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New Townhomes in Warfleigh Scrapped (Updated)

lThe Indianapolis Business Journal mentioned a proposal  (about 2/3 of the way down) that has been withdrawn for the Warfleigh neighborhood, which sits just to the west of Broad Ripple overlooking the Central Canal. I had heard about this proposal for a while, but had yet to see any renderings. On Wednesday I discovered a neighborhood forum where the project was discussed with much derision, which piqued my curiosity even more. I asked a person who knows about the project if they had any information, and they sent me this PDF, which contained these renderings:

Screen shot 2015-01-29 at 6.13.11 PM Screen shot 2015-01-29 at 6.13.27 PM Screen shot 2015-01-29 at 6.13.44 PM Screen shot 2015-01-29 at 6.13.57 PM Screen shot 2015-01-29 at 6.14.07 PM

This looks like a nice project to me. Unfortunately, the developer withdrew the project due to the opposition.

I disagree with neighbors that it is out of scale with the neighborhood. Here are some other nearby examples of old apartments that are set along quiet side streets such as Broadway:

62nd and Guilford, in between single family housing

Screen shot 2015-01-29 at 7.35.05 PM

61st and Winthrop, surrounded by single family houses:

Screen shot 2015-01-29 at 7.36.57 PM

65th and Ferguson, surrounded by (rezoned) single family housing:

Screen shot 2015-01-29 at 7.49.33 PM

Of course, these comparisons aren’t one-to-one. But there are plenty of examples of transitional apartments on tighter lots closer to downtown. One of the best examples I can think of is on Park Avenue near Mass ave:

Screen shot 2015-01-29 at 8.04.32 PM

 

I’m sure there are many other examples of this in the city.

If Indianapolis wants to get serious about supporting better transit and retail options, these are the types of projects to be encouraged.  I hope to see more projects like this proposal in the future.

UPDATE:

I’ve heard from the developer of this project, and they are townhomes instead of apartments. Also, they made a later update to the pedestrian walkway along the canal, which is posted in this link. A rendering is below:

warf1

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38 Responses to “ “New Townhomes in Warfleigh Scrapped (Updated)”

  1. Greg Stoll says:

    Thanks Kevin,
    Please note that this proposal was never for the development of apartments, but was required to be for-sale townhomes. I’d expected that this was the best way to bring successful and high earning neighbors into the heart of Broad Ripple. The most updated designs also have a 20′ pedestrian walkway comparable to the Canal Esplanade.
    Broadway Urban Homes Proposal
    Cheers,
    Greg Stoll
    Owner of lot at 6265 Broadway

    • Brett Rathmell says:

      The development at 6265 was not supported by the BRVA , the WNA or the Warfleigh neighbors because it didn’t fit the codes for the neighborhood or the new broad ripple Envision plan for Broad ripples future development.
      The examples you show all seems to conform to those neighborhood codes & have setbacks from the street to match other existing homes , this development at 6265 Broadway did not.
      The friends of broad bripple that rejected this proposal are NOT against modern & reasonable development , this developer had a chance to modify his design to fit the area codes & standards but did not.
      regards Brett Rathmell
      Warfleigh resident for 20 years.

      • JoeP says:

        It sounds to me like the neighborhood codes need to be rewritten…I don’t see anything wrong with this project. Also, I thought the new Envision plan encouraged more density. How does this not fit the plan? Because of setback from the street? Seems trivial.

    • Chuck says:

      Hi Greg, thanks for sharing that link. Looks like a pretty solid project to me. I like it. How can we help?

    • Ivan says:

      just what Broad Ripple needs Greg! Sincerely hope you continue the good fight!

  2. Matt says:

    For all the empty lots in Broad Ripple, this doesn’t seem like a totally ideal location. Nice project though, wish Indy had more townhomes like this. Points off for that horrible parking lot out front though.

  3. Curtis Ailes says:

    The latest renderings look pretty harmless to me. I hope that all parties can come to an agreement over this and the project can move forward.

  4. ahow628 says:

    I resigned myself long ago to the fact that Broad Ripple residents have become malignant and will slowly kill it off. Broad Ripple could be awesome, but they are killing it. As downtown dwellers, my wife and I refer to Broad Ripple as the suburbs and avoid going up there.

    This is a nice project in an area that could use a spark. The canal is mostly unactivated for most of the section parallel to Westfield aside from joggers and cyclists.

