Housing boom continues near Ball State University

By RicK Yencer

MUNCIE, IN - Look for more apartments along fraternity row at Ball State University as off campus housing remains a multi-million dollar market.

 The latest development of a modest 16 apartments will be built in the 800 block of West Riverside Avenue across from Cardinal Pointe and 400 Apartments and just east of BSU's fraternity housing.

 Muncie City Council decided to rezone the four properties for multi-family housing despite concerns from neighbors about parking, drainage and available utilities.

 Council President Jerry Dishman asked for a land and traffic committee review, and council Vice President Julius Anderson offered an impromptu question and answer with developer Dave Lamb's attorney and architect.

 Mike White, who lives a few blocks from the site, believed a plan was needed to charter the growth of apartments in the neighborhood instead of spot zoning now employed by council that makes the neighborhood looking like it has a case of the measles.

 Despite the unanimous vote, some council members questioned whether parking was adequate besides how  access to parking would be from an alley instead of a street.

 The apartment building is the third development council approved around the university in the past year. With growing enrollment and talk of closing LaFollette Hall, the largest on campus, there has been a rush to building new apartments for students as well as staff and other employees at the university and IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital.

 Council just approved rezoning a bundle of properties south of University Village where Chicago developer Brinshore is spending $15 million on an apartment village.

 And the big development by Campus Crest out of Charlotte, N.C. on McGalliard Road at Oakwood Avenue will add more than 200 more apartments by the end of 2013.

Council President Jerry Dishman acknowledged even a fourth development near the Village that might be considered by spring. 

 Ball State also has spent millions of dollars in recent years building and renovating on campus housing. The new Kinghorn Hall was built on the edge of Neely neighborhood where more than 20 homes were demolished. And Studebaker and Woodworth halls have been rebuilt along with plans to renovate Johnson too.


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