City seeks developer input on former Oaktree Apartments site

The Former Oaktree Site Revitalization Plan was created over the span of eight months.

Developers have until Jan. 31 to respond to the request for information on the 19-acre former Oaktree Apartments site at the corner of 42nd Street and Post Road.

In 2019, the city acquired the 300-unit Oaktree apartment complex through eminent domain and razed the buildings. Before its demolition, the complex endured a long list of problems. It was struck by a tornado in 2008, saw multiple fires, and was the subject of a 2013 city public nuisance lawsuit against the property owner citing “hundreds of police runs, incident reports, and housing and building code violations.”

The complex was condemned by the Marion County Department of Public Health in 2014 when the last remaining residents were forced to leave due to unreliable water service caused by broken pipes.

The city’s plan for the site, released in early 2022, prioritizes market-rate and affordable housing, mixed-use projects, retail and entertainment, office space, civic projects, and public park space along a creek that bisects the property. As it will be along the future route of the IndyGo Purple Line, transit-oriented development lining Post Road.

The plan was created over the span of eight months with input from the Community Alliance of the Far Eastside, La Plaza, the Far Eastside Community Council, and other residents and stakeholders. The process was led by consultants Meticulous Design + Architecture and David Rubin Land Collective.

“The city is actively working to reverse decades of under investment,” Mayor Joe Hogsett said Wednesday. “So we are now sending out the call to the development community to take action on the vision that was set by the neighbors and trusted community partners.”

The plan should guide RFI responses, said Deputy Mayor of Economic Development Scarlett Andrews. In the review process, the Department of Metropolitan Development will work closely with a community advisory committee. 

Because of the emphasis on community involvement, the next steps may have a longer timeline. Andrews said it’s possible that the department will choose a proposal from the RFI in the second quarter of 2023, but it’s also possible that the department will pick different aspects of the developer responses and issue a specific request for proposals.

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4 thoughts on “City seeks developer input on former Oaktree Apartments site

    1. John – Imagine someone suggesting a cemetery be developed where your home is located. Think about the Far Eastside community members who have lost loved ones. I’m assuming that you didn’t think about these things before you posted your comment. Saying, “How about a cemetery?” may seem harmless, but it’s disrespectful attitudes such as this that enable bad actors, like the former owners of Oaktree Apartments, to inflict damage and detract from the community’s success.

      Impactful groups including the Community Alliance of the Far Eastside, La Plaza, the Far Eastside Community Council, and many more work tirelessly to empower residents and create youth, family and community success on the Far Eastside. The former Oaktree Apartments site is a symbol of opportunity. Since the city acquired the complex in 2019, they’ve developed a vibrant partnership with community members to discuss the revitalization of the site. Through this community-driven engagement, they identified five key themes for the project: a place of belonging, upward mobility, identity & expression, connectivity, and flexibility & adaptability. Your comment directly roots against this vision and this community.

      I encourage anyone reading this to elevate and celebrate the successes of the Far Eastside community in the comments and in your conversations. Let’s make sure the message our Far Eastside neighbors hear is one of support, encouragement and pride rather than hate, detraction and disrespect.

  1. I’m so pleased to see the City getting proposals for redevelopment of this site and also pleased that they are seeking input from neighborhood residents.

  2. The Far Eastside community is doing an excellent job in setting the table for revitalizing its’ neighborhoods and turning former liabilities into future opportunities. There is no better example than the planning process and the plan for Oaktree. The issuance of this RFI by the city is an important next step.

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