Apartments proposed for former Knitwear site

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GREENFIELD — A developer wants to put 48 apartments on a site formerly operated by a textile company.

Fort Wayne-based Keller Development is pursuing the project at a former industrial site at 230 E. Osage St. owned by Indiana Knitwear, which operates in a building north of the site. To help fund the project, the developer is seeking tax credits administered by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, which will be awarded later this winter.

Indiana Knitwear’s current structure on the south side of East Osage Street would be removed to make way for two walk-up style buildings. All of the apartments would have two bedrooms.

The apartments would be similar to Broadway Flats at 210 Center St., which opened in 2019. Keller Development also developed that complex.

Greg Majewski, business development specialist for Keller Development, said at a Greenfield Plan Commission meeting last week that apartments would be available to households earning up to 80% of the county’s median income. It would not be subsidized housing, he added.

“Tenants have to meet the income limit, but they also have to have means to pay the rent,” Majewski said.

Monthly rents would range from $480 to $660, he also said.

Majewski said top household income limits the community would accommodate would be $45,920 for a one-person household; $52,480 for a two-person household; $59,040 for a three-person household; and $65,600 for a four-person household — the largest possible household the project could accommodate.

Tax credits Keller Development and other developers are seeking to help fund developments will be awarded on Feb. 25. If awarded, construction would most likely start in summer 2021 and end in summer or fall 2022, Majewski said.

Majewski said 64 parking spaces would be available on the site and 15 more across the street through a shared-parking agreement with Indiana Knitwear, exceeding the 1.5 spaces per unit required by the city.

The property would also have bike racks, Majewski said.

Several Greenfield residents who live in the area expressed concerns at the meeting, including about more traffic on a narrow East Osage Street; fears over an increase in crime; and more noise.

“It’s dangerous up and down that road for anybody, with all these cars running up and down as it is,” Kenneth Godsey said. “And then if you get these apartments in there, it’s just going to be congested day and night.”

The plan commission approved Keller Development’s plan, with Jason Koch, Steve Cooper, Gary McDaniel, Paulette Richardson, Becky Riley and Mike Terry voting in favor and Kristi Baker, Jeff McClarnon and David Spencer voting against.

Koch, who’s also the city’s engineer, said during the meeting that he thinks concerns raised about East Osage Street will be able to be mitigated.

“I don’t necessarily think having very narrow roads is a bad thing, because it forces people to slow down and drive a little bit safer and a little bit more cautiously,” he said.

Parking could be restricted on one or both sides of the street if it becomes a problem, Koch added.

McClarnon told the Daily Reporter that the developer’s plans rely too heavily on the possibility that there will only ever be one vehicle associated with each apartment on the premises, which he thinks is unlikely.

“I think that builder is a good builder and they make a nice property,” he said. “It was a tough vote for me, but it’s just too crowded right there.”