ULI Indiana News

Central State to Central Greens

On Thursday July 24 the ULI Indiana Breakfast Series featured a trifecta of speakers to describe the redevelopment of the old Central State Hospital site, just west of downtown Indianapolis, into the Central Greens urban village.

Derek Naber, Senior Project Manager with the City of Indianapolis, began by describing the history of the site and its reincarnation.

Mike Higbee explained his history with the site as part of the master development team, Central Greens LLC.  The site itself is challenging, with underground tunnels, buried demolition piles, and even unmarked graves influencing the land use plan.  The team has had to work closely with the surrounding neighborhoods to meet their expectations.  In addition, says Higbee, they have had to “prove the market” to investors and brokers.  They are working hard to attract the right commercial users to the site.

One company who made the investment was Pedcor.  Craig Lintner from Pedcor described their interests in the site.  The Steeples is a LIHTC apartment complex with a market rate appearance that adds value the site.  There is currently a wait list of 200 for the 160 one, two, and three bedroom apartments.  Currently under construction is the Retreat, a LIHTC apartment complex for Seniors.  Lintner noted that while most of his career has involved suburban development, he found working on Central Greens extremely rewarding.

Naber concluded by describing a few of the many projects currently under development on the site:

  • The Christel Academy West charter school, which will open to K-3 students this August, and eventually expand to K-12.
  • A Track and Field facility which will serve the school and surrounding neighborhoods and will eventually be part of IndyParks.  The facility was funded in part by CDBG and also includes a $200K grant from the NFL.
  • Construction of roads and sidewalks using Rebuild Indy funds.  The streets are urban in scale with on-street parking, and the sidewalks are 8′ wide.  Both use pervious pavement.
  • Rehabilitation of four buildings on the site for a variety of uses.
  • An urban farm, with a mission to help change the eating habits of urban residents.
  • Potential redevelopment of the Police Department’s Horse Patrol facility, which is already on the site.  The developers and DMD would like to keep this on the site since a police presence helps improve perceived and actual public safety.  (There is also an adjacent fire station.)

You can see the Powerpoint Presentation here.


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