This document includes 1) Notes from the Nov 15 Community Meeting re: the Coal Factory redevelopment and 2) Additional facts on the the Coal Factory development.

Notes from 11/15/2016 Community Meeting Regarding Coal Factory Development

Irvington Presbyterian Church, Fellowship Hall, 55 Johnson Avenue, Indianapolis, IN

Presenters: Jarod Brown and Antone Najem, Third Street Ventures; Craig McCormick, Blackline Studios

  • Jarod thanked everyone for attending. “We’re working diligently to create a property that everyone can be happy with.”
  • Jarod acknowledged previously mentioned neighbor concerns, including parking, population density, lighting, and screening. With those concerns in mind, Third Street is revisting and reworking the proposed plans.
  • Regarding the process for gaining the necessary approvals through IHPC, Jarod noted that only the zoning variance has been approved. IHPC will hear additional items in January or later if necessary. (Update: the IHPC will hear the petition February1, 2017.)
  • Third Street has submitted the application for the Section 42 Tax Credits through Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority (IHCDA). They applied for this funding to open up the most sources of funding to produce the best-quality product. Awards will be announced in late February.
  • If that funding is denied, Third Street does intend to explore going forward with the development. There are other potential sources of funding.
  • In regard to the number of units on the property, there are some requirements attached to the tax credit funding, with some wiggle room. Third Street would need to stay close to the proposal they submitted to IHCDA, so likely the property would end up with 45-55 units.
  • In regard to the brownfield issues on the property, John Mundell of Mundell & Associates confirmed that he has conducted an environmental assessment and determined that the property may be appropriate for residential with some remediation, but that the Indiana Department of Environmental Management has the final say. Antone confirmed that Third Street is working hand in hand with state agencies to meet or exceed their requirements.
  • A neighbor asked about asbestos that might be on the property and how the development team would handle it. Third Street assured neighbors that if the assessment shows that there is asbestos on the property, they will hire the appropriate professional services to mitigate it properly in accordance with regulations.
  • Craig McCormick acknowledged neighbors’ concerns about the timing issue regarding the zoning variance. He explained that it was necessary to obtain approval to rezone the property because the application for tax credits from IHCDA required it.
  • Craig presented a proposed site design, created with neighbors’ concerns in mind. The new design includes 45 residential units, commercial space, additional parking (90 spaces onsite; 10’ x 20’), and oversized drive aisles to accommodate delivery trucks. Third Street and Blackline are also looking into installing a bioswale (similar to a rain garden) in place of the previously proposed retention pond. They’re also looking into the potential for some type of community garden space. With this proposal, no parking variance is required.
  • Depending on funding, the market, and other factors, the residential space would include mostly 1-bedroom apartments, some studios, and possibly some 2-bedroom apartments.
  • The developers have not yet engaged a civil engineer, so some matters regarding the site can’t be answered at this time.
  • In regard to neighbors’ concerns about the existing drainage issues, the developers expect their efforts to improve the drainage issues throughout the area.
  • Current neighbors report issues with water pressure. As required for any new development, they will have pressure testing done before construction. The developers mentioned that tap fees will cost approximately $2,300 per unit.
  • The tax credits program caps the tenants’ income at approximately $28,000 per year for a single resident. If two people reside in a unit, the income cap is raised to about $36,000 per year combined.
  • The rent per unit will be close to the current market rate in the area. Size of the units is to be determined, but rent for a studio apartment is expected to be approximately $300 and a 2-bedroom apartment would rent for somewhere near $600.
  • Jewel, a resident of the Lofts, spoke. She works for a not-for-profit in Irvington, and helps people with disabilities. She sometimes tries to place clients in the Lofts. She likes living in the Lofts. Speaking to neighbors’ concerns about income caps residents of the proposed development, she stated, “Just because someone makes a lower income doesn’t make them a lower-quality person.”
  • An attendee commented that there were already too many affordable apartments in Irvington. Margaret reported that the only other apartments in Irv with any government subsidy were the Lofts and the Mission Apartments. All the other apartment buildings in the neighborhood are considered market rate, which means they charge as much rent as the market is willing to pay.
  • The developers are still considering feedback regarding the architectural style of the development and will present two options at the next meeting. IHPC discourages designs that mimic older styles. They support architecture that is the best of its era and push developers to raise the standards of new construction. Also, the architect is considering making the ground floor units open directly to the outside of the building.
  • Developers are still working out the details of what type of privacy screening and landscaping the property will include. An 8-foot-privacy fence was requested by a neighbor.
  • The site contains serious and costly infrastructure drainage issues. The tax credits are a preferred financing mechanism because they can lower the cost of financing so that developers can also deliver a high-quality product. They mentioned that these factors impacted the previously proposed development which led to their inability to proceed given their budget.
  • Some neighbors again expressed concerns about property values and asked why the developers wouldn’t instead build higher-rent apartments or townhomes. The developers responded that the numbers (cost of construction vs. the rent rates they could charge given the Irvington market) don’t work out for that.
  • The developers mentioned that they expect $2 million in expenses to clean up the site, install the utilities, mitigate the drainage issues, and grade and pave the parking lots.
  • Neighbors asked about IDO’s financial stake as a co-developer. The response was that it’s too early in the process for a dollar figure of what IDO would earn, but that if IDO proceeded as a co-developer, yes they would receive a fee for their services. Someone else asked how IDO is funded. The response was with fundraisers and memberships and previous fees for professional services (as with the Lofts development). Someone else mentioned kickbacks and a conflict of interest. Someone explained that this is how community development nonprofits are funded; across the nation it’s done this way.
  • There was discussion about what types of people might live at the new apartments, such as artists, teachers, and waitresses.
  • Another Lofts resident, Diana who is a retiree, spoke. She was the third resident to move into the Lofts when it was completed three years ago. She wanted to live there because she had two home-owning daughters in the neighborhood, and she wanted to be near her grandchildren. She intended to live at the Lofts as long as she could. She said she had not expected to be living on a limited income when she retired, but was very happy to have a quiet, safe, and attractive home.
  • There was a request for the property to be beautiful and perhaps include some sort of “Welcome to Irvington” sculpture along the Pennsy. The developers said they are in favor of that idea.
  • What is the future of Coal Yard Coffee? Michelle said that she plans to stick with Third Street Ventures, that she trusts them and will continue to talk with them about an opportunity for CYC to be included in this new space.
  • Someone asked if credit checks and background checks for potential residents will be conducted, and the answer is yes, an extensive background, including criminal, was done before anyone could lease an apartment.
  • Is there a demand for affordable income housing? Yes. There’s a long waiting list for the Lofts without any advertising or marketing. Many of the Lofts residents work in Irvington businesses making it desirable.

