Fall Creek project hopes to charm on third try for state grant

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Central@29 development. (Rendering courtesy of RDL Architects.)

The Mapleton Fall Creek Development Corp. is once more trying to secure funding for a mixed-use project that has been in the works for more than half a decade.

The $15 million first phase of the proposed Central@29 development is expected to include 56 apartment units in a four-story building that wraps around the southeast corner of the cross streets after which it is named, just north of Fall Creek Parkway. The project is a collaboration between Mapleton Fall Creek and Boston-based The Community Builders.

The apartments would be available to individuals and families making 30% to 80% of the area’s median income, with 14 units set aside for transitional housing for individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

The units are expected to range from a 675-square-foot one-bedroom, to a three-bedroom setup with 1,200 square feet. The units will have rents ranging from $331 to $1,174 per month, depending on the financial need of each renter.  Individuals and families making $17,000 to $70,000 per year will be eligible fro rent at the property.

Mapleton Fall Creek has twice before sought grant dollars through the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority to move ahead with the project, but both in 2014 and 2019 the project was not selected. The project is dependent on that funding source, said development corporation CEO Elan Daniel.

The group again this year is submitting applications for a variety of state and federal financing tools, including new market tax credits, a federal low-income housing tax credit and affordable housing dollars from the Federal Home Loan banks in Indianapolis and Cincinnati.

Project-based vouchers, which use federal funding to help financially strained families pay rent, are also being pursued. The developers also plan to use their own capital to help finance the project.

The building is expected to be 50 feet tall, which exceeds development standards of 35 feet for that area. It also would have smaller setbacks than are typically allowed and 10 fewer parking spaces than the 42 typically required for a development of its size, according to filings with the city.

The project is expected to be heard by the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals in mid-July.

The original plans for Central@29 development included six buildings and 158 units of affordable and market-rate housing, along with 19,000 square feet of retail and an 8,500-square-foot community center.

It was later updated to feature 15,000 square feet of retail space and a separate 25,000-square-foot food production area, along with single-family homes available for purchase.

Those plans have since changed to remove the production space, Daniel said. Instead, the project will be mostly focused on multifamily, single family and some commercial space, although details have not been finalized.

“We want this to be community specific and focused, but we’re going to take some time to dig into what that means and what those needs are,” he said.

Daniel said the team plans to spend the next year assessing the community’s needs and how to incorporate solutions into the later phases.

Future phases will be comprised of new construction on the north side of 29th Street and on the remainder of the site between Fall Creek and 29th Street, which is controlled by the development corporation.

If the project receives adequate funding, construction could begin as early as the first quarter of 2023.

The architect for the project is Cleveland-based RDL Architects.

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