INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - A $39 million dollar plan to build an apartment complex in the Meridian Kessler neighborhood is officially dead, but residents are still concerned about the area's future.
Developer TWG dropped its proposal to build a four story complex at the old AT&T site. The decision is a win for neighbors that felt the project was too big for the district and would've caused too much traffic.
“We’re happy to see that this project has been withdrawn,” said resident Steve O'Neil, who was also working for collegeavenueindy.org. He put up yard signs around the neighborhood that read 'Homes, Not High Rises!'
But before all of the signs come down, neighbors want to know what's next?
This time, their concerns surround a different project: IndyGo's Red Line. The rapid transit is planned to run through the area and residents like O'Neil worry another large project could be on the horizon. He claims grant money for IndyGo's Red Line is dependent on some kind of transit oriented development happening in the neighborhood in order to grow ridership for the route.
"The ridership projections that IndyGo has right now for the Red Line, we think, are wildly exaggerated, considering the low ridership that is currently seen on the College Avenue bus that comes through here right now,” said O'Neil.
We took those concerns to IndyGo which denied those claims.
A spokesman responded with this statement:
"Since the TWG project announcement, there has been confusion about the proposed development and IndyGo's Red Line bus rapid transit project. The TWG apartment complex proposed at College Avenue and Kessler Boulevard has always been a stand-alone private development.
The Red Line project was scored and reviewed by the federal Department of Transportation and was recommended for grant funding based on the current land use, population and employment along the line. IndyGo's project is very competitive and scored well based on what's existing today.
There is no direct connection between these two projects."
Critics like O'Neil hope the next builder eyeing the AT&T property will be able to work alongside residents.
“We are not anti-development. We’re pro-development," said O'Neil. "We want this site to be developed. But in a way that compliments and works with the neighborhood rather than something that does not fit at all, due to size, density, architecture, number of parking places, etc.”
He urged residents in the Meridian Kessler neighborhood and neighboring areas to provide input about what they'd like to see move in. You can send your feedback to the Meridian Kessler Homeowners Association or contact www.collegeavenueindy.org.