This information came to Urban Times after the August 2018 went to press.
Southeast Neighborhood Development – which has taken some criticism for its sale of the Wheeler Arts Community, to be converted into market-rate apartments – posted a response to that criticism on July 25:
An announcement of plans to invest $1.5 million to develop an additional 150 affordable homes on the southeast side of Indianapolis. The move is possible thanks to a SEND partnership with Core Redevelopment, which has assumed 80 percent ownership of two Fountain Square properties, including the Wheeler. The partnership is doing business as Wheeler Renaissance, LLC.
SEND sold the Wheeler Arts Community Building at 1035 Sanders Street and an office building at 1030 Orange Street to Core Redevelopment while retaining a 20 percent ownership interest in Wheeler Renaissance, LLC.
The sale enables SEND to develop new affordable units in its service area, including along Indy Go’s Red Line route and in the Greater Twin Aire neighborhood, SEND officials said. Bisected by Pleasant Run Parkway, Twin Aire’s boundaries are State St. to the west, Prospect Street to the south, Sherman Ave. to the east, and CSX Railroad corridor to the north.
“SEND’s board of directors, led by Chairman Rob Uppencamp, spent over a year exploring the sale of the Wheeler and its implications for Fountain Square and across our greater service area,” SEND President Paul F. Smith said.
Smith said the 55,000 square foot Wheeler Arts building requires significant repairs to the roof, siding, and exterior walls to stabilize the structure and keep safe for residents. “This new partnership will ensure that the building gets the necessary repairs, so the historic structure remains viable for decades to come. The sale to the new partnership will secure the future of the buildings, and the cash influx will allow SEND to invest in new affordable housing units,” Smith added.
SEND leaders, made up primarily of residents of the not-for-profit organization’s work area, said they are pleased to have a new partner with the expertise that Core Redevelopment brings to the table. The relationship also advances SEND’s ability to provide affordable housing for seniors and income-qualified families and residents.
The Wheeler Renaissance partnership provides existing Wheeler Arts residents five years of additional affordable housing. Should they want to relocate, current residents will also be given priority consideration for existing and future affordable rentals in SEND’s service area as well as home ownership opportunities.
Over the past 35 years, SEND has owned and developed housing, incubated the local charter school Southeast Neighborhood School of Excellence (SENSE), as well as provided public spaces for the entire city to enjoy. It renovated the Fountain Block Building into a 23-unit affordable senior housing development that also is home to the Fountain Square Branch of the Indianapolis Public Library. SEND has purchased, renovated, and sold or leased hundreds of affordable housing units on the southeast side of Indianapolis to renters and buyers, Smith said. SEND’s current available housing inventory includes 75 units, 52 of which are in the greater Fountain Square area.
SEND offices, currently located in the Wheeler Arts Community, will be relocated, most likely to a property in Twin Aire.
Core Redevelopment was started in 2009 by John Watson, an experienced industry professional pursuing innovative, creative real estate solution for both historic properties and new structures in urban areas. Core is a licensed general contractor, property manager, and a member of the National Association of Home Builders. The company has recently developed properties in Indianapolis, Lafayette, Terre Haute, and Cincinnati. In Indianapolis, CORE’s projects include the conversion of old Bush Stadium on West 16th Street to the Stadium Lofts, a residential rental apartment community.