Tony townhouses on Penn

January 30, 2008
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Meridian at 21Indianapolis developer Axia Urban LLP is putting the finishing touches on Penn Townhouses, a part of its Meridian at 21 development north of downtown. From the outside, the eight units look like some of the finest on the market. They're priced that way, too. The 2.5-story condos range from $459,000 to $489,000. Axia hasn't sold any of them yet, but five of seven condos in the adjacent Joseph A. Rink Mansion have sold. The company expects the housing market will strengthen in the summer, said spokesman Mike Couch. Axia also is building Residences on Penn, which consists of 10 duplexes between 16th and 22nd streets on Pennsylvania, and Landmark of Lockerbie, a condo project along East Street between Ohio and New York streets. What do you think?
  • They look nice, but I wouldn't want to pay Mass Ave prices for this location. Not surprisingly, it looks like they've sold the 1,000 SF units that are under $250.

    In regards to Landmark of Lockerbie, has the company across the street even sold any of their new townhouses on East St (priced $250-$400) yet?
  • It would be nice to see more affordable condos and apartments downtown.
  • What would you rather have? A nice 3 bedroom house in Meridian-Kessler or a condo on Penn with little retail nearby?
  • Maybe Cory can steal someone's email and find out how much profit these condos are making?
  • Yeah, I don't mind all these condos popping up - but do these developers realize that they're a little more expensive than the area is worth?

    Condos in Chicago on Michigan Ave was going for $300k. I'd personally go for that instead of these. No offense.
  • I like bringing density and handsome rowhousing into the city.
    The pricing isn't too good. Whenever a developer brings in a condo project of affordable space they tend to sell really fast compared to pricey condos that only the upper class can afford. I'd rather have a blend of people downtown then just a bunch of wealthy people.
  • Why do developers keep building these overpriced condos that seem to be a really tough sell? Like Helen said, lots of people want to live downtown, not just rich yuppies.
  • Actually, I've observed the exact opposite. Go look at the Residences at 529. It is the expensive units that have sold. I believe what we are seeing is people purchasing these higher end units as pieds-à-terre. I wonder if a lot of these buildings have actually added many residents.

    Speaking of Michigan Ave., many of the high rises in Chicago are similar - they are filled with units owned by part time visitors or weekenders, not full time residents.
  • I agree with the majority. This is stupid! These developers are only after making as much as they possibly can, and totally dismissing the majority of people in Indy. Look in Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, etc, yes I would pay that type of money. In Indy, not so much! Someone really needs to come along and offer something that most people could afford.
  • There are two affordable housing developments in the works in midtown. One is on teh corner of 34th and Central and the other is planned for 49th and College. Both of these projects are huge leaps forward for the area, but it seems like a lot of people are upset about the idea of introducing high-density affordable housing to these areas. It's funny...developers build expensive condos and everyone says we need high-density affordable housing, but when they announce such a project everyone gets upset. Sometimes you just can't win.
  • high density brownstones that are affordable is what downtown needs(along with more housing restorations). Its a city, density is something your going to have to deal with. This isn't Fishers!
  • They look nice... i think the key is perception blurs reality. Take a look at the condos at 86th and Meridian. I forgot the name but they are being marketed for 300k. I would thought that it will be a hard sell because the Ryland townhomes right in front of them are selling for mid / low 200's. Not sure if they are really selling, but the sign says it's on the final phase now.

    So in this case, people *might* get attracted because of the high price. Wierd... but sometimes its true. Maybe it creates scarcity and exclusivity?
  • I just don't see why people complain about high priced development. If you can't afford it, so be it..... apparently you aren't the target market. Eventually, something that you can afford will come along and then you can gripe that it isn't in the area you want to live in. I'd like to live in Beverly Hills but guess what? Can't afford it.....

    To the people who would pay that much to live in a city like Atlanta, Chicago or Boston.... um, why haven't you moved yet? You are hardly being realistic. For one, comparably constructed housing in those markets (located in similar areas) would be MUCH more expensive, normally. There is a lot to be said for being able to live in the heart of a major city, in brand new construction, with a smorgasbord of amenities within WALKING distance..... and I am talking about Indianapolis.

