The University of Indianapolis will host a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday on a four-story apartment building that will create housing options for up to 480 students while beautifying and promoting new development along the Shelby Street corridor.
The joint venture between the university and longtime local developer Gene Zink will feature 196 furnished units that feature a variety of floor plans with one- to four-bedroom units – each bedroom will have a private bath – and washers and dryers.
The structure will replace a 60-unit campus apartment complex at Shelby Street and National Avenue, which dates to the 1950s, as well as an adjacent row of aging duplexes, all of which now house 175 students. Construction, to be overseen by CRG Residential, should be complete by July 2016, in time for students to move in for the fall semester. The cost is estimated at $25 million.
Designed by Schmidt Associates, the E-shape complex will have three wings pointing east into campus, creating a courtyard and recreation area for residents. Some units will have balconies, and the building’s common areas will include an outdoor observation deck overlooking a pond. The brick exterior will match campus’s existing aesthetics while conveying a modern urban feel.
UIndy President Robert Manuel noted that the project has significance beyond the university community in part because of its location on Shelby Street, which connects the campus to nearby Garfield Park and the Fountain Square neighborhoods. The street is the preferred route for a proposed rapid transit line through Marion County.
“This is a beautiful building that not only will enhance the neighborhood’s visual appeal, but also will help build residential density and attract new commercial development to serve the UIndy community as well as our neighbors and commuters,” Manuel said. “Our relationship with Gene Zink and his team helps us to manage costs while providing students with the amenities and the quality they deserve.”
The venture between the university and UI Partners II LLC, of which Zink is managing partner, continues a relationship between the entities that includes a four-story health pavilion on Hanna Avenue. That building will open in August as the new home for the university’s programs in nursing, physical and occupational therapy, psychology, gerontology, athletic training, social work and clinical studies.
Both projects are part of an ongoing campus and neighborhood development plan that includes a major library renovation, expanded science labs, athletic facilities and new personnel and programs.
“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the University of Indianapolis and help execute the vision of President Rob Manuel and the board of trustees,” said Zink. “Their commitment to opening up the campus to the surrounding neighborhoods is taking shape and will have a lasting impact on the Southside.”