First of Its Kind Housing Development Being Built in Westfield
Photographer / Amy Payne
As most know, Westfield is growing at an exciting pace, and the same holds true for downtown Westfield.
“The city is investing significant money into Grand Junction Park & Plaza so there is quite an interest in the development of what will be the new downtown,” says Pat Chittenden, site developer with Patch Development. With a handful of popular restaurants on Park Street such as Chiba, Rail Epicurean Market, and the Italian House on Park, it’s a quaint location that attracts ample clientele.
Patch Development has plans to tap into an adjacent three-acre site and construct a total of seven Craftsman-style homes that are smaller in size but situated on narrow lots. The homes can be as small as 1,800 square feet but also can go much larger given that the lots are really deep. The other option for adding size is to include basements or living quarters above the detached garage—ideal for children who go off to college but return home for summer vacations and breaks. Such spaces could also be used as guest quarters.
“This [development] is not dissimilar to what Old Town started doing in the Carmel area,” Chittenden says. “They will be kind of Meridian-Kessler-esque homes that are high-quality craftsmen even though we are trying to stay in a price point that people can afford.”
Though the homes appeal to several demographics, their primary target is the empty nesters who are looking to downsize.
“What often happens is that empty nesters downsize from a square footage standpoint but end up paying more for the new homes that they build,” says Chittenden, noting that they are keeping these homes under $600,000. Millennials who are ready to move on from apartment living and into their first starter home in an urban setting are also taking interest.
“People like that urban/suburban setting and being able to walk to the parks and restaurants,” Chittenden says. “We are a two-minute walk from what will be the new park in downtown Westfield and a five-minute walk to the adjacent restaurants.”
Though Patch Development has a preferred builder in Ben Davis with BBG Construction, folks may use their own builder if they so choose.
“Ben is fantastic,” Chittenden says. “In 2017, he won the Home-A-Rama People’s Choice award.”
Davis, who does all the design work in-house, loves the area.
“I enjoy being a part of these urban redevelopment projects and the lifestyle they represent,” Davis says.
So far, three lots have sold, leaving four remaining.
Steve and Julie Jones purchased one of the lots because as soon-to-be empty nesters, they were looking at urban lifestyle options within a vibrant, walkable downtown.
“Union Row presents that perfectly right in the community we already live,” they say.
Though it’s not a huge project, Chittenden expects that they’ll gain traction and more interest in replicating this type of thing in the future.
As roads in the area are widened by INDOT over the next several years, that means several existing structures on the south side of 32 will be demolished, creating an opportunity for downtown Westfield to erect brand-new vibrant buildings and developments, thereby transforming the landscape.
Chittenden mentions how Carmel now has four-, five-, and six-story apartment buildings with retail and frontage. He maintains that Westfield will have opportunities to do such developments, too.
“It’s not going to have that same style because Carmel, Zionsville, Fishers, Westfield, Avon—every town has its own vibe, but it’s going to be a great new development,” Chittenden says.
Construction is scheduled to begin in the next several weeks. Once the dirt starts moving, Chittenden suspects interest in the project will escalate.
“We think that once people see activity, those other four lots will sell up real fast,” Chittenden says. He also expects that there will be opportunities to do this in other areas because along Union Street and SR 32 in Westfield is very walkable.
“Even the high school is not that far of a walk from downtown,” he says.
To learn more about Union Row, visit the Instagram account: @unionrowwestfield.