When two thousand employees of Angie’s List were headquartered on a campus just east of downtown, business was good across Washington Street at Indiana City Brewing Company.
“We used to be pretty busy Monday through Friday with Angie’s List all around us,” said owner Ray Kampstra. “When they left town, it kind of fizzled away.”
Kampstra hopes the fizzle is coming back now that 1820 Ventures, an Indianapolis developer, has announced plans to build apartments, single family homes, a parking garage and retail and office space on the former Angie’s List site.
“We’ve been hoping for a while we would get more small boutique retail, more restaurants,” said Kampstra, “and there’s these great historic buildings and it looks like from the plans from what I’ve seen so far that they’re planning on keeping those which is great for the character of the neighborhood.”
1820 Ventures has presented its preliminary plans to the Metropolitan Development Commission which will consider in early June whether to extend the Downtown Tax Increment Financing District to the site to permit capture of any tax revenues generated by the project to remain in the immediate area.
The developer expects to break ground on an apartment building by the end of the year and envisions a $250 million development over the next ten years.
“I think it’s great for the campus and I think it’s wonderful for the community and for the city of Indianapolis which needs more housing in the downtown area,” said Kelsey Taylor, a former wellness director at Angie’s List who decided to stay in the community and open Taylor Made Wellness. “This area’s very walkable to downtown. All the venues and events that are downtown. You can just walk straight down Market Street and you’re back at home.”
Construction has kept Pine Street along the west side of the community closed for the last two years and now the I-65 rebuild promises more highway construction for the next two years.
The near eastside of downtown will soon become even more vacant as the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and Jail move to the Twin Aire Community Justice Center by the end of the year and Jail II along East Washington Street will be shuttered.
Taylor sees the proposed development of the Angie’s List site as an opportunity to remake the East Washington Street corridor gateway to downtown.
“What the neighborhood wants, we’ve got a bunch of new neighbors, a bunch of new buildings, and a coffee and sandwich shop is what everybody wants. They want to be able to just walk over there and have coffee and then come over to the gym and work out.”