The Indianapolis City-County Council Monday night adopted an economic plan for a mixed use building across from the War Memorial downtown.
The development at 421 N. Pennsylvania St. will include retail and office space and 213 residential apartment units – 20% designated for people working in the area who make 80% area’s median income. Some council members voiced concern that the housing would be too expensive for some who work nearby.
Deputy Mayor Angela Smith Jones says the lower rents are based on national HUD guidelines for affordable housing.
“We utilize that standard because it is applied nationally,” Smith Jones says. “What it is is 80% of AMI. Within the area in Indianapolis Marion County that is approximately $43,000, $44,000 a year.”
District 12 councilor Blake Johnson says people often confuse low income housing with workforce housing and this plan is geared toward the latter.
“This is focused on the workforce specific to people like police officers, fireman, teachers, nurses, medical personal,” Johnson says. “That there are jobs within proximity of that site. It is a strategy around people working and living in the county.”
A one bedroom workforce apartment would cost $1,235 a year. A two bedroom would cost $1,390.
District 2 councilor Colleen Fanning says it was important to define the lower rents from the start.
“I think that is a conversation we need to have with the administration as we look at future developments, but I don’t think that it is in good faith to change that standard midway through a project,” Fanning says. “It’s a huge increase for the city that will allow us to provide a lot more city services.”
A portion of the tax revenue generated by the development is slated to go back to the city. The location is currently a parking lot.