INDIANAPOLIS — The City-County Council Monday night is considering more than $23 million in tax increment financing bonds to support a trio of apartment developments that promise to bring more than 600 new units to Indianapolis’ strapped rental housing market.

”Downtown is about 96% occupied,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Scarlett Andrews. “Around the county, at the end of the year, it was about 90%, so we do have pretty high occupancy rates around the city, but especially downtown, so that indicates to us we have an opportunity to build more housing, which will hopefully slow down the growth rates of rents and even that out a bit more in our city.”

Two of the planned developments skirt the edges of downtown, while one project will bring 232 apartments to a $65-million, six-story building with ground level commercial and retail space near the intersection of East 62nd Street and North Guilford Avenue in Broad Ripple.

The other developments in line for tax increment financing support include the renovation of the former Ivy Tech Automotive Center at 1331 East Washington Street into 200 new apartments and the demolition of the shuttered White Castle Distribution Center on Virginia Avenue to make way for a $60-million, five-story building housing 200 apartments and 14,000 square feet of retail and commercial space.

Kyle Roberts of World Famous Hotboys Chicken across the street awaits his new Fountain Square neighbors.

”I would imagine people living around here would be a younger crowd, and I feel like that’s our large customer base,” Roberts said. “I feel like we serve people from the teenage to the early thirties, and I’m hoping that’s what it will be.”

Andrews said city participation through tax incentives helps push developments over the finish line or lets builders add amenities to their projects.

”It allows us to participate in some projects that otherwise would not be developed,” she said, “so, for example, if there are costs that are prohibiting something from being developed, a difficult site to work with from a redevelopment standpoint, or structured parking or other things that are expensive for that development, it helps us participate in that project.

”The developer is still paying their full share of property taxes, but they’re able to essentially take advantage of the growth in those property taxes in the form of a bond.”

As a result of tax increment financing participation, the city encourages developers to address the needs of Indianapolis and not simply their investors.

“Something that we’re really emphasizing is construction along transit lines to provide high access to other amenities folks want to live close to, and what we’ve also asked them to do is make some kind of commitment around affordable housing,” said Andrews. “We’ve been leveraging our incentives around affordable housing as much as possible so these developments either make a contribution to the housing trust fund, which supports the development of affordable housing and permanent supportive housing for those experiencing homelessness, or they have units of affordable housing in the development.”

Monday night, the City-County Council will also introduce a proposal to provide $19 million in tax increment financing bonds to help rebuild the City Market and Gold Building by adding more than 400 apartments to the core of downtown, including 60 in a proposed $175-million 11-story, residential tower to be built on the east end of the City Market property.