MDC and IHPC Quick Hits – 10/3/11

Here’s what I’ve come across in Metropolitan Development Commission and Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission filings as of 10/3/11 (click links to read staff reports on these cases):

1. MDC 10/5/11 – A developer proposes another project in the suddenly booming Martindale-Brightwood area, this one a senior living apartment building at 23rd St. and Dr. Andrew J Brown Ave. The project would consist of 52 apartments in a three story building, with a 35-space parking lot in the rear and 10 additional on-street spaces. Staff recommends approval.

A siteplan showing the proposed apartment building at 23rd St. and Dr. Andrew J Brown Ave.

2. IHPC 10/5/11 – The gas station proposal at 16th and Central has been continued to 11/2/11 at the request of the developer.

3. IHPC 10/5/11 – A previously announced restaurant, BRU Burger Bar, is proposing an expansion of the ground floor of the Davlan Apartments building to house a larger dining room. This space on the NE corner of Alabama and Mass Ave (officially 415 N Alabama) previously housed the well-regarded Elements restaurant and then briefly Urban Element II. An outdoor seating patio adjacent to the expansion would also be added. Staff recommends approval.

A siteplan for BRU Burger Bar showing their proposed expansion and outdoor seating area.
A rendering of the proposed expansion and outdoor seating area for BRU Burger Bar.

4. IHPC 10/5/11 – A developer proposes to renovate a former church into a 27 unit affordable housing apartment building. The structure, which dates to approximately 1895, is on the southeast corner of 13th St. and Alabama St. A parking lot to the west of the intersection of Alabama and 13th would provide 16 spaces in addition to 10 on-street spaces immediately adjacent to the former church. Staff recommends approval with stipulations.

Note: “MDC and IHPC Quick Hits” is not comprehensive coverage of all cases before the Metropolitan Development Commission and Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission. If we missed a noteworthy case in a recent filing, let everybody know in the comments section.

See the previous Quick Hits here.

Comments 17

  • One of my favorite art pieces (the large brick head whose official name escapes me) currently sits in the proposed new patio of BRU Burger Bar. I hope they don’t get rid of it.

  • You were pretty close: Brickhead 3

  • Oops: Brickface 3 according to Tyler’s own website

  • The site plan for the 23rd/DAJB apartment building annoys me. Here the developers have a public ROW with the alley behind their project and instead of using that, they’re proposing a new curb cut on 23rd and an internal driveway for their parking lot. Isn’t that a total waste of space? Why not use the alley to your advantage and have parking directly accessible from there? They might even be able to create a nice courtyard for their tenants by using the space more efficiently.
    It’s surprising that the designer has the urban touch of addressing the surrounding streets and keeping parking internal yet doesn’t utilize the power of their other urban asset: the alley.

    • The entrance to the building is from the parking lot/west side. There is no interaction with the street on the buildings east side.

  • they should also call Indianapolis the Brick Capital of the World 🙂 Brickyard. Brickyard 400. Yard of Bricks. Building of Bricks etc etc.

  • The apartment building and other projects make for an exciting start to perhaps a connection between this area, FCP and HMP. This has the potential to be one of the best parts of the city and it is so close to DT.

    I am also excited for BRU, probably because I am fat and love food, but it seems somewhat different than a bar or other common addition. I am sure they will keep the Brickhead……..maybe they can place it in a parking space and call it a park-let?

  • Nice catch on the 23rd and Andrew J Brown project. The number of developers chasing tax credit projects is affecting many neighborhoods. Two additional projects are on the boards for this neighborhood but right on the Monon Trail. Milhaus Development with King Park as sponsor are planning a three story project with 84 units in three buildings along the Trail between 20th and 21st streets. This project will sit approximately 8′ off the trail casting a large shadow along that block. The current plan does little to address site planning or design features of an urban building. The neighborhood says they want density but the project does little to enhance the neighborhood in exchange for the density. One block south another developer is proposing a slightly lower density and located farther away from the trail because of the offset in the right of way. Two other tax credit projects currently under scrutiny include the site of the old Indy East Motel in Irvington and the proposed reuse of the church at 13th and Alabama. Since as tax payers we are funding these projects through the credits we should be paying more attention and voicing opinions about the development. And the city should be using design as a rating for support. Just my thoughts.

  • The abandoned eyesore that was the Indy East Motel has approval of IHPC to be demolished. The actual demolition seems to hinge on getting some sort of federal grants or tax benefits, and it doesn’t seem like there is a clear consensus on what happens to the property after the demolition.

    • the approval is contingent upon financing, therefor, they cannot demolish without additional approvals. This way if financing falls thru then the IDO group could fall back to the other proposal. Approval is needed to secure tax credit funding but funding is not automatic. There are no public plans other than tax credit housing on the site. Those plans will need approval before construction. Time to start thinking about what design elements would make the project viable.

  • Not symbolic. The appliction (to a state agency) requires site control and certain zoning approvals to be in place at the application deadline. IHPC approval of demolition is a controlling factor.

  • Oops. *application*

    • I think the question here is not the approval per se, but the actions it envisions. The vote is symbolic in the fact that if they do not receive funding, the demolition approval goes away. Also, the approval requires them to bring forward their plan for approval before demolition. The commission cannot go back on the demolition approval if the above terms are met. Several dominos have to fall before the building falls.

      But what about more scrutiny of tax credit applications? Should we hold the developers to high design standards? Other cities do. San Francisco has some excellent affordable housing in quality of planning, amenities and design? Should the city be more vocal about using design as a scoring and selection criteria? (what’s that?; World Class City you say?)

  • I’m pragmatic about multi-family housing, whether low-mod or market: it must be designed and built for durability (solid masonry, not cement board).

    There are lots of old, solid apartments in and near Irvington from which to take cues. As an area resident I would not be happy to see something like 16Park on Washington St. Nor something like Waverly.

    Whatever is built there needs to look a lot more like a modern take on Irvington than the old hotel does.

  • I totally agree with Jim Ling.: Developers need to be held to higher design standards. In order for this to happen in our conservative market, design guidelines need to be developed for each neighborhood in Center Township. It’s frustrating to hear from archiects and planners that design guidelines are drawn up…but for some reason are rarely followed. Why waste all this time trying to push for a WCC in this market when controlled by the wrong people? It’s also a myth that affordable housing automatically equates to cheapness.

  • I like seeing Green projects like 16 Park. It is one of the only Green/sustainable apartment living options in downtown Indianapolis, so far that I can find. Only disappointed to find out it is low income only. I am studying Sustainability and would really like to live and practice it at a Green Living place to live as this. It even has a garden/green roof! Energy efficient heat and appliances,and on site recycling. Artistry and Circa are two new Green options but very expensive. I hope to see more Milhaus development, or ones like it. I hope Green living becomes more common as it is in Germany and other places in Europe.

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