Keeping historic homes affordable in Indianapolis’ King Park Neighborhoods

Indianapolis’s King Park neighborhoods feature some of the city’s most treasured spaces – historic buildings listed on the National Register, tree-lined boulevards with vast green space, and a significant piece of the city’s arts and culture history. But the area’s new-found popularity and resurgence have led to an increase in the local cost of living and housing. King Park Development Corporation is at the front lines of preserving this area’s historic legacy while also maintaining affordable housing options for local residents.

Originally built in 1915, The Gramse – a two-story, yellow-brick-and-limestone Bungalow, primarily in the Craftsmen style – was listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings in 2011. Initial construction was made possible through financing from BMO Harris and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), as well as funding from the City of Indianapolis, but then the housing crisis hit. And in 2017, King Park Development Corporation and IFF worked together to create a long-term financing solution for the project. With a $600,000 permanent loan from IFF and additional support from LISC, The Gramse apartment building project got back on track and will provide affordable housing options to the community for the next 15 years.

“This project represents an enduring investment in a community and organization that’s contributing to critical comprehensive community development efforts in a holistic way,” said Nate Lichti, Director of Real Estate Services for Indiana. “Also, it’s proved that you can incorporate green building into historic renovation – and still keep it affordable.”

King Park Development Corporation was formed in the 1980s by a group of community members concerned with disinvestment. One of their core enterprises has been to encourage home ownership by purchasing and renovating blighted buildings, and then re-selling them at affordable rates. The agency is currently rehabilitating The Gramse – a historic apartment building built in 1915 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.

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