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Pulliam Square Phase II Update

According to IBJ’s Scott Olsen, an updated proposal for Pulliam Square’s second phase should be filed by March. 

As for the reason for delay in submitting: 

“TWG has held off on submitting design plans to the city on its second phase until occupancy hit a certain level, Dye said. In addition, TWG has increased the density of the second phase from what the developer originally expected, contributing to the delay in submitting plans.”

Increased density on a lot that was already originally planned to host more than 300 apartments? Yes please. 

More to come. 

Ransom Place | Mixed-use residential | Approved

Building C

We were waiting to see how the fight for this project turned out before writing anything about it, but, due to ridiculous NIMBYism, this development may end up in court. Developer Olaf Lava LLC is planning to construct a 19-unit apartment building that will span four lots: 517 W. 10th St. and 944, 946 and 954 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. A 27-unit building is slated for 1010 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. Originally calling for sets of duplexes at 517 W. 10th St. and 933 and 935 N. California St, the design was changed to single-family homes by request of IHPC in order to appease the wishes of residents. Now, the same residents appeased by the Sudetenland that is lower density are aiming for more living space by suing IPHC, claiming higher density really is that bad.

“If you stand on the lot where this (project) is proposed, you can see that it’s preposterous to put apartment buildings here,” attorney Jessica Webb so eloquently states. Nevermind the fact that this project is near an urban college campus hosting over 30,000 students or the fact it is located in a downtown neighborhood in one of America’s largest cities.

What makes this argument even more despicable is now, the NIMBYs are bringing out the race card. The lawsuit states: “Ransom Place is a historically black neighborhood that still takes great pride in its rich diversity. There is a very real concern that the residents of Ransom Place are not receiving equal protection under the law because of their race. If racial discrimination played even a small part in the IHPC’s decision … it must be reversed.”

You got to be kidding me.

Yes, historically Ransom Place was part of a much-larger archipelago of Midwestern city neighborhoods that harbored and cultivated Black culture. Yes, Indiana Avenue was lined with jazz clubs and churches and barbershops and yes, Black culture thrived here and around Ransom Place (one of the best surviving examples of this is the Walker Theatre). However, this lawsuit obviously finds more truth in what was than what is.

Beginning in 1949, the federal government’s urban renewal program was initiated as a systematic destruction of “blighted” neighborhoods -which mostly meant Black neighborhoods near downtown. Indianapolis leaders, realizing the Federal Highway Administration was not intending to “loop” downtown with interstates, set off to use urban renewal dollars in order to transform West Street into a city highway. Using eminent domain, many of those jazz clubs and saloons and churches and barbershops were demolished for the sake of clearing “blight”. Years later, American urbanists would come to realize that the “root shock” caused by systematic destruction of inner-city neighborhoods effectively destroyed vibrant Black communities and hindered possibility of connecting a greatly-stretched Black archipelago of neighborhoods into the whole of America.

Take a walk through Ransom Place now. Because of its proximity to campus, I am sure there’s a decent, sustainable amount of diversity. But you’d see no African-American saloons or jazz clubs. Beautiful, tree-lined streets with burgeoning real-estate value shading the surface parking-lot ghosts of former clubs on Indiana Ave is what you see. What this lawsuit is fighting for does not exist. Once, but no longer.

If you want to preserve history then fight to make sure it is not forgotten.

But do not preserve it by fighting a development that will assist in bettering your area of the city. Do not preserve it by filing a lawsuit which makes your neighborhood seem like an off-limits zone for developers.

632 MLK | Mixed-use, 4 stories | Approved


632 Martin Luther King Jr. | Studio – 4 bedroom apartments | Indiana Ave District

A wonderful infill for the Indiana Avenue neighborhood, this market-rate mixed-user is raising the bar on downtown rents -units ranging from $1000/studio to more than $2550 for 4 beds.

With an surplus of new residents arriving from the Axis/future Pointe and Collegiate projects, the near-westside neighborhood may begin to feel like an authentic urban place -inflated rents indicative of a healthy demand in the downtown housing market. Granted, there is still the pedestrian-unfriendly Goliath of West St. that separates N. Indiana and campus from the south developments of downtown but there is hope DPW works to put it on a road-diet. Maybe.

Perhaps no other neighborhood in the city is more primed for resurgence than Indiana Avenue with the advantages of a Canal locale, proximity to IUPUI and a rich history anchored by the Walker Theatre. On my short wishlist would be replacing a traffic lane on Indiana with two protected bike lanes and using increased density to transform the avenue into a walkable, vibrant campus village.

Update: Park10 | Chatham Arch 

 With the unseasonably mild weather during December, Milhaus’ Park10 project is progressing quickly. Recently topped out, exterior paneling should be getting done  in time for builders to focus on interior work during the more brutal winter months of January and February.

| Photo courtesy of Indyimby contributor A.Tucker @Tucker2492


Community = Walkable neighborhoods

Community cannot form in non-communal space, civic life requires settings in which people meet as equals. The absence of public realms mitigates individuals from different socioeconomic backgrounds meeting, hardly a recipe for productive social evolution. Our time in public is now inside cars, sociopathic devices making others competitors for asphalt instead of equals.

130 E Washington | Wholesale District

Ratio Architects is involved in yet another downtown project, this time a restoration of 130 E Washington St., the former Disciples Center which directly abuts the Cultural Trail near City-County Plaza.

A full face-lift of the façade is intended to activate the street-scape and improve pedestrian interaction -I am assuming Onward Investors LLC, property owner, hopes to partake in the economic benefits other properties have experienced due to CT proximity. Along with an interior retrofit which will expose ceilings and create open floor plans (allowing for natural light), a restoration of the building’s west half windows is meant to recreate historic proportions.

Here is the street-scape now:

Rendering of future street-activating façade:


With its location on the Cultural Trail and the anticipated redevelopment of City-County Plaza, this stretch of Washington St. has potential to become an enticing urban avenue, acting as a conduit feeding pedestrian activity from the Circle to the newly-coined Market East district. Hopefully, the development continues east-ward to the surface-lot-riddled and somewhat decrepit east Washington corridor.

Downtown Indy population increased more than 10,000 between 2005 and 2015

This is great news <- LINK

  • Among secondary Midwest markets outside of Detroit and Milwaukee, Indianapolis has the largest downtown population with a little more than 27,000. This number barely edges out Minneapolis.
  • Indianapolis LEADS secondary markets in value of downtown real estate construction by nearly a $200 million margin over Cleveland
  • Indy (30.6%) still lags behind Minneapolis (38.6%), Kansas City (33.3%), and Columbus (33.0%) in percentage of population with a bachelor’s degree or greater but comes in above the national average (28.8%) and outranks regional competitors such as Cincinnati and Louisville, surprising considering the population disparities.