A project featuring 12 condominiums in five buildings on the northern edge of Lockerbie Square was approved by the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission at its Jan. 3 hearing
The $11 million development by Litz and Eaton Investments features three double units facing the 500 block of Park Avenue, four units in the 500 block of East North Street and two units facing tiny Leon Street, just to the east of the Barton Annex. All of the lots involved are currently vacant.
The project was unveiled at the IHPC’s Dec. 6 hearing, at which time the developers did not seek a vote. They instead heard feedback from commissioners, resulting in several modifications to the project.
Those modifications met the approval of the commissioners, including more space between the various buildings, a bit extra off-street parking and minor design changes. The developers have also committed to an improved landscape plan to be reviewed by IHPC staff.
Commissioner James T. Kienle had urged the developers to commit to brick sidewalks along Park Avenue. But IHPC administrator David Baker said that in previous cases that action had only been required when there was no existing sidewalk, or the existing sidewalk was seriously deteriorated. He also said there were questions whether the IHPC had the authority to require brick sidewalks when a serviceable sidewalk existed. He also pointed out that the southern half of the 500 block of Park Avenue had concrete sidewalks, meaning that block would have two separate types of sidewalk if brick were mandated.
Kienle did not pursue the matter further, voting along with the rest of the commission to approve the project. He said that despite the lack of brick sidewalks, the development was “a handsome addition to Lockerbie Square.”
The project includes off-street parking accessible from both North Street and the east-west alley on the south side of the development. The developer said the type of gates to be featured had not been determined, and will be subject to staff approval.
The three sets of four-level doubles facing Park Avenue will be clad in brick in a variety of colors, with pitched roofs on two of the structures and a flat roof on the middle unit. On each structure, the fourth level is set back with rooftop patios. The four-story building with four units facing North Street will be mostly brick with some wood composite siding. The building will feature a standing seam pitched metal roof. The single three-story building facing Leon Street features two units and will be brick clad on all sides with a flat roof and a cast-stone base.
Litz and Eaton purchased the property involved in the development from Daniel C. Jacobs, who had originally planned a multi-story apartment building but later determined that Litz and Eaton were better positioned to improve the property in a manner fitting the Lockerbie environment.
Developer Daniel C. Jacobs has, meanwhile, abandoned a project to build a four-story brick-and-metal building with 10 residential units and off-street parking in the same block as the Litz and Eaton project. The project would have been located in the 500 block of Leon Street. After meetings with the Lockerbie Square People’s Club, Jacobs said he decided to sell the land to a yet-named developer who would do a project more in keeping with the neighborhood.
The Indianapolis Historic Preservation had gotten its first look at the project at its Dec. 6 hearing in a preliminary review with non-binding commissioner comments. The petition was continued to the Jan. 3 hearing, but was not heard at that date. The petition was continued, with Jacobs planning to subsequently withdraw it.
Jacobs also has plans to develop the tract of land at 602 N. Park Ave., a building most recently occupied by Outliers Brewery and which for many years housed the Tway manufacturing company. The petition had been scheduled for the Jan. 3 hearing, but was continued to Feb. 7 without debate and at the petitioner’s request.
The project tentatively involves a seven-story structure which would be built on the surface parking lot on the west side of the Tway building, as well as on land now occupied by a newer rear addition of that structure. The larger part of the Tway building would be used as parking.
Jacobs said he wanted to preserve the historic nature of the Tway building, as well as the Park Avenue streetscape. As for the residential tower, he said plans are for it to have the upper level stepped back. He considers the project an important “mid-block development,” unusual in the Downtown area.