    Has there been any talk of rounding up all the current Broad Ripple residents and relocating them to a more favorable habitat such as West Clay or Hamilton Township?

    • Chris Barnett says:

      This situation, and others in desirable neighborhoods, illustrates the folly of any “planning process” that includes ONLY those who are already there: they are able to pull up the drawbridge and prevent others from following.

      But the truth is, the only way for more people to live in a desirable area is to build more units of housing on less space…more density.

      There are large, high-density developments at the northeast edge of BR Village, on land that once sat vacant, or which housed old broken down business or cottage buildings. Only the “old timers” chant the refrain constantly that those developments (which brought people, income, spending and vitality, and yes, traffic) have “ruined” their village.

    • Scott says:

      If you live downtown and like it, stay there. Don’t mention relocating Broad Ripple residents because the don’t want certain developments. Density? There is plenty of density in the area, just drive around.

      Broad Ripple has gone down hill due to the proliferation of bars, which the BRVA welcomed. Now the are paying the price. There was opposition to his, but ignored. I though Broad Ripple was supposed to be quaint. With the constant demolition of all that is ld, they are loosing that feeling.

      • Paul says:

        Well I am from Broad Ripple and I agree with the density comment. Was Broad Ripple built all at once like some pop up suburb? No. Throughout the years it was developing I bet they knocked down smaller buildings and built more intensive development when the market allowed it. I can guarantee you the strip and westfield blvrd wasn’t “planned” like that when they settled Broad Ripple where they just popped those buildings up at once. Cities should be allowed to continuously grow and mature. Throwing a glass cover on something and claiming “it’s a single family neighborhood” is not how dynamic interesting places come to be. Why can’t there be any increase in land use intensification? Why is density bad? Maybe with some commercial “creep” mixed around there would be people around during the day time by some of these houses that get broken into.

      • Chris Barnett says:

        I don’t live downtown, and in fact lived (and walked, ran, worked, shopped, banked, took critters to the vet, took kids to daycare, etc.) within a mile or two of this site for most of 25 years. Count me with Paul and Kevin.

        This townhome development has nothing to do with bars.

      • ahow628 says:

        First of all, my comment on shipping the BR residents to bucolic regions of the donut counties was satirical.

        In any case, don’t worry, Scott. Broad Ripple isn’t the only place dealing with this. I mentioned downtown and specifically, I live in Fletcher Place which has seen a resurgence, specifically in the restaurant and craft beverage scene (Bluebeard, two distilleries, a brewery, coffee shop, etc, etc).

        At neighborhood meetings over the past couple years, it seems like 50% of the discussion we have is over parking. Others may disagree, but none of the parking apocalypses that have been predicted have come to fruition.

        Even with all the extra traffic and vibrancy that has come along with it, the neighborhood has keep its quaintness. All you have to do is take a few steps down a side street to feel the full effect.

        Broad Ripple will have the same experience in spite of all the naysaying. Get a Whole Foods, put up some multi-family dwellings in a single family ‘hood, bring in businesses that seem different or strange – in the end, you will like the result.

        One of my favorite quotes was by a neighborhood association president in a waterfront Toronto neighborhood about the redevelopment going on there: “Pretty soon, there will be so many people in our neighborhood that no one will want to go there.” Don’t be that guy.

  5. Karen says:

    I notice that not one of the “renderings” show the reality of proximity to neighbours homes. I think most neighbours would welcome an updated building in place of the very badly maintain rental property owned by the developer. However the new proposal is in no way considerate of the neighbourhood around it.

  6. Jim Polito says:

    I am stunned. Not once in any of these comments did I hear any consideration given to the perspective of the individuals who live immediately adjacent to, or nearly immediately adjacent to the development. It is very easy to offer comment when you are not close to the development.

  7. This is not Broad Ripple as Greg suggests. This is the neighborhood of Warfleigh, with single family homes and duplexes.

    The Envision plan is for Broadripple, although it does mention Warfleigh. The Plan describes Warfleigh as a “stable single family residential neighborhood” in the area west of College Avenue and east of the White River and excludes Warfleigh from the area for which “form based” zoning is recommended and, instead, recommends existing zoning ordinances apply in the Warfleigh neighborhood.

    The neighborhood residents would welcome the development on a smaller scale and Greg knows this. This property is at 6265 Broadway and Greg’s project would be 37-45 feet with ZERO setback, blocking the sun and views of the canal for several of the families who have bought homes on this block and requiring many variances . He also strategized to close the public drive that is currently available to use.

