A local development team plans to build an apartment building with 151 units on the site of a former school in the Bates-Hendricks district.
The project has an estimated value of $ 33 million.
DJ BH Palmer Street LLC, represented by Land Use and Zoning Attorney Michael Rabinowitch, intends to demolish the Old Abraham Lincoln School, or IPS # 18, in the 1000 block of Palmer Street to build the development which would include 146 parking spaces in a garage basement.
In a public hearing on Wednesday, the Metropolitan Development Commission approved an application to rezone the 1.62 acre site, changing it from designated religious use to multi-family development. Faith-based organizations, non-profit organizations and after-school programs have used the site in the past.
In the new complex, a one-bedroom apartment would be rented for $ 790 while the two- and three-bedroom apartments would be rented for $ 947 and $ 1,091, according to documents filed with the city.
The project, said Rabinowitch, aims to meet the need for affordable housing around Fountain Square. All units will be available to residents earning at least 60% of the region’s average median income.
The old school site is located at the intersection of Palmer Street and Barth Avenue in a dense single-family neighborhood, about two blocks from Shelby Street and nearly half a mile from Fountain Square. IndyGo’s Redline is nearby on Shelby Street.
The property is one of the few sites that can be redeveloped in the area for dense housing, Rabinowitch said. Research the developers commissioned determined that there were approximately 963 apartments in the Fountain Square submarket and virtually no vacant units.
Data from Cushman & Wakefield shows that the 11 apartment properties that are generally considered to be located in the Fountain Square area, including City Way downtown, have 1,630 units. The apartments have an average occupancy rate of 89%.
Average rents in the area start as low as $ 1,121 and as high as $ 3,050.
“There are hardly any units available which, as you can imagine, would lead to a significant increase in rents,” Rabinowitch said. “Analysts have come to the alarming conclusions that new apartment living is becoming out of reach for many families due to a shortage of affordable housing. “
The unique five-story building will offer a mix of one, two and three bedroom units, ranging from 709 square feet for studios to 1,495 square feet, according to its site plan.
Likely amenities include a fitness center, game room, bicycle parking, club room with kitchen, gathering space, swimming pool, balconies, and computer room. A roof terrace will have seating and a grill area.
“It will truly be a development at the market price available to residents of affordable housing,” Rabinowitch noted.
Residents who spoke on Wednesday said they had already raised concerns about the project due to the density of parking in a single-family neighborhood. They would like to see a mixed-use element with light retail that preserves the historic schoolbuilding.
Rob Uppencamp, representing the Bates-Hendricks Neighborhood Association, urged the MDCdelay the public hearing and vote, saying commissioners that residents needed more information about the project.
The lawyer representing the developers told commissioners that several meetings were held to discuss residents’ concerns. Additionally, while DMD staff expressed concerns about the number of parking spaces, the department said it was best if light retail businesses were located along main arteries and not in single-family residential neighborhoods. such as the one on Palmer Street.
Rabinowitch said the developers commissioned a study to determine what items from the old schoolhouse, built in 1901, could be salvaged. The cost of repairing the roof and exterior facade would be approximately $ 2.2 million. Interior repairs would be added to the repair price tag since the building needs asbestos remediation and has water damage.
“The property has been in poor condition for some time,” he said. “He’s been exposed to the elements in some instances.”
Some architectural features can be recovered, such as the north and east entrances.
Rabinowitch said the developers have accepted commitments from the Metropolitan Department that include the incorporation the elements that could be recovered in the final design. Other commitments include submitting the final site plan for approval and signing letters from the administrator of the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission.
If the developers manage to put all of the commitments in place, the DMD will send the MDC’s rezoning approval to the county town council for final adoption in January.
DJ BH Palmer Street LLC is a joint venture between Chase Development and Birge & Held. Both companies are based in Indianapolis.