The Levinson

Noblesville Aims to Start Modernizing Downtown with First New Apartments in a Century

August 12, 2018

Noblesville announced Friday the first step in a long-term plan to modernize its historic downtown and increase the number of residents and businesses around the courthouse square.

A developer will introduce a plan for a $24.3 million, 83-unit apartment building with commercial space on the first floor at Maple and 8th streets.

Mayor John Ditslear said they would be the first new apartments downtown in more than a century. And city officials said more apartments could be on the way.

“It will help bring urban density to our square to support our local businesses, restaurants and shops,” Ditslear said in a news release. The plan will be introduced to the City Council on Tuesday night and could be voted on Sept. 11. If approved, construction could start in March, with the apartments completed in the fall of 2020.

The Levinson, as the proposal is known, would be four stories high and contain one- and two-bedroom apartments. Ten of the units will be “affordable,” or below market rate. A four-story, 337-space parking garage, with 237 spaces for paid public parking, will be attached to the building.

Fishers-based Rebar Development will build the apartments with project partner Hageman Group, named for Noblesville pioneer and attorney S.O. Levinson. Company spokeswoman Autumn Gasior said the rents are expected to be $700 to $1,350, with a 15-20 percent reduction for the affordable units.

Noblesville would be just the latest suburb to build apartments downtown as a way of boosting its economy and adding vitality to the streets at all hours.

Carmel and Fishers have been doing so for several years, and McCordsville, Brownsburg, Plainfield, Greenwood and Bargersville are all in the process.

“The Levinson will attract and retain millennials, empty-nesters, high-earning and workforce professionals to downtown — serving as an economic driver for Noblesville restaurants and businesses,” Rebar President Shelby Bowen said.

But while Fishers and Carmel have free public parking attached to their taxpayer-subsidized downtown apartments, Noblesville plans to charge.

City spokesman Robert Herrington said that would be consistent with the city’s management of surface-levels lots, which charge for parking, and some spaces around the square, which are metered.

The public will likely get a chance to comment on the plan when it is introduced at Tuesday’s meeting and, again, on Sept. 11.

The city will issue bonds to fund $16 million of the project, including $13.2 million for the parking garage. It also expects to collect $185,000 a year from parking permits and hourly fees, as well as from property taxes.

The city is planning other improvements on the square. They include wider sidewalks, miniparks with benches, public art and entertainment in alleyways. Light fixtures and benches would be redesigned, decorative pavement would be laid down and gateway arches would be installed.

Officials said the changes would preserve the historic aesthetic of the square, which is lined with several local restaurants, coffee shops, clothing stores, galleries and antique sellers.

See the original news article here.