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Overlook at the Fairgrounds

Last week, I had a chance to meet with Gary Hobbs and Wil Marquez, who are key figures behind the effort of transforming a former candy factory into a mixed-use building.  Located to the east of Fall Creek along 38th Street, this looks to be an exciting project that will inject new life into the neighborhood.

The siteplan plans to take advantage of the building’s location next to the Fall Creek Trail and the State Fairgrounds. The building is located at the southeast corner of this aerial photo:

overlook

Image Credit: Google Maps

Some important details of the project include:

  • Uses QAP tax credit dolars.
  • Adding a 4th floor to the building.
  • Interior and exterior restoration of Art Deco building.
  • Planning on encouraging job training and leverage its proximity to the fairgrounds.
  • A mix of affordable and market rate units.
  • Green roof on the first floor section that can be accessed by residents.
  • Encouraging health and wellness and include bike storage.
  • New sidewalks
  • Outlot commercial building along 38th Street is possible in the future.

Here are a few renderings that of the completed project.  Note that construction permits have not yet been secured, but this should give a good idea of what is in store:

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The site plan is linked here via pdf.  The developer, Gary Hobbs from BWI, appears to be willing to listen to suggestions for making this project even better for the neighborhood from an urban planning perspective.  I would love to see the sidewalk next to the building, and the parking lot a bit smaller, without the curb cut along 38th Street. And I believe there could be potential to add parallel parking along Orchard Avenue.

Regardless of any suggestions that may be taken into account, this project should be a major win for the neighborhood, and I will be happy to see this move forward.

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3 Responses to “ “Overlook at the Fairgrounds”

  1. Chris Barnett says:

    The adjacent gravel lot (between the Trail and Fall Creek) has been targeted by the Destination Fall Creek and Northeast Corridor Quality of Life plan initiatives as a “gateway” or major trail node.

    See: http://dfcindy.org/map/
    Also, page 31: http://necorridor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Final-Plan-3.27.14.pdf

  2. Travis says:

    I agree that building the sidewalk closer to the building will help, but they also needs to be wider (6ft minimum allows two wheel chairs to pass, and may be needed due to the number of people who choose to ride their bikes down the sidewalk rather than risking it on 38th Street). What really has me confused is the placement of wooden fencing as a buffer between the project and the trail. The trail adds value to this property, so it should be embraced, not shunned (the tracks are rarely used, correct?). I also find the placement of the bike plaza to be a bit quirky when I try to figure out how I get there from the trail. Few residents will have a view of the bike racks, which makes bike theft more likely. Maybe the racks should be moved to where the trash and recycling is and those receptacles moved closer to the community garden so you can also have a compost bin. Parallel parking on Orchard could lessen the amount of parking that needs to be located on site. The street is already wide enough since the turn lane may be unnecessary. Just a few of my opinions… Excited to see this project happen!

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