New Block 20 development project near Mass Ave will bring additional parking, apartments

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A local developer will join city leaders in breaking ground on a new project four years in the making.

The ceremony will mark the beginning of construction on the $20 million “Block 20” mixed-use development.

Currently, the lot next to the historic Athenaeum building is used for surface parking. When all is said and done, developers say the structure will include a 252-spot parking structure, 77 new apartments and restaurant space.

The project will be done in partnership with the Athenaeum Foundation. 

“In comparison to what it is now, it’s desperately needed,” Athenaeum Foundation President Craig Mince said. “I think with growth on Mass Ave and everything around here, just adding parking to the mix is going to help quite a bit.”

Mince says the project will also include renovations to nearby streets. The asphalt will be ripped away on Cleveland Street and the original brick will be restored.

“Cleveland Street will be more of an activated space used not only for car traffic from time to time, but for events, festivals, there will be a bunch of art installations going on in the space.”

The development was not welcomed by everyone in the community.

The Indy Star reports that when the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Society recommended approval of the project a group of neighbors filed a lawsuit.

The suit expressed concern that the development would bring noise and traffic. They were also concerned it would not be in line with the historic ordinance.

Courts eventually sided with the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Society, but the project was severely delayed.

“Given everything that had happened in the courts and what not, this got stalled a little bit,” Mince said. “Now it’s back on the schedule, everything’s moving forward.”

Mince says the new building will compliment the historic Athenaeum building. The two will look very similar.

On Wednesday, Mince will join the president of Chase Developments, Mayor Joe Hogsett, and a handful of city officials at the groundbreaking ceremony.

It is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.

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