Developer partners with Elwood on $25M residential project on golf course

A developer and the city of Elwood have broken ground on what is expected to be the largest residential development in the community of 8,500 people about 20 miles northeast of Noblesville.

The first phase of the $25 million Bison Ridge subdivision project kicked off Tuesday with a ceremonial groundbreaking that included Elwood Mayor Todd Jones and Alan Collins, managing member of developer Elwood Real Equities Inc.

Elwood Real Equities Inc. plans to spend more than $20 million on the project, which eventually could be home to more than 600 residents in several types of housing along what was formerly known as the Cattails Golf Course, which closed in 2014.

Now named Elwood Golf Links after being acquired by Elwood Community Development Corp., the course reopened last year to spur residential development with Carmel-based Cohoat & O’Neal Golf Management handling operations.

The city of Elwood is contributing as much as $3.7 million to the project through a bond issue that will be paid off through the creation of a tax increment finance district.

The community’s first phase, which is expected to be mostly completed by December, includes two dozen single-family homes, three apartment buildings featuring 12 to 18 one- and two-bedroom units each and a 24-unit maintenance-free senior housing center. As many as 12 of the single-family homes may be offered for lease rather than sold.

Apartments would rent for about $800 a month and the leased homes would run about $1,400 a month, the developer said.

A second phase, which would include three more apartment buildings and additional senior housing, is slated to begin once the first phase reaches an 80 percent occupancy rate, said Arden Johnson, an Elwood Real Equities co-owner.  

Altogether, the community could be home to as many as 600 people, Mayor Jones told IBJ.

The development fills a need for adequate housing that the city has been trying to meet for 10 years, Jones said.

Johnson said when Elwood Real Equities studied housing there, he learned there weren’t many units for rent in the city, and many of the existing homes that could be rented were older and outdated.

As a result, Elwood Real Equities is entering a market that isn't saturated with rental properties, he said. 

Jones also hopes to attract residents who would like to live in Hamilton County but can’t because of the cost. Elwood, which is in Madison and Tipton counties, is only about a 30-minute drive from Noblesville, he said.

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