The Midwest multifamily market has been robust the last few years, including BAM’s home city of Indianapolis. As Indy has seen growth, economic development, and expansion, the surrounding suburbs have also felt the need for more housing. Recently, a nearby suburb of Indy announced they’d be partnering with a developer to bring up to 250 market-rate apartments to an historical district that is hoping to join areas like booming Mass Ave downtown for culture and arts attraction. We look at how the city of Lawrence plans to add a new housing option to a growing in-demand area in today’s BAM Blog…

Recently we wrote an article about how the city of Lawrence had received a Lily Arts endowment which would give the city capital improvements over four years. This grant will allow for planned local theater improvements, creation of an arts garden, an amphitheater, and more. The city will work to blend the upgrades and additions with the area’s rich military history, being located on the former active-duty Army base, Ft. Benjamin Harrison.

Similarly, the planned multifamily development will be located on former military land, but not in areas which have stringent historical zoning laws. According to a report posted in the area’s local publication Current and shared on the city’s Facebook page, the Fort Harrison Reuse Authority has signed an agreement with Cityscape Residential. The group plans to build up to 250 market-rate units north of the area’s Otis Ave, between Lawrence Village Parkway and Lee Road. This area is close to the main thoroughfare of east-and-west running 56th street.

The article notes that the project calls for a variety of units; 1, 2, and 3-bedroom units with a large amount of one-bedroom units planned. The piece notes that in the area slated for development, restrictions are less-rigid, but they still plan a design “nod” to the area’s history. Since it’s still in early stages, further design details were limited; however, they expect to complete the project in 2020 or 20201 according to the Current’s information. The article also notes that the Indy suburb is growing, adding that the Indianapolis Public Library is considering construction of a branch nearby, and a public parking garage is also planned.

The Lawrence area has many workers who head into the city and limited housing options; the current housing market has seen home prices rise and many homes are listed only to be pulled after a quick sale. Meanwhile, there are limited multifamily communities in the area whose school district serves eleven elementary schools, two junior highs, and two large high schools. The new planned development will be centrally located to the city of Lawrence, with a quick drive to many of the primary schools, and within the zoning of Belzer Middle School and Lawrence Central High school, giving parents of school-age kids more housing options. For those without school-age kids, the quick access to 56th street also means a 10 minute commute to the 465 exit and regular work drive for many. It’s also just a few minutes away from the DFAS (Defense Finance and Accounting Service) building, which employs thousands. The central location of the planned community will also provide access to nearby restaurants, gas stations, medical care, offices, and is only a 1.5 walk/run to the Ft. Harrison nature park entrance.

BAM typically focuses on the workforce asset class, and looks beyond the center of metro-Indy which is how we found a great community in McCordsville, which is just down the road from Lawrence. In fact, many Lawrence families choose to enroll their kids in McCordsville schools, as it’s a short 15-20 minute drive for some schools depending on the area. As Indy and its workforce has expanded, finding quality housing and multifamily options has necessitated looking beyond the city center. As for Lawrence and areas like it: for cities with a growing population and a tight housing market, adding more multifamily options will be a welcome development…literally.