At its January meeting, the Fishers City Council heard an introduction for a project requesting to rezone 20.86 acres at the southeast corner of 126th Street and Brooks School Road. If approved, the planned unit development will be called The Preserve at Gray Eagle, which will consist of 155 residential units, including 101 garden-style units, 28 townhomes and 20 paired ranch-style homes.
The proposal is the culmination of several years of work by the Gray Eagle HOA to keep the Gray Eagle Course open. In September 2018, the Gray Eagle Golf Course owner’s group announced its intent to close the driving range, which many residents didn’t want to see happen.
The Preserve at Gray Eagle proposal would keep the Gray Eagle golf course and driving range and add bocce ball courts, pickleball courts, a clubhouse, a fitness facility and pedestrian connections. If approved, the development will not impact the Gray Eagle HOA dues.
Steve Hardin, an attorney representing developer J.C. Hart, said the proposal is a resident-driven solution.
“The HOA shared goals with the homeowners in spring 2019 on how to keep the golf course, clubhouse and driving range,” Hardin said.
The development is designed for people 55 and older. The developer plans to help fund upgrades to the clubhouse and improvements to the golf course and protect the golf course in the future. If the golf course is no longer economically viable in the future, the developer plans for the course to become a greenspace.
J.C. Hart Vice President of Development Todd May also presented to the council. He lives in Fishers in a home on the golf course.
“We knew this needed to be a win-win-win situation. It needed to be a win for the community, something acceptable to them. It also needed to be a win for the golf course owners to meet their financial objectives, and it needed to be a win for the city,” May said. “So, that’s a delicate balance to weigh all those needs with three significant partners in this project. Most important, this project needs to be successful. It needs to be a place people want to call home. It needs to be a place where we can have an enjoyable living experience.”
The proposal targets the renter-by-choice market for people who want a maintenance-free lifestyle, which, according to May, is an unmet need in Fishers.
May said he recently learned that research showed Indianapolis is No. 6 in the nation for the “baby-chaser market,” or empty-nesters looking to downsize and stay close to their children and grandchildren.
“Fishers is a great family community, but there’s not a lot of places that target for that 55 and older demographic,” May said.
Although the proposal was only a first reading and therefore council didn’t conduct a vote, several councilors commended the project.
“I just want to say this is an amazing project that I’m supportive of. I really think this is an example of a wonderful collaboration,” council member Cecilia Coble said. “I think it’s going to be a great kickstart to this golf course.”
An economic development agreement is anticipated to be presented to the city council in the near future. For more, visit fishers.in.us.