Old Colonial Crest redux: Bloomington OKs mostly same site plan for 671-bedroom student-oriented housing project, but under different zoning

Approved by Bloomington’s plan commission on Monday night was a site plan for a project that would demolish the old Colonial Crest apartment complex, now called The Arch, on the north side of town.

In the place of 206 apartments and 393 bedrooms, spread across 15 separate two-story buildings, the developer plans to construct four residential buildings with a total of 241 apartments and 675 bedrooms, according to a letter from Smith Design Group, which is the consultant for the Aspen TOPCO II Acquisitions project.

That nets roughly 270 more bedrooms on the same site.

It’s basically the same site plan that the plan commission approved in mid-June.

According to Bloomington senior zoning planner Eric Greulich, the big difference between the version approved by the plan commission on Monday, compared to what was approved three months ago, is the lack of any new public roads proposed inside the project site.

Instead, Greulich said, one long driveway will wind through the site, with perpendicular parking off the driveway. A total of 495 parking spaces is included in the site plan. Continue reading “Old Colonial Crest redux: Bloomington OKs mostly same site plan for 671-bedroom student-oriented housing project, but under different zoning”

236-bedroom project on east side gets green light from Bloomington plan commission

Getting unanimous approval from Bloomington’s plan commission on Monday night was a development on the east side of town that will construct 176 new apartments with 236 total bedrooms in five buildings.

Called The Overlook on 3rd, the planned development also includes a self-storage building and a clubhouse, and 265 parking spaces.

The site is a vacant parcel on the south side of 3rd Street,  just west of the WHCC radio tower. The new development will leave in place existing buildings in the immediate vicinity.

The plan commission’s Monday night discussion centered on the new driveway cut onto 3rd Street. The new cut will replace an existing driveway opening that is offset from Morningside Drive to the north. The new driveway entrance, from the south, is planned to align with Morningside Drive.

The question of the driveway entrance nearly caused the petition to be delayed. But a motion to continue consideration of the petition until the plan commission’s October meeting failed on a 3–6 vote. Continue reading “236-bedroom project on east side gets green light from Bloomington plan commission”

Bloomington street sheds eugenicist’s name on unanimous plan commission vote, will now be called Eagleson Avenue

The north-south street that cuts through the Indiana University campus in Bloomington will no longer be named after David Starr Jordan, the school’s president from 1885 to 1891.

Jordan was a proponent of eugenics, which advocates for the improvement of the human species through selective mating.

On a unanimous vote taken Monday night, the city’s plan commission changed the name of the street from Jordan Avenue to Eagleson Avenue—for the portion of the road that runs from Davis Street to 17th Street.

The name change does not take effect for another four and a half months. It’s not effective until Feb. 1, 2022.

The street is being renamed for four-generations of the Eagleson family, starting with Halson Vashon Eagleson who was born a slave in 1851.

According to a mayoral-appointed task force report, Halson Eagleson arrived in Bloomington in the 1880s and became a prominent barber. His five children attended Indiana University. The report describes how in 1910, he opened Industrial City, a home for “colored” orphans in Unionville.

A  little less than a year ago, in October 2020, the IU Board of Trustees voted to remove the name Jordan from Jordan Hall, Jordan Avenue Parking Garage, and Jordan River.

To make its recommendation, a joint IU and city task force worked on the Jordan Avenue renaming from April through July of 2021.

Despite the unanimous vote, the renaming of the street was not an easy decision for some of the Bloomington plan commissioners. Continue reading “Bloomington street sheds eugenicist’s name on unanimous plan commission vote, will now be called Eagleson Avenue”

64-unit housing site plan near park OK’d by Bloomington plan commission

A 64-unit affordable housing project to built as a 5-story building on South Walnut Street got its site plan approved by Bloomington’s plan commission on Monday night.

Called Retreat at Switchyard, the project will include 116 total bedrooms.

The 1.5-acre site is at the east entrance of the city’s new 64-acre Switchyard Park, home of the former Night Moves building, which will be demolished.

The project does not need an additional approval by the city council, because it meets the requirements of the city’s unified development ordinance (UDO) and does not require a change to the existing mixed-use corridor zoning.

The building is allowed to exceed the standard four-story limit for the mixed-use corridor zoning district, because it meets the “Tier 2” affordable housing incentives in the UDO.

