A Need for Housing in Downtown Indianapolis: In downtown Indianapolis, affordable housing can be hard to come by. There are several indicators of the need for affordable housing. To begin with, downtown is home to several of the state’s top employers, and people working downtown represent a wide-variety of income and skill levels. Because of the close proximity to work, working and living downtown is appealing to many in all income brackets.
There is – and historically has been – a strong renter population downtown, with more than 57 percent of people renting in some areas. In the summer of 2019, most existing affordable housing communities were experiencing near-capacity or at-capacity rentals. Some affordable housing communities had people on waiting lists hoping to be able to move in. And, as the number of households within the state was expected to continue to rise from 2018 to 2023, the need for more affordable housing opportunities became evident.
Project Collaborators Work Together: In the summer of 2019, The Annex Group®, a leading workforce, affordable and student housing developer, began building plans for a new affordable housing community that would serve downtown residents. As ideas formed into plans, reputable industry partners were brought in.
Partners on the project included T&H Investment Properties, LLC, a real estate development and construction company specializing in affordable and workforce housing, the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA), the City of Indianapolis, which provided incentives including tax abatement for the project, R4 Capital Funding, which provided the construction and permanent loan financing, Cinnaire, which provided tax credit equity, Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership (INHP), which provided additional construction/permanent financing, Brenner Design, an architecture partner, and Crestline, which will provide property management services.
Enter: Union at 16th: Plans were developed for a $29 million property located on the White River at 2215 W. 16th Street in downtown Indianapolis. The affordable housing community, Union at 16th, will feature 159 units available for rent to low income housing tax credit (LIHTC)-restricted households with income levels at or below the 40, 60 and 80 percent area median income (AMI) levels.
The six-acre site will feature five, three-story buildings that offer one, two and three-bedroom residences. There will also be a leasing office, activity center, community room, community garden, exercise room, picnic area, computer room and on-site management. Each unit has rental costs substantially below comparable market rents, providing a tenant rent advantage for low to moderate income households.
Kyle Bach, CEO of The Annex Group says, “this property will provide much-needed housing to people in downtown Indianapolis. It will be situated near IU Health Methodist Hospital, many businesses and feature access to ample public transportation. We believe a property like this can have an incredible impact on the people who live here and crave affordable housing that is also high-quality and convenient.”
The location of Union at 16th was particularly important, as project leaders wanted to ensure its proximity to public transport and amenities. Within a one-mile radius of the property, there is a grocery store, park, pharmacy, bank, library, elementary school and gas station. The property also offers 163 parking spaces and security cameras.
Union at 16th is slated to open in winter 2021.