From the Ground Up
Town of Avon Gives the Lowdown on the Satori Pointe Construction Project
Writer: Christy Heitger-Ewing
For months, the town of Avon has been abuzz trying to decipher what’s being constructed in the area in front of the YMCA off of Rockville Road. Confusion has mounted because, over time, plans have changed and evolved. The original concept that was pitched to the Town of Avon in 2009 was for multi-level, multi-use buildings with retail on the bottom, office space in the middle, and living quarters (either apartments or condos) on the top. It’s the kind of unique design that has popped up in Carmel and surrounding towns. But then confusion mounted and rumors swirled about what actually was going to be built.
“We went through a year of misinformation and misinterpretations about what was going to happen there,” says Aaron Tevebaugh, Avon Town Council President.
Residents raised concerns about various issues. For instance, some speculated that the current road, Satori Parkway, wasn’t built to handle a higher traffic volume due to increased residential traffic. Others worried that apartments would yield an increase in crime and create more police runs for the area.
“Our Public Works Director, Ryan Cannon, gave us all the data on that and reported that retail actually has more traffic than residential because it’s so fluid in people coming and going,” Tevebaugh says. After finding the traffic flow was of no concern, they reviewed police data and found that there was no validity to that concern either. In addition, Tevebaugh spoke to Washington Township trustee Don Hodson to address fire safety.
“Hodson said that as long as the buildings are constructed properly, apartments are no more prone to the prospect of fires than single-family residences,” Tevebaugh says. “We vetted all the data and really tried to dig deep into the concerns to see if they were genuine and there really wasn’t anything that came about over all of that.”
The difference in how the plan has changed is that though the area will still be multi-use, now developers are constructing 270 multi-level, 1- and 2-bedroom residential apartments with a minimum of 65 internal garage units and a minimum of five detached garage units totaling 25 units. Each will include private covered patios, and residents will have access to a resort style pool, clubhouse, workout room and small fenced dog park. The project will also connect to the existing trail system.
“There will be 10 buildings all together,” says Jodi Dickey, Director of Planning and Building.
Construction began in October on the apartments, which will be erected in phases, though all construction is estimated to be completed in 2018.
“They’ve got all the footings done and framing is starting to go up,” Dickey says. “They are raising the buildings on the east side first and then west side will be second.”
These high-end apartments, which will rent at market rate for an average of $1,000-$1,200/month, will be constructed in all the middle lots between the front lots that back up to the frontage on 36 and the YMCA. The front lots are reserved for future retail development, which was zoned to C-2 to be a catch-all retail.
“It could be any number of things that go in there — a grocery, restaurants, banks,” says Dickey, who is thrilled to see something develop since it was originally approved nine years ago.
“We are a community full of single family detached housing, and although it seems like we have a lot of apartments in Avon, only about 20 percent of our housing stock is apartments,” Dickey says. “We want to provide a wide variety of housing options for folks, which includes apartments, smaller housing on smaller lots and larger homes on larger lots.”
The dense development and current infrastructure means that no new roads will have to be built and no new water or sewer has to be put in. Plus, its proximity to the YMCA and the hospital is a big draw.
“I think there is a section of the younger population — mainly millennials — that this type of plan appeals to,” Tevebaugh adds. “A lot of millennials are in their 20s and they want to be surrounded by the things they’re going to use the most.”
Tevebaugh notes the national trends and data that report communities desire a project like this.
“There’s a subset of the population that doesn’t want to have the two-story house and the big yard to take care of,” Tevebaugh says. “This will be the first of its kind in Avon. Only time will tell if it’s something that’s going to be real popular here.”