Incentives for multifamily project approved by council committee

1202 meridian bwi

A City-County Council committee on Monday night recommended approval of incentives totaling more than $1 million for a long-delayed apartment project on the city’s near-south side.

The council’s Metropolitan and Economic Development Committee voted unanimously to support Indianapolis-based BWI LLC’s request for a tax abatement for its $23 million project on Morris Street, between Illinois and Meridian streets.

The development, called 1202, would include 105 units on a 1.1-acre parcel on the south side of Morris, with at least one-fifth of the units reserved for individuals making up to 80% of the area’s median income. The rest of the units would be market-rate.

The project was recommended for approval by the Metropolitan Development Commission in June 2019—long before the city’s Department of Metropolitan Development adopted more stringent rules for apartment projects seeking incentives such as abatements and tax-increment financing.

Over the course of the 10-year abatement, BWI is expected to save nearly $1.03 million in real property taxes but still would pay about $700,000. After the abatement expires, the owner would pay an estimated $169,687 in annual real property taxes.

Gary Hobbs, president of BWI, said the abatement was delayed for several reasons, including the pandemic.

“There’s myriad things that led to it getting delayed,” he said. “But we think we got those pieces—at least 95% of those pieces—solved.”

The project is expected to include about 4,000 square feet of amenities, including a fitness center and roof-top terrace, and 2,000 square feet of retail.

The land has been largely vacant for years, except for an L-shaped apartment building on the southwest corner of Morris and Meridian streets. An affiliate of BWI purchased the apartment building in 2015 for $170,000, according to county assessor records.

The abatement will advance to a full vote by the City-County Council on Aug. 9.

Founded in 2005, BWI is a minority-owned real estate development firm that specializes in multifamily development, construction and property management. Most of BWI’s projects are aimed at what Hobbs calls “special needs” residents: seniors, single parents, children aging out of foster care.

The firm’s recent projects in Indianapolis include the 49-unit Overlook at the Fairgrounds on East 38th Street and the 38-unit Penn Place at 1415 N. Pennsylvania St. for formerly homeless residents.

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4 thoughts on “Incentives for multifamily project approved by council committee

  1. Why, why would the City do this? Multi Family is doing well downtown right now but we have cracks in the dynamics, and is going to get worse.

    1. That’s really just Bates Hendricks. The city won’t stop the investing wave that taking over the neighborhood. That’s why this is getting built.