Continue reading “64-unit housing site plan near park OK’d by Bloomington plan commission”

Approved: Former Kmart site to add 340 apartments, 900 bedrooms to Bloomington’s multi-family housing inventory

If demolition and construction go according to plan, by July of 2023 the former Kmart on Bloomington’s east side will be transformed into a multi-family and student-oriented housing development.

Bloomington’s plan commission gave the project a 7–0 vote of approval at its regular Monday meeting. Monday’s hearing came after one in May that was originally supposed to be continued in June, but was delayed until this week.

The proposal from Trinitas, called The District at Latimer Square, will leave Bloomingfoods in place. But the project will give the grocery store a slightly reconfigured parking lot and sidewalk connections. Continue reading “Approved: Former Kmart site to add 340 apartments, 900 bedrooms to Bloomington’s multi-family housing inventory”

Old Colonial Crest apartments in north Bloomington to be demolished, replaced with new residential complex by 2024

Off Gourley Pike, west of Miller-Showers Park on a 12.3-acre piece of land, sits the old Colonial Crest apartment complex, now called The Arch, with its 208 apartments and 406 bedrooms, spread across 15 separate two-story buildings.

Based on apartment rental websites, residents there now pay a monthly rent between $680 and $925 for the 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom units.

With the Bloomington plan commission’s major site plan approval granted Monday night, that complex is now set for demolition, to make way for a project by Aspen Heights Partners (AHP) called AHP-Bloomington Apartments.

The new complex will feature just three buildings—two 4-story buildings and one 5-story building—with a total of 235 apartments and 653 bedrooms, and a total of 261 parking spaces.

That’s a net gain of 27 apartments and 247 bedrooms.

The new complex is set to open by fall 2024, according to David Helfrich, who is east division president of the Austin-based Aspen Heights.

Continue reading “Old Colonial Crest apartments in north Bloomington to be demolished, replaced with new residential complex by 2024”

Zoning law revisions considered by Bloomington plan commission: 3 down, 7 to go

Proposed amendments to the text of Bloomington’s unified development ordinance (UDO), and proposed changes to the citywide zoning map, were scrutinized by the public in late 2020.

The insertion of the word “all” in one spot is the only change to the UDO made by Ordinance ZO-02-21. It was unanimously recommended for adoption by the plan commission Monday night. The more controversial aspects of the 10-ordinance package are not expected to be heard until March 25 at the soonest.

Revised versions of the proposed text and map changes have now landed in front of the city’s nine-member plan commission.

In about an hour on Monday night, the city’s plan commission dispatched a handful of the more non-controversial zoning changes.

Votes on three proposed changes came after commissioners received an overview of the whole package from development services manager Jackie Scanlan.

Plan commission president Brad Wisler remarked, “We’re off to a pretty good start here.” Continue reading “Zoning law revisions considered by Bloomington plan commission: 3 down, 7 to go”

Rezone request for 87 acres in Bloomington’s southwest tip continued by plan commission into 2021

On a vote taken by Bloomington plan commissioners in mid-December, a rezone request for an 87-acre parcel now zoned as a PUD (planned unit development) got continued to January’s commission meeting.

The request was first heard by Bloomington’s nine-member plan commission in November.

The planning staff’s position is that the commission should make a recommendation to the city council against the requested rezoning of the Bill C. Brown parcel at Fullerton Pike and I-69. The request is to change the zoning from its current PUD designation to MC (mixed-use corridor).

The owner’s position is that the existing zoning has contributed to the parcel’s lack of development over the last 30 years. Continue reading “Rezone request for 87 acres in Bloomington’s southwest tip continued by plan commission into 2021”

77 more Bloomington bedrooms: Johnson Creamery downtown residential project gets plan commission OK

Looking west? Johnson Creamery Rendering
Rendering of project with view to the west. The B-Line Trail is in the foreground.

A new mixed-use building just off the B-Line Trail to the north of the Johnson Creamery building—with its landmark smokestack—got a 9–0 approval from Bloomington’s plan commission Monday night.

The five-story building will include 27 studio, 22 one-bedroom, 5 two-bedroom, and 6 three-bedroom apartments for a total of 77 bedrooms.

The interior parking area for the project will include 38 spaces. Continue reading “77 more Bloomington bedrooms: Johnson Creamery downtown residential project gets plan commission OK”