned for the NW corner of Michigan and College NOW. That includes retail and lower-price-point condos. That could get the sales ball rolling and provide an additional amenity for the high-priced condos.

    Or maybe they should recongifure the entire eastern half of the project for lower-price-point condos and see how they do.
  • i do wish there were more reasonably-priced condos downtown. actually, how about a few big apartment buildings? that would bring in students and recent grads who in turn will bring more vitality into downtown. maybe some artists would be able to afford reasonable a-p-t's?? i don't know, just an idea.
  • Another problem, a BIG one, is the mis-calculation by Heathview and others regarding the need for more townhouses. A significant number of buyers want fewer steps and one-level living...as long as there is superior soundproofing between stacked units. It's a reality that many people, especially middle-aged and up, have to think ahead to the day when the need to constantly go up & down stairs may be a challenge. Build more flats with good parking facillites, at a wide range of price points, and they'll be quite popular.
  • Realty watcher--you nailed it. Perhaps it's my age, but schlepping up and down multiple flights of stairs is of no interest to me. Well-built flats with good parking and reasonable prices together with good amenities is very inticing. More and more empty nesters are moving back to the central city in other parts of the country. It's time Indy offered something that would make us consider it.
  • I know why there not selling. THERE JUST BAD BAD BAD. Just go look at one. And you will see. It's like living in a trailer. Just stacked on top of each other.
  • realty watcher & DK -- I think Hearthview may be aware of the issue you're talking about. After sales began, they added an optional upgrade of an elevator. That might be their answer to all the steps. I wouldn't want it -- why take a little chunk out of every floor of my home?! -- but it might be a solution for some.
  • My parents have been living outside of indy for 25 years in an older home. They are ready to move to Indy they want to be downtown but can't find anything in their price range with some of the options they want. They have been looking at modest homes in Butler Tarkington and MK, with the idea of putting in an elevator. Some of the elevator shafts aren't large, and they take of existing dead space within the house. It's a good solution and suggestion. I think Hearthview just missed being able to provide it in the beginning. More places should offer those type of options. The baby boomers are the largest generation, with money to spend and they want an active and enjoyable later life - this means being where all the action is.
  • Uhm... Since when did we become so fat & lazy that walking up ONE flight of stairs a couple times a day became such a hassle? Look at all the European cities then come talk to me. I mean no offense, but some of the comments on here were purely sickening. My grandfather is 82 yrs. old and climbs plenty of stairs where he volunteers. And i never, ever hear him bitching about stairs! Seriously, let's get rid of our ridiculous fat american mentality.
  • I completely agree with E. R. Hasselbush. I can't believe some of the comments made by some of these people on here, because the majority of us are not wheelchair stricken. We have feet and legs. What are they for? DUH. People are just lazy and ignorant on the aspect of having a real purpose for the limbs we were born with. I guarantee people in New York and Chicago hearing comments like these, they would think, What a bunch of babies! Are these people stupid or what?
  • Amen! Thank you Dustin... I was about to say in Chicago in Wrigleyville that's ALL they have are these so called WALK-ups. It really sickens me to death hearing this crap! I'm sorry but like Dustin said if any European or big city resident were to here this, they'd be shaking their heads in disgust too... I mean seriously!
  • hmmm, yes, we shouldent be as lazy as to not walk up steps,
    I hope more of these condos sell, perhaps lowering the prices would help.
  • if the lowered the prices it would really help.
    Large highrise apartment buildings of decent rent would be great,
    I mean condos are great, but apartments go alot faster, and get more people moved in downtown alot faster.
    I think that turning upper levels of old commercial buildings into apartments or offices would be fantastic, and as for those condos.
    Lower the prices and people will come, not everyone moving downtown is rich, or even upper middle class, people with decent incomes want decent prices places.
  • When did this turn into a rude and uncivil forum? E. R. Hasselbusch, please tone down your rhetoric or stick with the disney forums.
  • DowntownGuy - Who knew you would be offended by straightforward and outside of the box opinions from the public? What are you, a nun?
  • Don't quote me on this, but I'd think that the space taken up by an elevator system wouldn't be any more than that used by a staircase.

    My wife's knees have been the reason why we've never purchased a two-story house -- she has sited her current pain and considers the worsening condition in years to come.

    That said, the remarks on multi-story apartment- and house-dwellers of other locales are points well-made.

