For Old Town Companies CEO Justin Moffett, the opening of his company’s latest development in Carmel is the culmination of what began as an act of faith.
Several years ago, a friend and mentor encouraged Moffett to consider how Old Town could benefit the community beyond providing quality housing, planting an idea for what would become North End. Moffett described the journey and end result as an “experience in redemptive community building.”
North End celebrated its grand opening Nov. 28 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, remarks from key partners in the project and self-guided tours. The mixed-use development between U.S. 31 and the recently reconstructed Smoky Row Road in north Carmel includes apartments, townhomes, retail and office space, an urban garden and, eventually, a farm-to-market restaurant in a historic home.
But what makes North End truly special, according to Moffett, is that 40 of its 168 apartments are permanently designated as attainable units for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. During a series of community conversations held while North End was in the planning stages, Moffett said he heard a recurring theme that this type of housing was extremely limited in the area.
“We had a strong conviction that this was meaningful work that we wanted to pursue,” Moffett said during the ceremony. “I have come to believe in the providential timing of how a lot of this has come together. We stepped forward as an act of faith, and every step of the way the next right relationship was in front of us, available to help us move this dream forward.”
Incorporating dedicated attainable units for adults with disabilities complicated many aspects of developing the project, especially financing, Moffett said. He thanked Merchant’s Capital, RDoor, the City of Carmel, the Village of Merici and other partners for their efforts to make North End a reality.
Moffett credited outgoing Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard for setting a vision for the city that made a project like North End possible.
“He’s constantly encouraged me that you’ve got to put big ideas out there and risk failure to see them come to fruition,” Moffett said. “Our internal discussions have been if we can’t pull it off in Carmel, Indiana, you probably can’t pull it off anywhere. So, let’s try to set the standard here, and then go share the idea with others throughout our state.”
Colleen Renie, Village of Merici executive director, said she appreciates that the project aims to integrate adults with disabilities into the Carmel community through housing and local business partnerships. Among the Lawrence-based nonprofit’s goals is to connect adults with developmental disabilities with residential opportunities.
“Providing the technology that we are giving individuals to allow them to be more independent and less reliant on parents or family or staff is one of the biggest experiences we can offer them,” Renie said.
Learn more at LifeAtNorthEnd.com.