    Of course the artists renderings are beautiful, have you ever seen an artist rendering that is not? Here is the building as it would sit from an aerial view Click HERE

    • Joe Smoker says:

      Cathy,

      I certainly understand your concerns, but I will seek to offer some realizations of this specific scenario.

      This area is within the D-4 zoning district. You indicate variances sought for 37-45′ in height. The D-4 district allows, by right, a maximum building height of 35′. A majority of the structure would fall at the 36′-37′ height, not a significant deviation from what is allowed. While portions of the building are located within close proximity to the north property line, a majority of the structure is setback further than the minimum setback requirements of the D-4 district along the north property line, the only shared residential property line. Lavarock Road, at this point, is sub standard relative to basic city infrastructure. It is narrow and unsafe to allow for unrestricted vehicle flow. Additionally, this section of Lavarock serves little purpose for the general trips by area residents. There is almost no reason to use this section of the road by automobile.

      I can understand the modification of character that comes with a new development and the hesitation to see change. I will say that this development, which largely complies with the height requirements of the D-4 district, will not doom the available light and sight lines present to current residents. The canal, by its nature, is sunken from grade and largely invisible until you approach at close distances. The images across the canal now include a large parking garage. East of this site contains the CVS store, not an ideal neighbor for detached, single-family homes. Please keep in mind that flood elevation standards require an increase in the base floor height and minimum livable area height from grade. This forces any new development to be higher than the current structure.

  8. Joseph Fox says:

    All those photos above are in BR, not Warfleigh. If that structure had been erected, my view east towards the canal would be gone.

    • Brent says:

      It is legally established by numerous court rulings that there is no such thing as a “right to a view.”

      • Joseph Fox says:

        Unfortunate this is the case. Still, those photos above lend nothing to the point of what Warfleigh neighbors want versus BR precedents.

  9. Sounds like the project has undergone some changes to try to win approval, and is scheduled for a public meeting on February 26. It is now 3 units, instead of the 4 that are posted.

    • Kevin I am wondering how this project would be accepted at 55th & Guilford?

      • Kevin says:

        Personally, I’d be just fine with it. There’s an empty lot next door to me, and I’d support a small infill project like this. More neighbors usually means more people to watch out for things that are happening on the street. And it’s better to have these projects in places that already have the infrastructure to handle them, than it is to build in a greenfield area or in Carmel.

        I think the fears are honest, but usually misguided. I believe it’s better to have investment than disinvestment, which so many Indy neighborhoods have had over the years.

    • Paul says:

      Kevin, do you have a link to this event? I can’t find any information about it. Thanks

  10. Ugh says:

    Horrible plan. Broad Ripple, like all of America, needs more single-family homes in a typical high-density urban street grid. Overdense projects such as this are simply out of place in Broad Ripple. Further, this project takes out a very necessary road and adjacent walking trail.

    As Broad Ripple has been victimized by street narrowing on Broad Ripple Avenue, causing congestion to rise and drive times to lengthen, Broad Ripple simply cannot handle additional an overdense project.

    Westfield/Broad Ripple, Westfield Avenue Northbound and College Avenue all need major widening, lane additions, and speed increases before Broad Ripple can handle such a project.

    Even with needed street widening, Back this project away from the Canal. This is public waterfront and greenspace that is not a developer’s private riverbank.

    • Double Ugh! I agree with you that whoever is responsible for the traffic pattern changes in and around Broad Ripple over the past ten years needs to have their head examined, but I would be totally against street widening. Good heavens, College is already 4 lanes from Kessler to Park Tudor! I think the idea on Broad Ripple Ave was to slow everyone down, and it worked.

      • Jim says:

        The problem is not the traffic pattern. This is a good sign that people want to be in Broad Ripple. The real problem is a lack of transit choice for getting from place A to place B. Combine that with the lack of any other good east to west street option, and you’ll get congestion. But like I said, congestion is a good thing. You should start worrying when you wonder where are all the people/cars in Broad Ripple. I wish they would do the same thing with Kessler Blvd as it would create a much safer street for people to walk, people to ride bikes and even people to drive through.

