By Samm Quinn
Daily Reporter

GREENFIELD — A new apartment complex featuring amenities that encourage healthy living — including bike and walking paths and a community garden — is coming to Greenfield. A developer with a history of Hancock County projects is working with city officials to build a multifamily living community just north of Interstate 70 in Progress Park, Greenfield’s business district.

The Justus Companies, an Indianapolis developer that over the years built two subdivisions and the Green Meadows shopping center in Greenfield, as well as the newly opened Woodland Terrace senior living facility in New Palestine, has proposed building a complex composed of up to 260 one, two, and three-bedroom units.

City officials have given the family-owned company, which boasts more than 20,000 homes and communities across the state, preliminary approval to build in the business park, agreeing to rezone the land so apartments may be built. Final approval from the city council is expected to come at the Feb. 8 council meeting.

The complex would be built in Progress Park between East County Road 300N and Opportunity Parkway, off State Road 9. Elanco, which consists of five buildings, would be the complex’s neighbor. The complex will consist of 14 two and three-story apartment buildings featuring one, two and three- bedroom apartments plus a clubhouse.

The apartment complex will be wellness-based, with amenities including walking and biking trails throughout the community and leading to natural wetlands on the property’s southeast side. Other amenities will include a dog park, an electric car charging station, bike racks, a pool and a community garden — features the developers hope will attract young professionals to the area.

Walt Justus, president of the company, said the project in Greenfield is one of a few apartment models the developers are building around the state that focus on promoting healthy lifestyles by offering wellness-based amenities.

Ron Pritzke, a local lawyer representing the Justus Companies, told city officials during a recent meeting the company plans to invest about $25 million in the project, developing nearly 33.5 acres of land in the business park. Pritzke, who has worked in real estate, construction and business law in the area for years, said it’s likely the most upscale apartment project to be built in the city’s history. The apartment community joins Greenfield Village, Greenfield Crossing, Bluestone, Washington Village and Prairie Meadows apartment complexes in the city. So far, rental costs and a timeline for construction have not been publicly presented.

City officials say it’s a unique proposal that might bolster business in the park, while encouraging local employees to live in Greenfield. Hancock Economic Development Council Director Skip Kuker told Greenfield City Council members he’s in favor of the project, which would bring apartments with higher-end amenities to the business park. He said he believes opening an apartment complex there might generate growth within the business park, which was first established in 2008. It’s a factor he can sell when speaking with businesses interested in the area, he said. “This is a great benefit for our community, especially from an economic development standpoint,” Kuker said.

Greenfield Mayor Chuck Fewell said the project aligns well with the city’s comprehensive plan, a blueprint detailing potential future growth. City officials have talked for years about ways to encourage young professionals who work in Greenfield to also make the city their home. Apartments featuring amenities young people are interested in might attract them to move here, Fewell said.
“It’s something we’ve needed,” he said.