    Think of the hundreds of years' worth of people who climbed their stairs -- to cellars, attics, etc. My great-great uncle shimmied up an outdoor wrought iron 2nd-story single stair to get in and out of his apartment.
  • Thank you Dustin... It's pretty appalling for someone to suggest i go to the disney forums i mean seriously. How could you be so offended by the god awful truth? -shakes head-
  • Calm down there indiexinxindy. I do think the condo market is getting saturated. Glad to see 3Mass break ground though. They have sold or reserved half of their units. Elevators too!
  • Damn. I am calm. It's just people's lazy american comments irk me a bit... But yes, is it just me or do these condos look an awful lot like The DeSoto from Kosene/Kosene?
  • indieinxindy -- I don't think anyone is talking about lazy Americans wanting to avoid stairs. We're talking about retirees with bad knees/backs and the cash to blow on an expensive townhome. It's not wrong for Hearthview to OFFER an elevator installation when they're selling units that have 3 flights of stairs from the garage to the top level.
  • I'm both young and healthy yet the thought of a wide-open flat space with lots of light appeals strongly to me after ten years of rowhouse (3-story with a basement) living. Getting a split boxspring because you can't get a regular one up the stairs....ahhh, good times....

    I do think there is a glut of townhome condos in Indy right now, but I don't think the problem is with the prices. IMO, the problem is with the amenities downtown offers. As mentioned on the mediocre pizza thread, you can't find a store open after 7pm. There is essentially O'Malia's for groceries: no Trader Joes, no Whole Foods (both of which are going into urban neighborhoods, why not here?), no corner produce markets, few restaurants open late, nowhere to walk out and get Thai food at 10pm...basically not enough of the downtown amenities that make a car-free lifestyle so appealing AND functional.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong - I chose not to live in downtown two years ago for exactly those reasons: have things changed? Did I not see all those places while looking for houses?
  • I don't like the layout of the units. In addition to the price, it's the property tax that turns me off. I suspect that you will be paying at least $4K in property tax.
  • It looks that this forum is infiltrated with bashers from IndyStar.com!
  • liberty bell,
    what is your definition of late? Most of the downtown restaurants I know of stay open as late as their suburban counterparts.
  • But Kevin, can you buy a toothbrush or a can of Pringles at a restaurant? Unless you have a vehicle and drive to a big box late night the option downtown are limited.
  • ER and Dustin. My parents are 72, have lived in a 3 story victorian house and having to go up two or three flights of stairs is stressful. Oh and they aren't overweight. One used to be a tennis Pro-Am, the other a basketball player. Hence the deteriating joints and ligaments. Just because someone doesn't want to go up all those flights doesn't mean they are lazy or fat. It means that have true medical problems and its probabaly all the flights of stairs for 25 years that caused their joints to deteriorate.
  • First of all, this is NOT Lockerbie. And second. Don’t you have to have some BROWNSTONES on a building to be called a Brownstone? This is like a Honda for the price of a Bentley. If they would come down about
    150K these units would fly off the market. This is a clear case of OVER PRICED. Trying to cash in on the Naming and location.
  • bob -- The land Lockerbie Park is being built on absolutely IS Lockerbie. Check out the Lockerbie Square Historic District info page and map:

    http://www.indygov.org/eGov/City/DMD/IHPC/Districts/Historic/lockerbie.htm

    And this is what the front side of Lockerbie Park looks like:

    http://www.hearthview.com/images/PropertyPhotos/LP_Brownstone_Exterior_corner_of_MI_and_Park.JPG

    Sure looks like brown stone to me. And I doubt you've been in one of these townhomes because you wouldn't be making comments about their quality if you had. Go take a tour and you'll see the quality construction.
  • Thank you, DowntownGuy and liberty bell, for helping keep the discussion civil.
  • mobyhead,
    even if I lived in the burbs, I would still have to get in my car and drive to a big box.

    Retailers follow rooftops. People have to move downtown first, the retail will follow (and it is now)
  • Just a clarification CorrND, I live in the immediate area and see these Brownstones all the time and they are a brown colored brick and not brownstone.
  • Uhm... What exactly was located here BEFORE these got built? Does anyone know?
  • I lived downtown at Riley Towers from 92-99. O'malia's is over-priced. Osco's drugstore became a hardware store. Plus I never felt safe unless it was on a Sunday as there is no liquor sold on Sunday. Too bad the MSA Target store plan fell through.
  • JAK -- I was trying to indicate that I didn't literally mean Brownstone by separating the words. Probably should have put it in quotes. I was mostly trying to point out that the front of the townhomes is quite a bit different than the pastel back that is pictured with this post.
  • Feel the love in the room. :)
  • Developers always overbuild because they are each
    trying to get a piece of the pie when certain market
    segments are hot. That is what they do; whether it be apartments, single-family, office towers, condos, retail or industrial space. That is the nature
    of development.
  • I personally think that downtown Indy does lack a lot of the amenities most other happening and lively downtowns of other cities. Take Chicago and New York for example... yes I already know those cities are much more populated and dense at that as well. But those cities have something for everyone who live in the downtown area. Doughnut shops, local pizza joints on every corner, more restaurant choices, more grocery stores/food markets, delis, meat markets, dairy markets, (Yes. they can be found in City Market) BUT... having these kind of stores on street level access... GREAT IDEA. As for other amenities such as shopping... I personally think Mass Ave is dead most nights. Why? Because beyond College Avenue... what is there? Nothing but a blighted eyesore that would make anyone turn around and go back from where they came from. YES... if you go further down the street... there are some shops and a restaurant... SO WHAT? They are far away from the real feel of the Mass Ave corridor. What I am trying to say here is... I personally think the over abundance of condos/townhomes has gotten to the point of mediocre and boring concepts in terms of urban development. The new neighborhoods being developed and already developed from Kosene and Kosene and a number of other developers... are stuck in the genre of safe but marketable BULL... Even I have no desire to relocate back to Indianapolis because I have a huge interest in big cities in terms of thinking big, not safe. When Indy builds more high rise office buildings, apartment/condo buildings, a rail system, a MUCH NEEDED transportation hub for IndyGo... I don't see the need of listing everything, because I'm sure my point has already been proven from the beginning. So there! Indy needs to get hustling.
  • I stand corrected, CorrND. It is in Lockerbie, They most have added to the District over time. The original District did not include this part. Sorry. It was SQUARE

