New apartments in 2012 on track for a 25-year high

Developers in central Indiana expect to deliver more new apartment units in 2012 than they have in 25 years, according to data collected by the Indianapolis-based apartment brokerage Tikijian Associates.

A survey of developers suggests up to 3,438 new units could hit the rental market next year, which would be the highest total since 1987, when central Indiana gained about 4,500 units. The nine-county market added 2,526 apartments in 2010 and is on track to add 1,752 in 2011, Tikijian reports.

George Tikijian, the firm's senior managing director, cautioned that some of the projected new units could be delayed or never materialize because of a still-difficult financing environment. But he said at least 2,300 of the units should be bankable.

Among the projects in the works for 2012: a roughly 300-unit development along Keystone Avenue at 78th Street on the site of the failed Renaissance Bay condo development; a 294-unit project called Addison Landing along State Road 37 at 131st Street in Fishers on the site of a failed water-park project; and a 227-unit project south of State Road 32 in Westfield called Union Street Flats at Grand Junction.

The Renaissance Bay deal is a partnership of Gene B. Glick Co. and Milhaus Development, both based in Indianapolis. The Fishers project is by locally based Carr Homes, and the Westfield deal is one of several projects in the works by Carmel-based J.C. Hart Co.

The figures from Tikijian don't actually include the Renaissance Bay project or a proposed redevelopment of the former Bank One Ops Center into a 258-unit community called The Residences at 451 E. Market St. The firm leaves out projects that still face substantial financing—or in the case of the Ops Center deal, legal—hurdles to completion.

"The projects we've identified have all been zoned and are presumably feasible but may be waiting for financing or permitting," Tikijian said. "What the numbers say is there is strong demand and developers with a lot of projects they're trying to get done."

Many of the new units slated to hit the market in 2012 already are under construction or are slated to break ground soon. Among them: The 320 apartment units at downtown's CityWay by Buckingham Cos.; J.C. Hart's 224-unit The Fort Apartments in Lawrence and 191-unit One One Six at College project in Carmel; and the 219-unit Domain at Bennett Farms by REI Investments along State Road 421 in Zionsville.

Construction is set to begin this month on a $20 million apartment project called Penn Circle in Carmel. The project, a partnership of Milhaus, Glick and Gershman Brown Crowley Inc., calls for 193 studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments on six acres near the corner of Old Meridian and Pennsylvania streets.

The developers said in a statement Tuesday that they have closed on financing from PNC Bank.

Locally based Hearthview Residential plans to spend about $54 million adding large new apartment communities adjacent to the Rivers Edge shopping center in Indianapolis and the Metropolis mall in Plainfield.

Hearthview’s plan calls for 230 high-end apartment units behind the Clearwater Crossing shopping center at 82nd Street and Dean Road, within walking distance of the renovated Rivers Edge shopping center anchored by Nordstrom Rack and The Container Store.

The project—set to take seven acres including an undeveloped field, part of a parking lot and the long-vacant former Blockbuster Block Party building—will cost about $24 million, Hearthview Principal Jim Thomas told IBJ for a story Oct. 28.

Hearthview also plans to build 300 units on a parcel near the Metropolis mall in Plainfield in a $30 million project. That development is not as far along as the Clearwater proposal, Thomas said.

Other projects in the works include two smaller, mixed-use projects called The Hinge and The Mozzo along Virginia Avenue near downtown, as IBJ reported in October.

A chunk of the projects in the works, including a $27 million development in Lockerbie by Indianapolis-based The Whitsett Group, include affordable apartments.

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