Indy Fringe executive director Pauline Moffat and Gary Reiter, a board member of the Indianapolis Theatre Fringe Festival
Inc., want to build an affordable live-work complex near Massachusetts Avenue.
The downturn in the housing market isn’t tough just on people trying to sell their homes. It’s also tough on the people
who want to help those people sell their homes–real estate agents. Locally, their ranks have thinned as
more and more leave the field to search for better prospects.
Stock markets are falling, jobs are disappearing, and the outlook for the economy seems grim. Banks, real estate developers,
retailers and manufacturers are taking the worst hits, but all types of businesses in central Indiana are hurting. From health
care to technology, education to philanthropy, every industry is trying to take the setbacks in stride.
Residential real estate brokers are an optimistic bunch, finding plenty of room for hope even when the outlook is grim.
But lately, many of them are downright giddy, and for good reason: Evidence is mounting that a new $7,500
government incentive for first-time homeowners is starting to push buyers off the sidelines.
Buyers in Seattle, Milwaukee and even Bloomington have snapped up new cottage homes in developments that
turn the McMansion trend on its dormer-decorated head. But will Indianapolis buyers have a similar appetite
for the tiny energy-efficient homes clustered around community greens? A local developer is betting they
Charter Homes owner Jerry Jaquess fancies himself a white knight for King Park, a neighborhood once known mainly for its
rampant crime, boarded-up homes and vacant lots. But as he’s constructed a slew of homes and carriage houses there, the local
builder has stirred up several lawsuits, dozens of liens and persistent questions about whether his business is legit.
Two high-profile property developers are squaring off for the rights to transform a six-story apartment complex adjacent to
the Central Library downtown. Van Rooy Properties and Buckingham Cos. both submitted proposals to redevelop the Ambassador
apartments at 39 E. Ninth St., just north of the library.
A locally based property management firm is struggling to find a buyer for its downtown apartment complexes, even as the city’s
rental market continues to thrive. The privately owned Zender Family Limited Partnership, which was founded 38 years ago,
placed its 18-property apartment portfolio up for sale in November.
Billionaire philanthropists Mel and Bren Simon are laying the groundwork to donate Asherwood–their extravagant Carmel estate
and golf course–to the Indiana University Foundation, potentially to house a new think tank. The couple plans to downsize
into a home just outside the town square in the nearby Village of WestClay.
A depression in the home-building market has claimed a Fishers builder and continues to hammer locally based Davis Homes LLC–a
powerhouse for years that now is facing foreclosure on about 80 home sites.
A local developer plans to spend up to $45 million building a “north village of downtown” on several parcels it has assembled
near the Central Library. Buckingham Cos. plans to build apartments, offices, restaurants and retail space-all surrounding
its headquarters in the three-story Stokely-Van Camp building at the southeast corner of Meridian and St. Joseph streets.
At the market’s peak, builders churned out more than 12,000 new homes a year in central Indiana. In the current slump, new-home
production has dropped to fewer than 7,000 per year, leaving builders with no choice but to slash prices, eliminate hundreds
of jobs, and look to unload huge chunks of office space.
For most of this decade, the Indianapolis residential real estate market enjoyed a good run. But in 2007 it muddled through
the doldrums just like the rest of the country, and builders pulled out all the stops to avoid getting stuck with inventory.
A strong demand for student housing downtown is driving a $40 million plan for a high-rise apartment tower a couple of blocks
east of the Central Canal. The developer, a partnership of Fishers-based Paramount Realty Group and Indianapolis-based Alboher
Development Co. Inc., hopes to build the 16-story Paramount Tower on a OneAmerica parking lot.
For most of this decade, the Indianapolis residential real estate market enjoyed a very good run. But now it’s muddling through
the doldrums just like the rest of the country, and builders are pulling out all the stops to avoid getting stuck with inventory.
Buyers in the market for million-dollar homes can afford to be choosy these days, as the softness in the overall market extends
to the high end, real estate agents say. Through the first quarter of this year, home sales in the 13-county Indianapolis
area fell nearly 12 percent, according to the Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors.
A former head of the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance says some Marion County homeowners soon could see property-tax
increases of as much as 50 percent–far higher than government officials estimated. In part, that’s because of Indiana’s decision
five years ago to abolish the inventory tax.