Developer plans 146-unit apartment project in heart of Broad Ripple

A developer is seeking zoning changes and development variances from the city that would allow it to build a high-density, five-story apartment complex in the heart of Broad Ripple.

Indianapolis-based Buckingham Cos. has filed plans to build the 146-unit project on eight parcels of land totaling nearly 1.5 acres between College and Carrollton avenues along a short segment of East 62nd Street, south of the Vogue nightclub. The project would take up about half of the city block.

Plans call for the apartment complex, which will also contain unspecified amount of commercial space, to replace a number of existing buildings. The parcels, controlled by seven property owners, are home to New Paradigm Christian Church, a dentist's office, hair salon and some other retail businesses.

The Vogue, Lincolnshire Apartments and the Broad Ripple Village retail center are north of the project in the same block.

The density of the building, its 75-foot height, scale and location in a high-traffic area are likely to draw concern from local residents.

Indianapolis-based Ice Miller LLP filed plans for the project this month with the Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development on behalf of BR Housing Partners LLC, a unit of Indianapolis-based Buckingham Cos.

In addition to development variances, Buckingham has requested the land be rezoned to the C-2 zoning district, which allows for high-intensity development of all types of offices, apartments and hotels. The developer also seeks variance to allow it to build over an alley that runs north and south through the property.

The building is designed as a five-story structure along College Avenue and a four-story building on most of 62nd Street and all of Carrollton Avenue, according to the developer’s application.

The ground floor would include commercial space, a lobby and the leasing offices for the apartments, while the upper floors would house the apartments (studio, one- and two-bedroom units) and their related amenities.

Pedestrian entrances to the commercial areas and apartments would be on College Avenue. Vehicular entrances will be on Carrollton Avenue and 62nd Street.

The plan calls for a covered parking area and a smaller uncovered parking area, but it does not spell out the number of parking spaces.

The addresses for the parcels included in the project are 6201, 6207, 6211 and 6215 N. College Ave. and 6202, 6214, 6216, 6220 Carrollton Ave.

A spokesperson for Buckingham Cos. declined to speak with IBJ about the project, saying it is too early in the process to say anything “beyond that it’s expected to be a mixed-use development.”

Buckingham presented the plan this week to the Broad Ripple Village Association Land Use and Development Committee. The association is putting together a special committee for the development and plans to provide several opportunities for local residents and businesses to weigh in.

Ted McClure, a Broad Ripple-area resident and president of Indianapolis-based McClure Commercial & Industrial Real Estate, expressed concern over the sheer size of the project and its potential impact on an already-busy area.

"First, I am pro-new development and I am a commercial real estate broker," McClure wrote in an email. "I believe that new development is needed, but I think that it needs to be respectful to its surroundings. More important, it should not destroy the essence of what was there long before. I am a fan of the Buckingham Cos. and think they have built some nice projects, but I am greatly opposed  to the number of proposed units, the vacation of the the alley and the requested increase in height to 75 feet. This just does not fit on the site and will only add to Broad Ripple's traffic and parking issues in that specific block. I do remain open to hearing their possible revisions."

Numerous other residential projects are already in the works for Broad Ripple. The $18.9 million River House Broad Ripple mixed-use project at 6311 Westfield Blvd. is nearing completion. The six-story building near the Monon Trail is being developed by Todd Morris of Birch Tree LLC and contains 105 apartments and 5,000 square feet of retail.

North of that, J.C. Hart Co. Inc. is working on a $23 million mixed-use project with 130 apartments and 5,000 square feet of retail on the Rogers Pools property at 6364 Westfield Blvd. Dubbed The Line, in reference to the Hoosier Line train that once traveled the Monon, the project will feature two buildings with two stories of parking topped by two stories of apartments.

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