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Mark O’Neall

Tippecanoe County Looks to Diversify Housing

Posted: Apr. 15, 2019 10:40 PM – Posted By: Kayla Sullivan

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – County and city leaders, builders, developers and realtors in Tippecanoe County went to Monday’s housing strategy meeting to listen. 

“We want to hear what people want,” said Jay Andrew, a board member for the Builders Association of Greater Lafayette.

Greenstreet consulting took a year to find out what people want when it comes to housing. 

“More and more people are feeling the pinch and having trouble meeting the housing needs on their own income,” said Mark O’Neall, Senior Associate at Greenstreet.

Understanding what homeowners and renters value, could help stakeholders understand where to invest and where to cut cost. The study found household sizes are changing.

“People living alone or just with a partner are growing a lot faster than families,” said O’Neall. 

“Families used to be larger than what they are and now they are much smaller,” said Lafayette Director of Economic Development Dennis Carson. “You know, having less children and then people getting married later, so, all of those things are effecting those housing choices.”

In many cases, those smaller families are looking for less space. Andrew can see this type of housing work in downtown Lafayette.

“Some more of the high rise mix use stuff, so you can kind of have a restaurant down below, have some of the amenities some people are looking for,” said Andrew. 

However, the city knows it can’t be limited to downtown. They’ll have to expand to surrounding neighborhoods to be successful.

“Have enough rooftops and people that would support a downtown grocery store,” said Carson. 

Their overall goal isn’t just to house people, it’s to give them a place they want to live, a forever home.

“Just making sure that we are a fun city to live in you can prosper here but you can also have fun on a week night, a weekend and be happy with your daily life,” said Builders Association of Greater Lafayette member Jennie Dekker. 

Indy, Wayne Township Schools Launch Partnership

By Alex Brown, Multimedia Journalist, Inside Indiana Business 1/28/2019

The city of Indianapolis and the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township have unveiled a partnership focused on workforce development and improving neighborhood quality of life. The city says it will allocate $300,000 to fund adult education programs for Marion County residents in opportunity job sectors that are in high-demand but have unfilled positions. An additional $90,000 will go toward the district’s Area 31 Student Construction Vocational Program.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said the partnership shows the power of the public and private sectors coming together to not only help adults find jobs, but prepare young people for high-wage jobs that are currently in demand.

“I don’t think that there is anything that warms my heart, and I’m sure I speak for many, many parents throughout the Indianapolis community, for a young person who’s about ready to graduate from high school to truly have many, many different options and many opportunities. That’s what we ought to be giving each and every one of our young people.”

The city says the adult education programs target industries including HVAC, welding, clinical certified medical assisting and dental assisting.

The Area 31 Student Construction Vocational Program provides students with real-world work experience in high-wage, high-demand jobs in Marion County. Monday’s announcement took place at a home built by students enrolled in that program. Area 31 students have built two homes, with a third set to be complete by the end of the school year and construction on a fourth to begin in August.

The city and school district say economic and development nonprofit Indy Gateway played a key role in putting the agreement together. The organization pushes for the revitalization of westside neighborhoods.

Here’s what’s going up at Fifth and South in downtown Lafayette: A $10-million development

Dave Bangert, Journal and Courier Columnist 10/1/2018 10:45:00 AM

LAFAYETTE – Say goodbye to Lafayette City Hall’s parking lot at Fifth and South streets, developers prepare to build a complex of apartments and retail space in downtown Lafayette.

The city closed the parking lot on Monday to clear the way for Star City Crossing, a five-story mixed-use project expected to feature 76 apartments and 7,900-square-feet of commercial and retail space on the first floor, plus a parking facility. A timeline for the project wasn’t immediately available.

Construction of the $10.5 million project comes at a time when a city-generated study, released this summer, suggested that downtown Lafayette will need to have 550 to 800 more housing units by 2022 to meet the demands of the growing population.