Hitting 'Heights': Moving Forward Project Begins in Bloomington

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Picture Courtesy: Pedcor Investments Picture Courtesy: Pedcor Investments

A statewide initiative designed to help low- to moderate-income Hoosiers find affordable, efficient housing continues to roll along. Work is underway on the $10 million B-Line Heights development in Bloomington.

Pedcor Investments Vice President of Real Estate Development Brandon Delk, the developer in charge of the project, says B-Line Heights has been about 10 years in the making. He says the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority has tasked Pedcor with creating something "that is innovative, that is transportation-oriented but also very sustainable and energy-efficient."

B-Line Heights will be located in downtown Bloomington in the Trades District, the city's technology park overlay. The project marks the first private investment in the district, which is a conglomerate of city-owned properties that Bloomington leaders are hoping to turn into locations for businesses and incubators.

"We thought, you know what, for an innovative housing project, how cool would it be to co-locate with other innovative businesses in the area with like mindsets," said Delk, "where you're putting something that is not necessarily a business, but maybe roofs over the heads of folks that are potentially employed in the housing district to make it more of a live-work-play atmosphere."

Delk says the overall goal is to reduce housing and transportation costs for Hoosier families. Those expenses, he says, can account for about 45 percent of household spending. Developers worked with partners including Purdue University and Indianapolis-based Applied Engineering to identify cost-effective ways to increase energy efficiency. In addition, Carrier provided high-efficiency HVAC units at discounted prices.

The location of the development is also a big part of the plan. The property is next to the city's public transportation system and near the B-Line trail, a multi-modal, multi-use path. Delk says services, retail, dining and job opportunities are all within walking distance of the property, meaning users can walk or bike and perhaps negate the need for a second family car.

B-Line Heights is part of Moving Forward 1.0, which also includes the under-construction Posterity Heights in Fort Wayne. Moving Forward 2.0 involves projects in Indianapolis and Lafayette, while the third phase will include developments in East Chicago and Gary.

Pedcor anticipates the grand opening for B-Line Heights to come in the late summer or early fall of 2019. It will feature 34 housing units, with one-, two- and three-bedroom options for renters with incomes ranging from $26,220-$43,440.

Delk says he can personally attest to the fact that development of the site has been a long time coming. He won a case competition involving the property about eight years ago while a student at the IU Kelley School of Business. Now that work is finally underway, community leaders believe Bloomington will be a welcome addition to the Moving Forward movement.

Delk says his team’s selection was an example of “reverse engineering” of sorts from the state.
Delk says the location of B-Line heights will help residents cut down on transportation costs.
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      While quality of place may be defined differently by people, a growing number of Hoosiers recognize the importance of this issue. In particular, the impact of quality of place on talent attraction and retention in a geographic area cannot be ignored. The future of every community is dependent on quality of place. Like many Midwestern states, Indiana is not growing at the same pace as areas in the southern and western regions of the United States.



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