$5.5M townhouse project planned for Yandes Street near 16th

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A local residential developer plans to spend $5.5 million to build 23 townhouses along Yandes Street on the north side of downtown, as commercial activity in the area swells.

Onyx + East said Monday it has six parcels of land in the 1500 block of Yandes Street under contract for the development, with plans start work this fall. The company has a target delivery for some homes as early as summer 2020.

The three-story homes in the Millside development will run from the upper $200,000s to the low $300,000s, with two site plans available: a 1,300-square-foot layout and another that is 1,550 square feet. Each home will have a garage on the first floor and living space on the upper two levels.

The Millside name is derived from the site’s location in the Hillside neighborhood, while also paying homage to the street’s namesake, Daniel Yandes, who in the 1830s built the county’s first paper mill among other accomplishments.

Most of the parcels funning from 1527-1549 Yandes St. are owned by individuals, though a couple lots were bought last year by a limited-liability company connected to a local homebuilder.

The Millside project is expected to go before the Indianapolis Metropolitan Development Commission Hearing Examiner on Thursday, where it will seek rezoning approval for one of the plats, a vacation of a public alley and set-back and height variances for the project as a whole.

One 0.15-acre parcel must be rezoned from a C-5 commercial plot to a D-8 district, which allows for residential development in urban areas. The rest of the lots are already zoned D-8.

Onyx + East wants the project to allow for townhouses that are 16 feet wide, and nearly 41 feet tall, with front setbacks at five feet and rear setbacks at seven feet (normal circumstances require an 18-foot front setback, 15-foot rear setback and 20-foot lot widths).

The nearly one-acre Millside project also features several townhouses without the generally-required street frontage; the homes would be constructed around an interior courtyard.

A staff report recommends approval for each of the requests associated with the project.

Millside is on the east side of Yandes Street, while the west is comprised of old Indianapolis Public School property TWG is redeveloping into 190 market-rate and affordable apartment units and office space.

The two projects are separate from one another, though they could play off one another, said Onyx + East development associate Brandon Bart said.

The proximity of the Monon Trail—one block west—also was a factor for the development team when it started looking at the site in August 2018, he said.

“There’s definitely some multifamily and commercial development happening in this area, particularly with TWG’s project,” Bart said. “We thought this was a really good site for this project given those redevelopment efforts, particularly given how close the trail is.”

A large portion of the rest of Yandes Street’s east side is not developed, save for a few homes on the south end, near 15th Street.

David Leavenby, vice president of development for Onyx + East, said Millside will be among the first single-family attached home projects in the neighborhood in several decades. Most of the recent housing stock constructed in the area has been traditional homes or apartments.

The architect on the project is Rottmann Collier Architects Inc. and the civil engineer is Civil & Environmental Consultants Inc., both of which are based in Indianapolis.

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