Affordable housing project proposed at Switchyard Park in Bloomington

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RealAmerica wants to  transform a site adjacent to the City of Bloomington’s new Switchyard Park into affordable housing and commercial space.

Indianapolis-based company has proposed to develop 1730 South Walnut St. into “Retreat @ the Switchyard,” a four- or five-story apartment building offering 50 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments and 3,000 sq. ft. of commercial space on the ground floor.

Each apartment will be furnished with modern amenities, free Wi-Fi, and a patio or balcony; 10% of the units would be equipped with disabled-accessible features. The proposal also includes common spaces including a common room, fitness center, computer room, dog wash, playground, bike racks, and office space for Stone Belt caseworkers.

The city’s Redevelopment Commission purchased the 1.5-acre site at the park’s eastern entrance. A Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE)-certified company based in Indianapolis, RealAmerica was selected from among 10 housing developers that responded to a request for information (RFI) issued in November 2019.

RealAmerica is partnering with Stone Belt to seek financing of the development of Retreat @ the Switchyard through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program administered by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority.

RealAmerica proposes to partner with the city to identify a local architect for the building’s design and appropriate tenants for remaining ground floor commercial space.

The timeline for development, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, will include an application for funding to the LIHTC by September 2020, design and engineering in the spring of 2021, and construction estimated for completion in the summer of 2022.

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