City officials to UIndy: ‘This is the future’

 

Greyhound Village project hailed as model for urban development

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Joining in the Greyhound Village groundbreaking ceremony were (from left) Kory Vitangeli, vice president and dean of students; Mike Watkins of the UIndy Board of Trustees; Adam Thies (at the lectern), director of the city’s Department of Metropolitan Development; UIndy President Robert Manuel; Gene Zink, chair and CEO of Strategic Capital Partners; and Jason Dudich, chief of staff for Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard.

City officials and construction and development executives joined the UIndy community in late May to celebrate the start of the Greyhound Village apartments project, which not only will house 480 upperclassmen and graduate students but also aims to fuel neighborhood revitalization. The four-story structure, part of the University’s ongoing campus and neighborhood development plan, will boost UIndy’s residential capacity by 20 percent when it opens in the summer of 2016, replacing the 1950s-era Campus Apartments at Shelby Street and National Avenue.

The joint venture between the University and local developer Strategic Capital Partners will feature 196 furnished units with kitchens, living areas, and washers and dryers in a variety of floor plans ranging from one to four bedrooms—each bedroom with a private bath. Designed by architects Schmidt Associates, the E-shaped structure will have three wings pointing east into campus, creating a courtyard and recreation area for residents. Many units will have balconies, and common areas will include an outdoor observation deck overlooking a pond. The brick exterior will match the existing campus aesthetic while conveying a modern urban feel. Construction is being overseen by general contractor CRG Residential, with the total project cost estimated at approximately $25 million. Students already are expressing interest in Greyhound Village, a name chosen through a campus contest.

A boost to the corridor

Greyhound_Village_Groundbreaking_0068But the project represents much more, as noted during the groundbreaking ceremony by Jason Dudich, chief of staff for Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, and Adam Thies, director of the city-county Department of Metropolitan Development. Both praised UIndy’s role as community anchor, collaborating with the city and private developers to bring attractive new housing to the Shelby Street corridor. Shelby Street connects the campus to the nearby Garfield Park and Fountain Square neighborhoods and also is the anticipated route of the city’s first bus rapid transit line, which could be operating as soon as 2018. An Indianapolis Star story in April, “Indy’s rapid transit plan moving fast,” reported that “Central Indiana’s bus rapid transit plan appears to be gliding toward reality, with a boost Thursday from the nation’s transportation head and plans to apply for a $50-million construction grant.”

The article also stated, “IndyGo President Michael Terry said the city would probably apply for a $40 million to $50 million grant in the fall to build a segment of the Red Line from Broad Ripple to the University of Indianapolis.”

A transit connection?

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The architect’s rendering of Greyhound Village, which will open in the summer of 2016.

Thies predicted that, with robust public transportation in place and the University population as a magnet for new development, the UIndy campus area could become a “transit village,” networked with other key locations throughout Marion County. “People come up and ask me all the time: ‘What’s the future hold for this city?’” he said to the assembled crowd and TV news cameras. “The future is anchor institutions (and) dense development, connected by transportation options that don’t exist today. “So this is the future. I could go through all the wonderful things about what President Manuel and his team have done here. They are the model of what anchor institutions mean. They are the model of what the future will hold for our city.”

The joint venture continues a collaboration with Strategic Capital Partners that also includes the four-story health pavilion on Hanna Avenue. Both projects are part of the campus and neighborhood development plan that includes a major library renovation, expanded science labs, athletics facilities, and new personnel and programs. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the University of Indianapolis and help execute the vision of President Rob Manuel and the Board of Trustees,” said Gene Zink, chairman and CEO of Strategic Capital Partners. “Their commitment to opening up the campus to the surrounding neighborhoods is taking shape and will have a lasting impact on the south side of Indianapolis.”