Homebuilder snags stables tucked away on north side for subdivision

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An Indianapolis-based homebuilder hopes to create an 86-home subdivision on the north side of the city with a rare, large piece of mostly undeveloped land formerly used for boarding and training horses.

Westport Homes Inc. has acquired 33 acres at 1005 W. 64th St., which for more than six decades was the site of Grandview Stables. Art and Sally Renihan bought the property in 1952 to board, breed, buy and sell horses, as well as offer riding lessons.

The daughters of the Renihans recently decided to close the stables and sell the land. Westport acquired it in July through an affiliate for $1.85 million and has submitted to city planners a plat for a subdivision named Grandview Park, populated with 43 new duplexes.

The homebuilder has requested two waivers of city regulations regarding street access to the subdivision. The city’s plat committee will consider approval of the plat on Wednesday.

Art and Sally Renihan died in 2005 and 2009, respectively, and left the land to daughters Diana and Valerie. Diana continued running the stables, which offered 90 stalls, several show rings and a half-mile track for exercising race horses.

Diana, 64, recently decided to retire, and operations at the stables wound down in July.

“We were totally ready to do that,” Diana told IBJ in a phone call on Tuesday while washing a horse at her home in Ocala, Florida. “We made a lot of great friends over the years, but at some point you have to slow down. And we had always wanted to move south.”

In place of the stables, Westport has envisioned what it calls “paired patio homes,” targeted toward residents ages 55 and older who are still active but are looking for a low-maintenance homestead.

Westport became aware of the property and the Renihan family’s desire to sell about a year ago, President Steve Dunn told IBJ on Monday.

Finding such a large piece of property suitable for a subdivision in Washington Township “is a pretty rare thing,” Dunn said.

Due to the presence of Crooked Creek on the west edge of the property and its adjacent floodway, about 15 acres of Grandview Park will remain undeveloped.

“The community will have a lot of nice open space, and there will be some trails,” Dunn said. “There will be a lot of nice views.”

The units will be available in the mid- to low-$200,000s, he said. Dunn declined to estimate Westport’s ultimate investment in the project.

Founded in 2003, Westport is the Indianapolis area’s fourth-largest homebuilder, according to IBJ research. It filed 514 permits in 2017 and closed on 465 units.

The homes and character of Grandview Park would be similar to Westport’s Village at New Bethel development in Franklin Township and Regency Reserve in Avon.

City planning staffers have recommended approval of the Grandview Park plat, pending a variety of conditions. They raised alarms about whether there would be a second access point to the subdivision apart from the main entrance on West 64th Street.

Dunn said Monday that Westport would be willing to accommodate planners’ concerns by linking to a neighborhood to the south.

The land already has appropriate zoning for Westport’s project, Dunn said. Pending necessary approvals, the firm hopes to begin work next summer.

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