Estridge plans 17 townhomes in historic Old Northside neighborhood

The townhomes proposed by Estridge are in orange on both sides of College Avenue. (Image courtesy of the city of Indianapolis)

A Carmel-based homebuilder plans to develop a town house project over two blocks in Indianapolis’ historic Old Northside neighborhood.

According to filings with the city, the project would be located along the south side of 16th Street on vacant land both east and west of College Avenue. It would consist of 17 two-story townhouses ranging from 1,900 square feet to 2,100 square feet.

Through contractor 11th Street Development, Estridge Homes on Wednesday will seek the first of two required approvals from the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission for the project, asking for a certificate of appropriateness to build the homes in the Old Northside historic district. Brian Stumpf, the owner of 11th Street Development, is the applicant on filings with the IHPC.

Clint Mitchell, vice president of sales and marketing for Estridge Homes, said the development would utilize designs in the company’s City Life portfolio, which focuses on more urban, walkable areas. Most of the others are located in Hamilton County cities such as Westfield and Carmel, along or near the Monon Trail.

Estridge and 11th Street—the company’s go-to contractor—are behind several developments in Westfield, Zionsville and Fishers, including a handful of subdivisions.

The cost of developing the Old Northside project has not yet been finalized, Mitchell said. The townhomes are expected to cost anywhere from $400,000 to the upper $500,000s.

The project would be built on four parcels on either side of College Avenue: 701 and 717 E. 16th St. and 1563 and 1572 N. College Ave., all of which the firm has under contract to purchase.

Ten townhomes would be built east of College, and seven would be constructed west of College. Mitchell said the company is interested in the site because it believes the “next wave of development” will focus on areas immediately north of downtown. 

“This is currently in the epicenter of where new development and significant rehab of existing homes is occurring,” he said. “We’re hoping to find those people that want to be both close to downtown and walking distance to restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and nightlife.”

Estridge isn’t alone in developing residential units along the 16th Street corridor. Several big projects have kicked off on or near the thoroughfare, including TWG’s $26 million multi-family development at the former IPS Facilities Maintenance Division site and Onyx & East’s $5.5 million townhouse project along Yandes Street. Both of those developments are within a 7-iron of the Monon Trail.

According to filings with the city, the materials for Estridge’s project are expected to include a mixture of fiber cement, brick, stone and metal panel siding. The homes would have raised basement levels, allowing for live-work space or apartments accessible from the street. The roofs of units would be flat, with staggered heights. 

Estridge is seeking a zoning change for the parcels from the current C-3 (neighborhood commercial zoning district) designation, which does not allow residential units, to the D-8 (dwelling district) designation, which allows all forms of residential development except mobile dwellings. City staff is recommending approval for that request, which is expected to be heard and voted on during Wednesday’s meeting.

The developer also wants a variance of development standards that would reduce its minimum front yard setback from the required 25 feet to no more than 10 feet. Staffers have recommended that the variance be continued to IHPC’s Jan. 8 meeting. 

Pending approval, Mitchell said, the project is expected to take shape in phases over 18 months, with construction expected to start in the first half of 2020.

Most of the land being eyed for the project has been vacant since 2012, after commercial structures on the southwest corner of College Avenue and 16th Street were demolished. A filling station on the southeast corner was torn down in the mid-1990s.

The architect of the town house project is Indianapolis-based Weaver Sherman Design.

The land use committee of the Old Northside Neighborhood Association expressed unanimous support for the project in a letter to the historic preservation commission, noting the developer addressed multiple concerns. These included differentiating the eastern and western portions of the development from one another and adding parking access from alleys, rather than main corridors.

The western portion of the property was eyed for a commercial development and parking lot in 2017, receiving approval from the IHPC in December of that year.

Mainstay Property Group planned to construct a three-story office building on the site, but never moved forward with those plans after closing on the purchase of the land. The company planned to spend $1.2 million, including what it paid for the site, to construct the 9,500-square-foot building.



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16 thoughts on “Estridge plans 17 townhomes in historic Old Northside neighborhood

    1. One of the best options for this would be: 6379 N College Ave combined with & 725 E 64th St. 4-5 Story massing with street level engagement. (Have at it).

    1. The opportunity for more commercial was attempted, but the economics did not work out. From my understanding, due to the value of the land, rents are too high for commercial to work, and my assumption would be we don’t have enough for traffic for a business to be able to have enough profit for rent. The Gallery Pastry shop was slated to go in, and fell through due to this reason, from my understanding. They instead are opening downtown, where they are probably paying similar rent, but will have higher traffic, again my assumption.

      As a neighbor, I am all for high quality townhomes. This development and the bakery, combined bring in 50 more families, which will help increase those that are out an about in the neighborhood, which should in turn attract and justify commercial businesses.

      It feels like we are at the tipping point or very close, and we need to trust our community leaders.

  1. Get rid of the liquor store across the street please. That is such a drain on that area and so much trash gets thrown on the ground as a result. Would be nice to see new walk-able retail.

  2. Paul – I work in Broad Ripple and can vouch for the interest in more condos and fewer apartments. On a related item, take a look at the old duplex on the SW corner of Guilford Ave and 61st Street. It’s been vacant for years. Some company bought all six parcels it sits on a long time ago, but nothing ever happened. There are homes nearby in the mid-300k to 400K. Great location right between the Monon Trail and Red Line.

    1. Good eye Dan. G. Love that corner but not the house on it. Note: (4) parcels totaling 22184 sq.ft. owned by a Carmel based entity that I thought had sought plans to build some time ago. Great corner for a “missing middle” build; 4-8-10 plex w/ a pocket park for good flavor and appeal.

  3. As the chairman of the Old Northside Land Use committee, the design of the buildings and the new D8 zoning brings some interesting opportunities for light commercial in these residential spaces. The buildings all have an English basement type design, with a separate entrance from 16th Street. The lower level “bonus” room and the new rules in the D8 zoning will allow for an exciting possibility of small commercial spaces in each one of these units along this busy corridor.

    It would have been neat to see a multistory building with the first floor dedicated to commercial, but I think Mainstay’s plans proved that was cost prohibitive this far from the central business district.

  4. Reply to Brandon P. Thanks for your comment. That 100+ year old duplex has been an eyesore to the otherwise good area for years. It’s uninhabitable and a salvage co. removed most things of value. I heard from a neighbor near the property that the Carmel entity came up with some plans for several home-building lots. Most of them faced Guilford and one faced 61st St, running along the alley (who wants to build a home and live next to an alley?) I don’t know who marketed them, but apparently the lots might have been priced too high to support the costs of building the homes. What someone should do is first demolish what’s there and clean the property, then come up with something more logical – that location is awesome.

  5. 16th and College is DOWNTOWN. Not northside. It is very confusing when IBJ mislabels areas of Indianapolis. I wish IBJ would lable northside for locations such as Castleton and places north of 56th st.

    1. This development is in the Old Northside neighborhood, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

    2. It’s outside of the Mile Square and is decidedly not Downtown. The official neighborhood designation is “Old Northside.”

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