Next meeting:

December 6, 2016

at the Irvington United Methodist Church,

30 N. Audubon Rd.

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Irvington Development Organization and the Coal Factory Development Fact Sheet

10/27/16

On Monday, October 24, 2016, the board of the Irvington Development Organization (IDO) – made up of neighbors like you – voted unanimously to approve a resolution to join Third Street Ventures LLC (Third Street) as co-developers of the Coal Factory property at 5543 Bonna Avenue. This is in keeping with IDO’s mission to promote positive growth and development in Irvington. To explain the reasoning and the history of events so far, here’s some background and a summary of events:

  • The current Coal Factory plan is, unfortunately, not going to happen. The current owner Irvington Brewing Real Estate LLC (IBRE) faces expenses nearly double the original budget. This is due to unexpected complications developing the property, installing utilities, etc. IBRE has agreed to sell the property to Third Street.
  • The plan put forth by our co-developer, Third Street, proposes a be mixed-use development: apartment units, limited new commercial space, and some of the existing artisan production and studio uses.
  • The proposed development is in line with the Neighborhood Plan, which recommends that this land be developed for residential use. http://www.indy.gov/eGov/City/DMD/IHPC/Districts/Pages/plans.aspx
  • At its October meeting, the Historic Irvington Community Council (HICC) – elected representatives from the neighborhood – voted to support Third Street’s proposal to rezone this area to include residential, with the stated recognition that issues and concerns still needed to be addressed by the developer with the neighbors.
  • IDO co-developed the Irvington Lofts apartment complex, at 5855 East Washington Street, with one of the partners in Third Street. The Lofts development has proven to be a successful project, and we believe these same partners have the expertise needed to help the Bonna Avenue project succeed as well.
  • The residents of the apartments will have low to moderate incomes compared to the median incomes of the area. That means:
    • A single resident can’t make more than about $28,000 a year. That number goes up as the household size increases.
    • For comparison purposes, at least 25% of current Irvington neighbors earn incomes comparable to that amount and could qualify to live there.
    • Much like your neighbors living at the Lofts, residents of these apartments are likely to include a mix of retirees, local business employees, artists, people working for nonprofits, recent graduates, and others with limited incomes.
  • The proposed development meets a need for quality, affordable rental housing in the area. There is up to a two-year waiting list for the Lofts apartments.
  • The same company that manages the Irvington Lofts, Mark III Property Management, will also manage the Coal Factory Flats. They manage 12 market rate and affordable properties in Indianapolis. They are a local company with 20 years of experience in apartment management. The criteria for screening and keeping tenants is the same or higher for the affordable apartments. Both screen for criminal, credit, and rental histories. Affordable properties are subject to inspections and audits by HUD and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. Mark III reports a very low turnover rate for the Lofts apartments, resulting in the long wait list. When tenants do move out, very little maintenance is needed to prepare them for the next tenant.
  • Since the Lofts have been built, a number of additional positive projects have been refurbished or are being developed in the area. The doctors’ office next door was rebuilt and two houses across the street were sold and are being restored. One is now on the market again for $200,000, and the other will soon open as a bakery. The apartments to the east and two across the street were recently sold and are being renovated for market rate units. The Irvington Office building is being converted to market rate apartments. While the apartments were being built, a home immediately to the west of the Lofts was sold within a week for more than the asking price. Far from dampening property values around the Lofts, the construction has helped to spur additional investment and improvements.
  • IDO and Third Street recognize that there are concerns about parking near the development. Because we live here too and care about the impact of any changes to the current residents and businesses, we share that concern. We’re committed to finding workable solutions.
  • By joining the project, we ensure that Irvington neighbors have a say in the development of this key piece of real estate.
