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Plans for $66M downtown apartment complex could be back on after tight vote

Posted at 1:08 PM, Aug 27, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS — A new $66 million apartment complex in downtown Indianapolis could become a reality after all after a City-County Council committee narrowly approved about $10 million in developer-backed bonds Monday evening to finance the project.

Denver-based Charles Street Investment Partners want to build an apartment complex at 421 N. Pennsylvania. The complex would have 213 units, about 8,800 square feet of retail space, an outdoor courtyard with grilling areas, a pool and a fitness center.

But last month, the Metropolitan and Economic Development Committee failed to pass a proposal for the city to give about $9.85 million in developer-backed TIF bonds for the project. Indianapolis would pledge 80% of tax increment over the 25-year term. This means of any tax money generated on the property over the next 25 years, 80% would go to the developer and the other 20% would go to the city as normal.

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In a negotiated exchange, Charles Street Investment Partners also pledged 42 of the apartments to be available for “workforce housing,” meaning at a reduced cost than the going market rate of similar apartments. For example, a two-bedroom apartment would cost about $1,400 per month, instead of the usual $2,000 per month. A one-bedroom unit would be reduced from $1,400-$1,700 per month to about $1,200 per month.

The pledge is part of Mayor Joe Hogsett’s push for more affordable workforce housing.

This reduced cost wasn’t enough for many City-County Councilors, many of whom balked at calling $1,400 per month affordable housing last month.

The vote was split 5-5, so it didn’t move on to the full council. But Councilor David Ray, D-District 19, was absent at the last meeting. Ray was present at Monday’s meeting and voted in favor of the proposal, sending it to the full council with a do-pass recommendation. Ray couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday morning.

If the deal moves forward, the city would generate about $4.2 million in tax revenue from the 20% percent share over the 25-year period. This would be an increase of about $3.7 million if the property remains a parking lot.