East Central Indiana: Where Affordability Meets Opportunity
From downtown lofts to rural living, you can find your perfect place to call home.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot about what we now consider “normal life.” For example, as many companies have shifted to remote working, people are no longer tied to the communities where their jobs are located, and several are packing up and moving to another city.
Top of mind for those considering a move: affordable housing options. The good news is East Central Indiana has it covered. Not only does the region have a variety of options available at affordable costs, it is investing in infrastructure to better meet the needs of current and future residents.
“The factors that contribute to the low cost of doing business in East Central Indiana also apply to living here, with affordable housing and utilities, plus close proximity to airports and regional metropolitan centers,” says Mindy Kenworthy, president/CEO of the East Central Indiana Regional Partnership. “We have plenty to offer right here, whether you prefer rural living, small towns or medium-size cities.”
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Focusing on Infrastructure
Some communities are using creative ways to attract housing developments by utilizing Tax Increment Financing, or TIF funds, approved by the Indiana State Legislature. This tool can provide immediate money to invest in needed infrastructure like water, sewer and roads to support residential housing projects.
Rushville was one of the first communities in Indiana to use TIF funds, and officials say they are involved in several housing initiatives.
“Rushville already boasts affordable housing options, too,” says John McCane, executive director of the Rush County Economic & Community Development Corporation.
Knightstown-based KDC Investments recently completed 24 market-rate, one- and two-bedroom apartment units in Rushville as part of a $5.25 million development on West 16th Street. There are 32 more units yet to be built. Plus, the City of Rushville partnered with Joyner Homes to develop 62 new housing lots for development, with new homes already under construction.
New Developments on the Rise
Other East Central Indiana communities also have new development taking place, including Muncie, where White River Lofts is scheduled to open in mid-2021.
The mixed-use downtown building includes three stories of 55 residential apartments, along with a first floor that is meant for restaurants and retail spaces.
Additional options in the region include Hartford Square Apartments in Hartford City, which offer residents an affordable and quiet setting with studio and one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments. Under construction in Marion, Heritage at University Village homes start at around $130,000.
On the Move in Yorktown, IN
Under Yorktown’s Downtown Redevelopment Plan, several developments are in the works. In September 2020, the Yorktown Town Council approved a plan to invest $6.5 million to construct a three-story mixed-use building called The Oliver, named after Yorktown founder Oliver Hampton Smith.
The building, which will be located on Smith Street and Meadowview Lane, will feature 26 Class A residential lofts on the top two floors as well as a first floor for restaurants and commercial, office and coworking spaces. Fishers-based Rebar Development is overseeing the project.
“This will be a keystone to our downtown development, with The Oliver scheduled to be inhabited in March 2022,” says Pete Olson, Yorktown town manager. “And a little west of The Oliver, another developer is starting work on a 65-acre downtown site that will feature a mix of single-family townhomes and a senior citizens section.”
Olson adds that other recent additions to downtown Yorktown include a new town hall, a downtown Civic Green park, streetscape improvements and waterworks infrastructure upgrades.
“We want downtown Yorktown to be a walkable district with good food and entertainment options,” he says. “We are also planning to eventually build a walking bridge across Buck Creek to connect the new Civic Green park with our existing 60-acre Morrow’s Meadow park that hosts multiple community events.”