    I am excited for the future, particularly the residential future, of downtown Indy.
  • I think a ring of middle class around downtown would be good, as it seems to drop off from highly maintained areas(Lockerbie square, St.Joseph, Chatham arch) to very poor areas. The Old Northside, a major peice of 19th century Indianapolis, has many structures boarded up that would make great renovations for a middle class ring. People of middle or lower income can't expect to live in the wholesale district, but there should be some choices for middle income people within or near the loop. rowhouses like this on the near south side, north side, and east side in large amounts filling up vacant lots and suburban structures would do the city wonders.
  • This would be the *perfect* type of development for Broad Ripple.
  • As a resident of this area, I can tell you that someone would have to be desperate to get rid of his or her $$ to drop that much for a Condo in this specific location. Houses on the East side of Pennsylvania are still very much in flux and the apartment building at SE corner of 21st and Meridian leaves something to be desired.
  • The tricky thing with a number of the areas just outside of downtown is that the vacant homes they contain are huge. Helen is right, there are a number of boarded up homes in the Old Northside, but the cost to renovate them properly prices out the middle class. Woodruff Place also has a number of these homes that would be so expensive to renovate. Martindale on the Monon is about the only development I know of that is creating middle income homes near downtown.
  • Too expensive. There needs to be more affordable condo options in downtown Indy. I like to see good development, but I also like to see a diversity of options, which is not what we have going on right now.

    And Brad, 49th and College & 34 and Central are NOT downtown living.
  • Let's get people to the Axia website to sell some of these tony condos.
  • Urbanophile, I'd argue that Residences at 429 is an aberration. If you look at 3 Mass, Meridian Arch, and The Hudson, you'll find that it's largely the smaller, cheaper units that have sold.
  • Urbanophile, I'd argue that Residences at 429 is an aberration. If you look at 3Mass, Meridian Arch, and The Hudson, you'll find that it's largely the smaller, cheaper units that have sold.
  • Being a CDC Guy, I love it when the market can take over and the local CDC's biggest worry turns to preserving affordable housing in a rising neighborhood.

    Vacant lots in that area (check listings) must have gold buried under them...$60-80K. You can't build much of a house on that and then sell it for an affordable $150K or less. It pretty much sets up a $250-300K price floor for an 1800-2000 square foot mid-grade home with a basement and a garage. And that pretty much requires a two-income household.
  • What are we talking about when we say affordable housing? Usually that term is used to mean subsidized. It seems to be one extreme or the other: either pay half a million for a condo, or be poor and get a subsidized duplex. Where is the middle class supposed to fit in to all of this, besides just staying in the suburbs?
  • I have on good information that the Section 8 apartments on the corner of 21st and Meridian have been purchased by, I'm assuming, AXIA (because my informant said the guys behind the new construction).

    The apartments are to be emptied by March, and then a total gut and renovation is going in for more condos. I can't imagine the floorplan though.

    The mortgage company next door is in flux, too, and The Julian Center is planning on expanding, too.

    It's an exciting corner...if people actually buy the condos!
  • What do you consider middle class? A couple with two $50k professional salaries (mid-career teacher and police sergeant) have a combined household income of $100k or more. That would support a house in the $250k range easily. But by the numbers, that's not middle class.

    The median 2-person household income in central Indiana is around $52k, which is one professional and one kid, or a couple who make $10-15 an hour each. That would support a house around $100k easily. Not many in the suburbs in that range.
  • Affordable housing (not in the strict HUD definition) usually means what percentage of an area's housing units are easily affordable to a family at the median income. Indianapolis always seems to rank pretty high on that measure because we have a bunch of first-ring suburbs that grew up from the 40's to the 70's (the Marion County townships outside of IPS, and some places inside IPS like the John Marshall and Northwest HS areas) with homes in the $60k-150k price range.
  • Dave -- affordable housing is not the same as subsidized housing.

    When you're talking about the government's definition of affordable housing, that means that residents must earn below a certain percentage of the area median income to live there--up to 80 percent in some cases. The rents are affordable not because the government is paying part of an individual's rent, but because the developers have been given financial incentives that make it possible to offer lower rents.
  • anhe, I think that restoring/renovating these old homes should come before developing empty land. We should restore/renovate what we have and go from there. I hope that these developments bring more restorations to this great area as it is very much so needed.
  • I agree with Dave. There's no place for a middle class downtown. You either have to be high income or low income (and get subsidy). Middle income can sometimes be a curse.
  • Rodney, what do you consider middle income?
  • It's great to see this type of infill at 21st Street, but I do agree that the prices seem a bit too high for the area.

    Does anyone have info on the redevelopment of the back portion of the Herron site? What's the latest with that? Sales, move-ins?
  • I have recently moved to Indy and wanted to build some affordable brownstones, but the problem is the price of the land. When the land owners are asking over 300k for 0.5 acres, a developer's cost is going to drive them to price the condos at a higher price.

    If anyone has suggestions and where I could find affordable land to develop affordable brownstones (200k-250k), please do share!

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