Urban Indy’s 11th Anniversary: Celebrate the Potential of Hanna International Lofts

Today marks the 11th anniversary of Urban Indy. I apologize for my lack of recent posts, but I’m still around. There is a lot to talk about, but the one project that got the most votes on my twitter poll was the Hanna International Lofts in Lafayette Square. This part of town has long interested me, as it could have faltered heavily through a lack of investment.  The built environment is pure 1960’s-1990’s sprawl. There isn’t much that has been built that is worth saving, including the old Hooters where this project will live. Since we are the capital city of the state, immigrants from all parts of the globe have settled in this part of town, and served delicious food at affordable prices. They have helped to keep the area alive for decades, along with the existing African-American population. Now, perhaps the city is finally paying them back with proper investment:

source: WTHR twitter feed

Of course, it will be difficult to have a proper urban form along 38th Street. It’s one of those places where drivers are almost suspicious of anyone who has the audacity to be on foot. But I guess you have to start somewhere, and this lot is as good as any. The developers say that the project is already fully rented out 100%

Even better is the possibility that other development could soon be on the way. I grabbed this screenshot from WTHR:

Image Credit: WTHR

Indy has been doing fine with redeveloping downtown, Fountain Square and Broad Ripple, but Lafayette Square is a completely different animal. I’m hopeful that this project (and other ones to come) can do a better job of maintaining the delicate balance between affordability and sustainability.

Thanks for reading Urban Indy for the past 11 years. I will not be hosting another anniversary event, but I will be joining the Bike Party this Friday for their 2 year anniversary. Hope to see you there.

Comments 10

  • I’ve lived near the Lafayette Square area for 25 years and am SUPER excited to hear about all these developments. Hopefully these projects will help erase the whole “Lafayette Scare” image from the city’s consciousness (Gosh, I’ve always HATED hearing people refer to the mall and larger area this way).

    In my ideal world, the success of these developments will lead to changes at the actual mall. Maybe something similar to Hanna Lofts but on a larger scale. I’m also hoping that one of IndyGo’s BRT lines will come to West 38th Street and make this area more pedestrian-friendly.

    Despite living near LSA for some many years, however, I am not really sure who or what has been the catalyst(s) for these new developments. Obviously, the International Marketplace (IM) Coalition has played a role, but who are the other advocates? Maybe the construction of the West 38th Eskenazi contributed as well.

    Anyway, thanks for posting on this subject. I hope to see more LSA articles in the future.

    Happy 11th Anniversary!

    • It has mostly been IM working with the City agencies and private property and business owners. While Big Car lived at the edge of the mall property, they brought a lot of new attention as well.

      Efforts in the area are greatly helped by the “CRED” tax district that was established years ago to help with redevelopment.

  • Ivy Tech is moving its auto-repair facilities from the corner of Washington and Oriental (a site that is to be part of TWG’s Ford Factory project). The library is moving from its formerly hidden location just east of 34th and Georgetown as part of its countywide facilities upgrade program.

    The area may be served by some future undefined BRT line. Originally the Purple Line was to be a crosstown line from Lafayette Square to Lawrence that linked with the Red Line along 38th, but that has changed and the western leg is now off the 5-year plan and “TBD”.

  • There is lots of affordable housing surrounding the mall, especially the neighborhoods between 38th and IMS. It’s largely “National Homes”, tract houses of similar interior design that were built in the 50s all the way across the then-northern suburbs from Eagledale to Lawrence.

    • Chris, I believe you’re referring to what we could easily call “the Levittown of Indianapolis”.

      I always presumed Eagledale was part of this tract housing, and that it stretched to the far eastern edges of 38th street on the opposite side of the city, but I can never get a clear since of what the eastside Eagledale equivalent was called.

      To the best of my understanding, these are also among the last areas that were annexed by the city of Indianapolis prior to Unigov, which means they still fell under the IPS boundaries instead of going to the townships. The IPS factor is, in my opinion, one of the biggest reasons these neighborhoods declined so heavily in the late 80s and 90s, when other neighborhoods to the immediate north (in Pike Twp and Lawrence Twp respectively) have remained comparatively stable.

      • Eric, this is a bit of an off-topic diversion, but what else would you expect? 🙂

        A qualified yes to National Homes on the east side, but most are in Lawrence. One development is Brookhaven, bounded by Kitley, 52nd, 46th, and David (just west of Shadeland/465). Another is the Lawrence Woods subdivision, across Franklin Road from the closed Marsh and tucked up against the CSX and Lawrence Community (soccer) Park.

        A lot of the stuff a mile north and a mile south of E. 38th outside 465 in Lawrence and Warren was loosely called “The John Marshall Area”, after the former IPS HS at 38th & Mitthoeffer, an area now called the Far Eastside.

        It makes up the very eastern extension of the Old City and IPS district, roughly from 25th to 42nd outside 465 (with some goofy exceptions). Much of it was developed by the Gene B. Glick Co. and so is not technically “National Homes” but it is lower-cost production housing.

  • Always thought LS would make a wonderful Jungle Jim’s. Main location in Suburban Cinn and now have a Col location.

  • Its nice to see some proper development coming to the area. Lafayette Square has received so much positive press over the years for the culinary fare to be found and yet when you drive through, it doesn’t look the part of a place that has received such praise.

    Its long past time for proper focus on the area.

  • Lafayette Square AKA international marketplace is on a roll. Today they just had another groundbreaking this time on Lafayette Rd. for a project called the Pyramids at 35 hundred.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *