A local firm plans to develop a 40-unit apartment project that would replace vacant buildings on one of the north side’s busiest thoroughfares, with a focus on offering affordable units to help low-income residents find a path to homeownership.
Circle City Property Management & Development has filed preliminary plans with the city of Indianapolis for the roughly $10 million endeavor, which would sit on the south side of 38th Street between Broadway Street and Park Avenue in the city’s Watson-McCord neighborhood.
The project, known as Broadway Park Apartments, would be comprised of two buildings and include a mix of one- and two-bedroom units—ranging from 700 to 900 square feet—for individuals making 30% to 60% of the area’s median income.
It would also have a 33-space parking lot and a single first-floor commercial space for a community-focused tenant to offer resources like workforce readiness programs or a health clinic.
Combined, the two buildings will be about 33,000 square feet. The easternmost building will wrap into an L-shape and run along both 38th Street and Broadway Street, while the westernmost will front 38th Street, next to Park Avenue.
Circle City was formed in 2019 by business partners Joseph White, Michael Russell and Eric Armstrong. Broadway Park is the firm’s first affordable-housing project, although it has done work on smaller scale housing projects in Indianapolis, including a four-unit townhome in Mapleton-Fall Creek and conversion of a vacant grocery store into apartments in Butler-Tarkington.
A primary focus for the minority-owned company is helping those living in affordable housing find upward mobility.
“We’re constantly thinking about how we can help people move into home ownership,” White told IBJ. “With this project we can … not just help people get into an affordable housing situation, but potentially plug them into some form of workforce development and training, with hopes of seeing them stabilize financially and move into a place of home ownership.”
The firm has requested low-income housing tax credits from the state for the full cost of the project, and expects to hear about its request in February.
White said Circle City has worked closely with neighbors on designs for the project and first considered repurposing the vacant and dilapidated apartment buildings currently on the site.
But the wear on those structures is too intense to make a renovation project feasible, he said. The three buildings will be torn down to make way for the new development.
“It’s been a rather blighted and dilapidating property along one of Indianapolis busiest corridors for a long time—as long as I can remember,” he said. “From a community service-oriented standpoint, we feel like there are lot of really good and healthy ingredients in place to make a development that’s grounded in the values and the priorities that we have set as a company to thrive.”
Neighborhood groups are largely supportive of initial plans for the site, he said.
And the close proximity to the IndyGo Red Line stop at 38th and Park will help residents more easily access downtown, educational resources and employment opportunities, as well as food.
“The bus stop being there was an incredibly important point in our analysis and evaluation of the site,” White said. “It really speaks to the continuum of support and resources that we hope to apply and make available to the residents who choose to occupy Broadway Park.”
The property is currently owned by the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership through its Equitable Transit-Oriented Development program. Circle City has the site under contract, pending city approvals.
The requests expected to be heard Thursday by the Metropolitan Development Commission Hearing Examiner include rezoning the 0.7-acre property from the D-8 dwelling district to an MU-2, mixed use, designation. The developer is also seeking a variance of development standards for smaller setbacks and the vacation of an alley to allow for a parking lot. City staff recommends approval for all three requests.
A firm timeline for the development has not yet been finalized.
Indianapolis-based Halstead Architects is the architectural design firm on the project.