    As for brownstone. Brown brick dose not a Brownstone make. WHERE’S THE STONE? REAL BROWN SANDSTONE BLOCKS?

    AS PER the Architecture Dictionary

    Brownstone:
    A Dark Brown or reddish-brown sandSTONE, used extensively for Building in the United States During the middle and late nineteenth Century.

    All is see is 'BROWN' Brick, concrete block RUFF FACED, stucco and VINYL windows.

    IF, they are using the word “BROWNSTONE do describe a Townhouse then that just MARKETING. And not a TRUE Brownstone Building.

    As for quality construction. Well I guess your level of quality is just lower then mine. They are NOT worth the asking price.
  • When a group of us from SSC went past there back in early July, I was very critical of the project and assumed that they were having trouble then. One of the major issues I see with all of the new dowtown residential is that they all basically look the same inside. There is really no variety in what you are buying once you get in. Granite counter tops, garden tubs, large ceilings, etc. It would be nice if not just the outside of these projects looked different but the insides too.

    Its a shame that the proposed condo building at the corner of Michigan and College wasn't started first. That would have been a nice structure and really would have added to the College Ave streetscape.

    Finally, mixed-income. There are A LOT of people with less than $150,000 to spend that want to live downtown, yet can't. We just bought a 3br home in Washington Township in a great area for less than $150,000. We wanted to be in downtown/center township, but we were priced out. We make over $110,000/yr combined, but we are too poor for our downtown. Unfortunately, if the city continues to throw money to those that already have it, our downtown will just become a suburb based on demographics. In order to have a truely viable and healthy downtown, you need people of ALL INCOMES.
  • Reply to Dustin - I wonder if you would feel the same way if you put up a few million $$$ of your own, hard-earned money to build something really exciting and different - but it didn't fly in the local market and you lost everything?
  • realty: before anything takes place... considerations of bringing whatever would work for downtown need to be analyzed firsthand. What is the demographic for downtown? What are people wanting? What's popular? Not popular. Before anyone considers bringing something to downtown Indy, they need to do research first before dumping money for something unplanned.
  • Dustin - well said. In your original posting from the 6th you talk about recent housing products built downtown being safe but marketable. The operative word is MARKETABLE. Just curious... if you were going to invest your own money as a builder, what type of housing would you bring to Indianpolis that's less safe but from which you would earn a profit?
  • Atleast they're different colors!
  • Hearthview is so desperate to sell, I just got an email that the next 5 people to purchase a unit at College COurt in Broad Ripple receive free Yats for a year. Really?!? Here's a thought, get over the fact that you're not going to get 150K for 750 sq. foot on College Ave., lower your price points and keep your Yats. I'll buy one this week if it's reasonable.
    For some reason Hearthview, Kosese etc believe that slapping in some granite countertops and stainless appliances is worth and extra 50-100K.
  • That's because the people who follow the latest fashions used to smile as they got #%&@%ed.
  • You know...We must be in America...people discussing their expert opinions, which are in reality no more than judgements. I toured those units, and found them to offer many similarities that can be seen in the downtown markets of many large cities. Only, they also were new and offered updated decor and conveniences that aren't offered in similar prototypes that were constructed in the early to mid 20th century.

    Indiana Jones...your observation is correct, you can't store things in areas where stairs are placed either, so what is the difference??

    I do not think developers have a monopoly on overindulgence....what about Starbucks and $4+ cups of coffee, and them on every corner? What about us getting excited that gas is ONLY $2.60 a gallon today? Let's face it...EVERYTHING is more expensive. $5 for four sweet peppers? $3 for milk?

    I suppose there are many things to judge, including the fact that Indiana ranks among the top 5 states with the most smokers and obese residents. Hmmm..That may say it all....

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