UPDATE: Southport Lieutenant Aaron Allan dies after being shot in Homecroft

Housing to expand on site of former psychiatric hospital in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- For decades, Central State Hospital was home to Hoosiers struggling with mental illness, but ever since the facility was shut down in 1994, the property has itself struggled to gain a foothold on Indianapolis’ economically challenged west side.

With the announcement of the Villages of Central State, 16 single-family homes, five townhouses and a duplex will be added to the apartments and senior housing already at the location, offering affordable residential units to homeowners who want to live near downtown.

“We’re adding market-rate housing,” said Emily Mack, Indianapolis’ Metropolitan Development Director. “It’s been years since market-rate housing has been developed on the city’s near west side. With six of these homes pre-sold, I’m incredibly optimistic about the economic impact this development will have on our community.”

Rusty Carr and his family will be some of the first residents of Villages at Central State.

“We saw this as a great opportunity for a new home, new construction, there are great amenities around here with the school right next door, track and field, there’s recreation, police presence with the horse patrol, so, we thought it was a great location close to downtown and we couldn’t pass it up,” said Carr. “Downtown is absolutely booming and we’re urbanites, we love downtown, we want to be as close as possible.”

Realtor Mark Nottingham recognized the need for affordable housing for buyers who might find the half-million dollar prices being commanded on the near north side of downtown out of their price range.

“I’m excited that you have this site less than two miles from downtown on the near west side that gets to be a new opportunity for people that love the urban core of Indianapolis to invest in that city,” he said.

The Villages’ groundbreaking comes two days after Ambrose Property Group announced plans to spend $550 million to build at mixed-use development on the site of the former General Motors Stamping Plant along the White River southwest of downtown.

“I think you’re going to see a lot of the development you’re seeing downtown just filter west,” said Carr. “Obviously with the GM stamping plant and Central State it’s going to continue trickle west and they’re going to continue to see the ripple effects of that.”

Construction on the $200,000 three- and four-bedroom homes is slated to begin later this year.