Indianapolis to engage neighbors on options for former Oaktree Apartments site

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INDIANAPOLIS — The City of Indianapolis fought for years to condemn and demolish the former Oaktree Apartments in the 4100 block of North Post Road.

“It sat abandoned for years,” said Kendra Nowell, Chief Programs Officer of CAFÉ:  Community Alliance of the Far Eastside. “An eyesore, definitely.”

In 2019, crews finally leveled the 19-acre site, leaving the field literally wide open for possibilities.

“A lot of the things that the residents would like to see, of course, is a grocery store because we are a food desert. A library. We don’t have a library in close proximity,” said Cheria Caldwell, CAFÉ Director of Community Engagement. “Some high-quality housing, either some townhomes or some single-family homes that are kind of like townhomes, so that they create some ownership opportunity over here. A swimming pool. We don’t have a swimming pool for the community. There’s also been some talks about having some recreational space.”

“Also, there’s been a desire for some restaurants. We don’t have a ton of restaurants in the neighborhood to go to.”

The Department of Metropolitan Development held a community meeting in May to solicit those ideas and then met with market experts to determine what’s doable and will update the residents Thursday night.

“We have gathered some input from the community through the public meetings and community conversations. We have also had a survey that is out and that’s helping us narrow down what the community wants to see,” said Carmen Lethig, Administrator for Long Range Planning at DMD. “We do have a team of consultants that is helping the larger planning team that is looking at the market as a whole and see what is feasible at that site, so, in this second public meeting, taking what we established from the first public meeting and the feasibility based on a market standpoint and narrowing down those possibilities.”

IndyGo is someday planning to open the Purple Line which will run from Lawrence down Post Road to downtown Indianapolis connecting residents with jobs and customers with whatever retail and hospitality options will be located at the former Oaktree site.

“It means it opens up ideas for workforce development, of course, jobs being right up there on the Line, potentially density of housing, more housing opportunities so really looking at what type of mixed-use development might be possible that would be beneficial right on a transit line,” said DMD Director Scarlett Martin. “Throughout the city, we’re looking at more transit-oriented development along those rapid transit lines and on the key transit corridors.”

For more information on Thursday’s six p.m. virtual meeting, visit this website:

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