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Townhouse project planned by hot East 16th Street corridor

June 11, 2019
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Millside would consist of 23 townhouses at 1500 Yandes Street. (Image courtesy Onyx+East)

A local multifamily residential developer plans to spend $5.5 million to build 23 townhouses by the bustling East 16th Street corridor on the northern edge of downtown.

Onyx+East said Monday it has seven parcels of land running from 1527 to 1549 Yandes St. under contract for the development—to be named Millside—with plans to start work this fall. The company is targeting delivery for some homes as early as summer 2020.

The three-story homes in Millside will run from the upper $200,000s to the low $300,000s. Two site plans are available: a 1,300-square-foot layout and another that's 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.

Most of the parcels running from 1527-1549 Yandes St. are owned by individuals, although 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. At a meeting on May 23, the examiner approved rezoning a small portion of the land, a vacation of a public alley, and variances of development standards for various elements of the plan, including its relatively high density, short setbacks and narrow lot widths.

Onyx+East wants the project to allow for townhouses that are nearly 41 feet tall, with front setbacks at five feet and rear setbacks at seven feet. Development standards cap building height at 35 feet and require 20-foot lot widths, an 18-foot front setback and 15-foot rear setbacks.

On Thursday, the examiner will hold a hearing on an assessment of benefits for the project.

Millside is on the east side of 1500 Yandes Street. Indianapolis-based TWG is redeveloping much of the block to the west, which formerly housed buildings for Indianapolis Public Schools' Facilities Maintenance Division. TWG's project will include 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, Onyx+East development associate Brandon Bart said. 

The proximity of the Monon Trail—one block to the 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.”

The East 16th Street corridor has experienced something of a renaissance in the last five years, with several office, retail and residential projects taking shape. Among the most recently announced plans: the redevelopment of 407 E. 16th St. as a restaurant.

A large portion of the rest of 1500 Yandes Street’s east side is not developed, save for a few homes on the south end, near 15th Street.

David Leazenby, 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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