A three story mixed use building may be coming to Broad Ripple in the near future. New development always raises a few eyebrows. This proposal in particular may arouse more than an eyebrow once it gains widespread notice. The Village has not seen a significant amount of new development for quite some time aside from the new parking structure now under construction at College & Broad Ripple Ave. This structure would be located at the opposite end of the village at the intersection of Winthrop Ave, Broad Ripple Ave and the Monon Trail where the former United Package Liquors was located; United Package has since moved across the street leaving this property vacant.
The proposed new use for this property would include a new building taking the place of the existing one. Guided by the recently adopted Envision Broad Ripple planning tools, it would meet a number of the provided guidelines. Chief among them seems to how the new structure would pay homage to the Monon Trail. Indeed, bike parking would be oriented towards the trail along with a mural on the same side of the building. Lighting would also be provided activating this stretch of the trail after dark. The Developer, Lor Corporation, has also used this an opportunity to create a gateway into the village. Coming in at 3 stories (nearly 50 feet tall), this building would provide a significant bookend to the 1001 building directly across Broad Ripple Avenue. Existing sidewalks would also be widened and the large curb cut along Winthrop which has served high frequency automobile traffic, would be replaced to serve the small amount of proposed on site parking.
In a communication with Adam Hill, CEO or Lor Corporation, I asked why this new development seemed to cater to the Envision Broad Ripple plan.
“It is our goal to improve the quality of life in Broad Ripple – for both businesses and residents. We believe the Envision Broad Ripple plan provides some great guidelines that help achieve this goal, which is why we followed it so closely.“
Traditionally, a building with this amount of square footage would require a significant amount of parking. Thanks to the construction of the new parking garage, Lor has proposed only 7 parking spaces for the new development. This fact in itself is a significant change of perspective for a development in Indianapolis. Will residents and visitors of the village embrace a new development which does not provide a significant amount of parking located closely? That remains to be seen. Hill does not seem to view this as an impediment though, taking a different perspective altogether.
“We don’t view this development as a “low parking development.” We view this development as a way in which to increase commercial density in the Village and provide businesses an opportunity to do business in Broad Ripple, which will contribute to business diversity and increase jobs in the Village. In addition to the new parking garage, the development will have on-site parking and available parking in Broad Ripple Station, which is across the street about 200 feet. The development will also have two bike racks and direct access to the Monon, providing easier access for those who want to bike or walk to work.“
Continuing an architectural style that is becoming recognized around town, locally based Blackline Studios (The Hinge) was tabbed to design the new structure. If you have seen The Hinge in the Fountain Square area, you will notice the telltale signs of their work. The structure has a contemporary feel with a significant amount of glass facing the street, inviting pedestrians to look inside.
While this building represents another offering to the diverse array of building styles located in the village, it remains to be seen how the gamble of low parking coupled with respect for cycling and pedestrians pans out for the businesses that choose to locate here. We at Urban Indy generally support the design concepts laid out here and eagerly look forward to seeing this building come to fruition.