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.