Nostalgic housing set for Fortville


FORTVILLE — A new housing development with design elements meant to evoke the World War II era is planned for near downtown Fortville.

Davis Homes has been working with Fortville planning administrator Adam Zaklikowski to plan a small addition near 429 W. Staat St. that will feature 39 single-family homes, all with two-car garages and front porches, ranging in price from $200,000 to $275,000, officials said.

Davis Homes, an Indianapolis-based developer, has constructed some 20,000 homes throughout central Indiana and is currently building 20 neighborhoods, according to the company’s website.

The Fortville plan is unique, with multiple elements giving a nod to the feel of an old downtown, said Brad Davis, president and CEO.

“I’ve never seen a project like this,” he said.

The homes in the proposed neighborhood range in size from 1,100 square feet to some 2,400 square feet and are planned to be designed in a style known as neotraditional, Zaklikowski said. The houses will be built with modern, high-quality materials, but their details will hearken back to a time before automobiles dictated how neighborhoods were built, he said.

This means the attached garages will be set back from the sidewalk a minimum of 35 feet, creating a look similar to pre-WWII houses that had garages built on later, he said.

“Because of the location of the property, it’s relatively close to the downtown area,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity to do something a little bit different, something that would be in keeping with the character of the downtown area.”

Neotraditional housing developments are growing more popular, popping up in downtown Indianapolis, the mixed-use Saxony neighborhood in Fishers and the Village of West Clay in the Carmel area, Zaklikowski said.

With construction slated to start as early as this spring, the development planned to be built just west of Flat Rock Creek and east of Fortville Memorial Park is the first to follow the guidelines set forth in Fortville’s proposed new standards for new housing developments, he said.

The template follows the concept of “New Urbanism,” which promotes walkability, sustainability and matching new construction to the style of existing neighborhoods, Zaklikowski said. New Urbanism also values building homes near traditional downtowns to keep them vibrant, according to the Congress for New Urbanism website.

An adjacent neighborhood contains a walking trail to the Fortville Memorial Park, and the planned houses will be within walking distance of Fortville’s downtown, which town planners have been working to make more pedestrian-friendly, an effort that has included installing more stoplights at intersections with Broadway Street.

Part of the plans for the project, which fills a triangular area not previously developed, include creating a transitional buffer along the border of the neighborhood, said Rex Ramage, a land use planner with Faegre Baker Daniels, the law firm representing Davis Homes.