  • We’re excited to bring new residents to Irvington! These folks, like you, will help support our neighborhood businesses. IDO’s mission is to lead the charge for positive new growth in Irvington. Providing safe, quality, well-maintained housing opportunities for new residents is key to growing our vibrant, diverse neighborhood.
  • The proposed rezoning is to be heard by the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission on November 2. The application for the tax credits, the funding mechanism to make the apartment rents affordable, is due November 7 with award announcements in late February. The plan is to continue meeting with the neighbors and stakeholders in the interim to refine the design and site layout.
  • For more information, contact antone@thirdstreetventures.com and margaret@irvingtondevelopment.org.

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About Irvington Development Organization

Irvington Development Organization, founded in 2002, works for the benefit of Irvington by cultivating positive business development, promoting the unique character of our neighborhood and enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors. Irvington is a historic community on the East Side of Indianapolis known for its winding, tree-lined streets and architecturally significant homes and businesses. To donate to IDO or become a member click here.

 


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Irvington re-Signed has found its signmaker. Congratulations to Little Flower resident Eric Benge! We’re looking forward to seeing this great-looking sign installed. ebenge-resign-for-newsletter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eric is a graphic designer with over a decade of experience in the creative industry. He’s passionate about all things design-related and has worked for multinational companies and local small businesses. He’s also an artist, specializing in mixed media art. He enjoys spy movies, playing video games, and preventing his rat terrier from chasing squirrels. You can learn more about what Eric’s up to by visiting www.ericbenge.com.

The natural materials used in constructing the sign will be a nice complement to the trees and plants that will be added to the site in fall and spring. The first trees will be planted in October, most likely near the back of the new sign.

Thank you to the donors and auction bidders and volunteers who’ve committed sweat and blisters to beautifying the site.

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About Irvington Development Organization

Irvington Development Organization, founded in 2002, works for the benefit of Irvington by cultivating positive business development, promoting the unique character of our neighborhood and enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors. Irvington is a historic community on the East Side of Indianapolis known for its winding, tree-lined streets and architecturally significant homes and businesses. To donate to IDO or become a member click here.


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The community of Irvington needs a new sign! We’re unsure how many years the Town of Irvington sign was posted near the eastern edge of Irvington (at 6738 East Washington Street), but we do know that the wooden sign has rotted beyond repair and fallen from its mount. The sign had been posted along the historic National Road, and thousands of motorists, bus riders, bicyclists, and walkers travel this stretch of road every day.

Irvington Sign Mounted

 

With support from Irvington organizations including Irvington Terrace Crime Watch, Historic Irvington Community Council, Irvington Development Organization, Irvington Pet Clinic, and Coal Yard Coffee, a group of neighbors has set out to replace the sign and revamp the space.

We’re hiring an artist to design and create a new sign. Artists: download the RFP and submit your design before the August 21 deadline. If Irvingtonians vote your design as their favorite, you’ll receive $1,000 plus up to $300 for project supplies, and you’ll have the honor of creating the new sign, to be installed in October 2016.

The best sign design will reflect the neighborhood’s character. Irvington residents are known for their love of history, art, architecture, literature, and nature. They’re dedicated to preserving the past while also supporting innovation and growth.

To improve the overall look of the site where the sign will be posted, a crew of neighbors will remove the existing bushes and replace them with small native trees, native plants, and mulch. We’re incorporating native plants in this space because they are environmentally friendly, naturally conserve resources such as water, and support wildlife.