    • Paul says:

      To suggest street widening clearly means you cannot grasp the concept of what makes Broad Ripple desirable and enables it to command land and sq footage prices higher than most of the Indy metro. It is walkable. Street widening and high speed auto traffic is the poison pill for walkability. Your insistence that it can’t handle this addition of 5 homes is absurd and your prescriptions to fix the problems are misguided throwbacks to a toxic way of thinking about cities. Not to mention all this street widening costs the city money that it does not have for a goal that is of dubious merit.

      Also walkability requires DENSITY. This is at MOST standard city density. If you can’t handle this type of development then you need to ask yourself if living in a city is even for you.

      And for full disclosure I just bought a house in Warfleigh 2 blocks away from this. When did Broad Ripple become so exclusionary? “oh I will only support it if it is condos, not apartments” That is certainly not the Broad Ripple attitude I know.

  11. Ugh says:

    Congestion is not a good thing. Congestion forces people to choose other options. I have done business on 62nd St. only a few times in the past two years, when I used to go there, all the time. It’s simply too hard to get around, so I go to Nora or Carmel.

    They’ve turned 62nd into a nightmare between Keystone and College.

    Cathy, streets should be four lanes in each direction. Here’s what a complete street looks like:

    https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Houston,+TX&hl=en&ll=29.736994,-95.547111&spn=0.046431,0.099134&sll=39.779784,-86.13275&sspn=0.32875,0.793076&oq=houston&hnear=Houston,+Harris+County,+Texas&t=m&z=14&layer=c&cbll=29.736994,-95.547111&panoid=wXNayZJmpfqedCVxC0AVMw&cbp=12,76.91,,0,2.93

    • Joe Smoker says:

      Every realistic study has shown that the simple task of widening streets does not relieve congestion, it actually induces congestion. You are providing a self-defeating argument. If you oppose congestion, widening roads will not help.

      That being said, if you really believe widening a road is the answer, will you deliver the news to business and residents who will have their property taken to service your specific wish? I know I wouldn’t want to sell my home for an additional lane of traffic. It sounds like your lifestyle belongs in a suburb beyond the general urbanized area of Indianapolis. Maybe down around Franklin? You can buy some acreage, pave it, then drive to the outlet mall for your shopping needs.

      Ask our friends to the west in Avon how traffic has improved since widening US 36 from a 2-lane rural state road to a mega, 4-lane, center turn lane, wide shoulder state highway. I can tell you first hand, it isn’t a breeze.

  12. Ugh says:

    That link may not work. Try this:

    http://tinyurl.com/pyz8wek

    With Indianapolis failing to build an Interstate connecting Downtown and Carmel, it’s all the more important that the commuter streets have the proper width.

    • Kevin says:

      I feel like I’ve entered the twilight zone here.
      That’s not a street, that’s a stroad. It may have trees in the median and tiny, street adjacent sidewalks, but in no way is that a complete street.

      I know that I’m going to regret this reply, but I can’t help it. Take it away, have the final comment, because I know that’s how this type of thing goes. We’ll still be here to advocate for healthy transportation networks that cities around the country are pushing towards. Even Houston.

    • David #2 says:

      Hey, Ugh. 1958 called. It wants its prevailing theories of transportation and urban design back just as soon as you’re done using them.

  13. Ugh says:

    How many more lanes and center-turn cutouts does it need before it’s complete? Houston has many excellent streets. It’s a leading example of modern, liveable, urban design. It’s spread out, so density doesn’t get insufferably high, and the roads are excellent and plentiful, so you can quickly get between parts of town.

    FM 1093 is as good a road as urban engineering has yet devised. Here’s another excellent complete street:

    http://tinyurl.com/nymukg6

    Keystone from 96th to 31 is also an excellent bit of design. I’m looking forward to seeing what they do with 31.

    • Jim says:

      That’s not good urban street design, that’s practically a high speed interstate highway. How is that a complete street? If you think that’s pedestrian friendly, let’s see a child cross that street safely. Let’s see you cross that street safely. That goes beyond even a stroad: http://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2013/3/4/the-stroad.html
      Yes Indy’s roads suck, but it’s not because they’re narrow, no it’s because there’s too many of them and there’s zero maintenance. We as a city can’t afford to be spread out, we are literally broke because of it. We have abandoned neighborhoods because of sprawl enabled by over investing in roads at the expense of all other choices of transportation. Added density allows places like BR to add more people and more wealth without the need for everyone to have to drive or even own a car. Why is this such a hard concept to understand?

  14. ahow628 says:

    Well, that escalated quickly.

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