Line Lofts to Bring Affordable Senior Housing and Youth Services for Visually Impaired Population

On October 30th, 2019, TWG Development broke ground on a new project at 1142 Southeastern Avenue. This new development, Line Lofts, will provide a mix of important amenities to the Near Eastside community and the City of Indianapolis. Line Lofts will create 63 new two-bedroom units of affordable senior housing. The development of affordable senior housing allows aging members of the community to stay in the neighborhoods they have long called home while adjusting to a more comfortable lifestyle. However, what truly makes Line Lofts unique is that one-fifth of its units will be designed for seniors with visual impairments. Specific features that will aid visually impaired residents will include oversized elevator buttons, tactile markings, and dedicated ride sharing pickup spots, as well as a park area and washing station for service animals. In addition to these design features, the site sits on the future Blue Line Bus Rapid Transit corridor. Despite having an address on Southeastern Avenue, Line Lofts will be a significant part of the Washington Street landscape. Residents will be able to exit the building directly onto Washington Street, allowing easy access to future Blue Line bus stops. The intentional development of Line Lofts along a major transit corridor will allow seniors, specifically those with visual impairments, to maintain a connection to other parts of Indianapolis. This new housing development will further add to the diversity of options available to Near Eastside seniors, while also meeting the specific needs of visually impaired neighbors.

 

Pictured above: Speakers from Line Lofts groundbreaking (Picture credit: TWG Development)

 

In addition to housing, Line Lofts will be the new home of the Visually Impaired Preschool Services (VIPS) Family Services Center. VIPS is a non-profit organization focused on early intervention and support services for children with blindness or low vision and their families. VIPS was founded in 1985 in Louisville, Kentucky, to serve visually impaired children from birth through age five. Since then, VIPS has opened a second Kentucky office, located in Lexington, as well as their Indianapolis office. The services provided by VIPS include in-home or daycare intervention, preschool transition assistance, and recurring group meetings for parents. These services help families face the particular challenges that come with raising a child with a visual impairment, both physical and emotional. The VIPS Indiana office is currently located at the Indiana Interchurch Center at 1100 W 42nd Street, but will move into a new space at Line Lofts when the building is completed. Over 6,000 square feet on the first floor of the building will be developed to provide VIPS with the space they need to provide the best services possible to the families they serve. In addition to the space inside the building, there will be an outdoor area designed to stimulate the senses of the visually impaired children that will play and learn there. However, according to VIPS Indiana Regional Director, and Near Eastside resident, Meredith Howell, the larger and more specialized space will allow VIPS to focus on providing better services rather than more services. Unlike their current space, VIPS Indiana’s new Family Services Center will be entirely designed and constructed for the population they serve, an improvement that Howell thinks will be momentous: “The new VIPS Family Resource Center will provide Indiana’s youngest children who are blind or visually impaired a safe and accessible space that is designed specifically with their sensory loss in mind.  Families of these children will soon have a physical community where they can find respite, knowledge and support during this unexpected journey in parenting.  We are excited to be in a position to offer the children and families we serve more and we couldn’t be more proud to be moving to the Near Eastside!” In their new and improved home, VIPS Indiana will continue to provide vital support to children with visual impairments and their families.

 

Pictured above: Rendering of Line Lofts featuring VIPS logo (Picture credit: TWG Development)

 

Line Lofts promises to be a special development for many members of the Near Eastside community and beyond. By providing space for affordable senior housing and VIPS at the same location, Line Lofts will be a model of how community development can take an intergenerational approach to further benefit everyone involved. The development of Line Lofts aligns with the Promise Zone’s Live IndyEast goals by creating specialized, affordable, multi-unit housing that will benefit new and existing neighbors. Due to its alignment with Live IndyEast goals, the Promise Zone was pleased to support TWG Development’s application for Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) through the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA). IHCDA offers preference points on LIHTC applications for projects within Promise Zones, enabling TWG to strengthen their proposal. Line Lofts will be a new asset for the Near Eastside that will benefit not only the tenants of the building, but the surrounding community and its businesses as well.

 

Check out our other stories on TWG Development’s work in the Promise Zone:

Minnie Hartmann Center

Ford Building

Florence Fay Apartments