Millikan on Mass awarded $750,000 to help create job, business opportunities

The Millikan on Mass Commercial Center, the new redevelopment project along Massachusetts Avenue downtown, has received a federal grant of $750,000 to create new employment and business opportunities for low-income individuals, Mayor Gregory Ballard and Insight Development Corp. announced today.

Located in the 500 block of Massachusetts Avenue, Millikan on Mass will add 61 units of affordable housing, up to 68 market-rate apartments and about 14,000 square feet of commercial space to the city’s downtown cultural district. The project also includes improvement to the long-standing Barton Towers.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services awarded Insight and the Riley Area Development Corporation the grant as part of a $16 million national program to expand job opportunities to low-income individuals in America’s neighborhoods.

Insight will use the $750,000 for the construction and interior improvements of commercial space and the creation of 30 full time jobs, 75 percent of which will be filled by low-income individuals. The grant also will provide job training, education programs and public transportation options to help area residents become more self-sufficient.

Quote from Mayor Ballard.

Millikan on Mass is a partnership between the Indianapolis Housing Agency (IHA) and its non-profit development arm, Insight Development. The project continues Insight’s groundbreaking development strategy of combining private financing, federal funds and tax credits to complete the redevelopment, instead of solely using government dollars as most traditional housing projects have done in the past.

The total development cost is $12.2 million. Federal tax credits, contributed by City Real Estate Advisors, Fifth Third Bank and The Huntington National Bank, provided $11.2 million of this amount, with the balance funded locally by IHA and Insight.

“Millikan on Mass is changing the face of Mass Ave and will provide opportunities for continued economic growth along the corridor,” said Insight president Bruce Baird. “What’s more, this project represents a true community partnership of private and public financers, local businesses and area residents to cement Mass Ave as one of our city’s crown jewels.”

About Insight. Insight seeks mixed-source financing to preserve, improve and reuse existing properties, transforming community liabilities into assets, while creating high quality, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families. Established in 1999, Insight has served as sole or co-developer on developments worth more than $88 million, resulting in 462 affordable housing units, 14 market rate units and 52 home ownership units. Insight currently is renovating 1,320 and creating 229 units of affordable and mixed income housing.

“IHA and Insight have redefined how housing projects in Indianapolis are envisioned and completed,” said IHA executive director Bud Myers. “Other cities are beginning to duplicate what we’ve been doing here, which shows we are on the right track toward more innovative and significant projects in the future.”