Interested in owning the original sign? We’ll soon announce details for bidding on it in a single-item silent auction. Interested in seeing the drawings in person and helping choose the winning design? Stay tuned. Wondering how you can help us prep, plant, and maintain the space? Great! For updates on this project, follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/irvingtonresigned) and Twitter (@Irv_reSigned), and encourage your favorite artists to enter the contest.

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About Irvington Development Organization

Irvington Development Organization, founded in 2002, works for the benefit of Irvington by cultivating positive business development, promoting the unique character of our neighborhood and enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors. Irvington is a historic community on the East Side of Indianapolis known for its winding, tree-lined streets and architecturally significant homes and businesses. To donate to IDO or become a member click here.


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IDO is holding a gala dinner under the stars at Tyner Pond Farm near Greenfield, IN on September 10. This elegant yet rustic event will help to raise funds that will help strengthen and support Irvington’s commercial district which focuses on recruiting quality businesses to the Irvington area. The event will also introduce Irvington to Chris and Amy Baggott, owners of Tyner Pond Farm and two soon-to-open restaurants on South Audubon Road, The Mug and Griggsby’s Station, and their natural farming processes and high-quality meats. The Baggotts have become leaders in sustainable food production, distribution, and preparation. Their restaurants in Greenfield are getting rave reviews, and we’re very excited to welcome them to Irvington!tyner pond farm2

The harvest menu will be prepared by Chef Lawrence Scully (of Pi food truck) and feature seasonal, local produce including wines and beers. Jazz musician favorite Charlie Ballantine (named “Best Jazz Musician” of 2015 by NUVO magazine) will also perform. All attendees will be eligible to win a two-night stay at the fabulous Tyner Pond Farmhouse on a date to be agreed upon. Farm animals ARE included!

Come join us at what will certainly be an entertaining, enlightening, and filling evening while supporting the Irvington Development Organization and YOUR local businesses. Ticket cost is $100, and can be purchased through Eventbrite  here.

We are also looking for volunteers to set up, serve, and clean up after the event. If you’re interested in helping in a more direct, in-kind way, contact margaret@irvingtondevelopment.org.

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About Irvington Development Organization

Irvington Development Organization, founded in 2002, works for the benefit of Irvington by cultivating positive business development, promoting the unique character of our neighborhood and enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors. Irvington is a historic community on the East Side of Indianapolis known for its winding, tree-lined streets and architecturally significant homes and businesses. To donate to IDO or become a member click here.


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This month, our IDO Neighborhood Spotlight shines on Lauren Hall, who provides professional counseling services. She also founded Irvington Flower Bouquet CSA and supports the business by growing flowers at her Irvington home, arranging bouquets, and making local deliveries by bike.

How long have you lived and worked here? 
My husband Michael and I have lived in Irvington for a year and a half. We both work as therapists at Christian Theological Seminary Counseling Center. In the summer of 2015, we started our first large garden with great yield, creating Irvington Flower Bouquet CSA. One year in and the CSA is a huge success, with all memberships claimed for 2016 and 10 weddings this summer alone!

We’d like to continue to invest in this neighborhood by way of opening a counseling private practice in the fall of this year, offering sliding scale services to members of our community, and to keep creating flower bouquets, of course!

How did you first hear of Irvington and why did you move here?
I grew up in the Old North Side and attended Holy Cross throughout elementary school. A lot of my friends lived on the East Side, and I remember visiting here as a young girl. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined I would end up here as an adult!

In the fall of 2014, both my mother and Michael’s dad were diagnosed with cancer. Michael and I decided to move home to be closer to them. We really didn’t know where we were going to live, and having come from Chicago we were ready to lay our roots down. Mostly, we wanted a yard for a garden, a walkable neighborhood with good standby food spots, and kind neighbors. It was when we walked down the brick street of Layman one warm winter evening that we decided we were going to put an offer on what became our proud home!

What do you do for fun?
Oh goodness, so many things. Here’s a list: date nights with my honey, watching our blind dog Hank play, growing flowers and arranging, yoga, bike rides, fire pits, and friendship hangs.

What’s your favorite walk, bike ride, block, or view in the neighborhood?
Lover’s Lane is my absolute favorite, but those sweet twisty streets of south Irvington really have a special place in my heart and on my bike!

If you were Mayor of Irvington for a day, what would you do first?
I would have a very diplomatic brunch with whoever manages public transportation and very kindly persuade them to commit to build a rapid transit system from Irvington to downtown.  They’d of course agree, so feeling good about that, I’d contact the owners of Siam Square and Spice Nation and invite them to move into the neighborhood for some increased food options, and they’d say, “Of course!”

I’d commission young artists to create murals along the Pennsy Trail, and on their day of creating we’d celebrate with a large community picnic on the trail. My last order of business would be to hire Beyonce to perform for the annual Irvington Halloween Festival.

Then I’d take a nap!

Want to read the full May IDO newsletter? simply click here!

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About Irvington Development Organization

Irvington Development Organization, founded in 2002, works for the benefit of Irvington by cultivating positive business development, promoting the unique character of our neighborhood and enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors. Irvington is a historic community on the East Side of Indianapolis known for its winding, tree-lined streets and architecturally significant homes and businesses. To donate to IDO or become a member click here.


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Neighborhood Spotlight

This month our IDO Neighborhood Spotlight shines upon one of our popular Irvington Business Association and IDO members, Mechanically Inclined Auto. Owners Ted and Cheryl know what it means to give back to the community! From fundraisers for nonprofits like The PourHouse, Inc. to supporting local musicians, artists, and chefs, they take a unique approach to their business operations.

mech inclined
Photo Credit Jaime Locke Art

Tell us a little about yourselves and how Mechanically Inclined got started?

Ted has 20 years experience working on cars and became a specialist of sorts with Cadillacs after his 9 years at Lockhart Cadillac. He opened a shop on the southside with his brother in 2006. In 2012, I was working as a classroom teacher looking for other opportunities when Ted and I teamed up to open Mechanically Inclined at 5840 Brookville Road.  As a part of our business model, we believe in giving back to the community. We hold a music and movie community event every September to benefit The PourHouse, Inc. and last year, we added vendors of handmade goods and Rock-Cola Café. We feature musicians who live in Irvington and do our best to hire locally for all of our business needs, such as office treats, lawn care, dog grooming, staff lunches, and staff haircuts. We have greeted guests and raised funds and goods at the last three Alternative Gift Fairs, with all proceeds benefiting The PourHouse, Inc.  I am also volunteering independently on an upcoming fundraiser with The PourHouse, Inc. in addition to planning and organizing the annual ice cream festival for the Irvington Historical Society.

What do you do for fun?

As any owner of a small business will likely tell you, there’s not a whole lot of free time. We spend sunup to sundown operating and managing the shop in some capacity, either from home or in-house. When we aren’t at the shop, Ted has 4 children whom he’s taking to sleepovers, wrestling meets, cross-country meets, school functions, part-time jobs, or anything that a single dad has to do. I also have 4 children, most of whom have left home to attend college or join the military. The youngest, who’s still at home, keeps me busy with band, swimming, academic meets, and socializing. I enjoy reading, crocheting, and playing cards, and board games while working on the fundraising projects mentioned above.

What’s your favorite walk, bike ride, block, or view in the neighborhood?

We enjoy attending functions in the neighborhood, such as jazz nights at Coal Yard and Brew Fest at Our Lady of Lourdes. In the milder months, we socialize at the Irvington Farmers Markets on the second Sunday and Clustertruck on Thursday at Ellenberger Park. We see a lot of Irvington on our test drives, and Ted’s favorite route has to be the section of Audubon between Pleasant Run and Irvington Presbyterian Church with the serenity of the trees and peacefulness of the neighborhood. Cheryl’s favorite walk through the neighborhood starts with dinner at Hummingbird Café (no longer there) or The Legend, then off to Coal Yard Coffee or Wyliepalooza.



Why did you become a member of Irvington Development Organization?

We joined IDO to lend our support to the great things this organization does and to stay informed about the neighborhood.

If you were Mayor of Irvington, what would you do first?

If we were Mayor of Irvington, we would unite North and South Irvington and end the feud. In all seriousness, we would extend the business district hustle and bustle beyond the border of Ritter and Audubon.

If you want to learn more about Mechanically Inclined Auto, you may contact them here: 
Mechanically Inclined Auto, 
5840 Brookville Road, Indianapolis, IN 46219. 
Call: 317-351-1241 
Text: 317-653-4251: Web: 
www.mechincauto.com

Want to read the full April IDO newsletter which includes additional information on a chance to give back, the spring construction schedule, and the Annual Benton House Easter bash, simply click here!

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About Irvington Development Organization

Irvington Development Organization, founded in 2002, works for the benefit of Irvington by cultivating positive business development, promoting the unique character of our neighborhood and enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors. Irvington is a historic community on the East Side of Indianapolis known for its winding, tree-lined streets and architecturally significant homes and businesses. To donate to IDO or become a member click here.


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