TWG Development has created new housing options along the Monon Trail, a former rail line that’s now a popular greenway and trail system in Indianapolis.

Seeing that that there was a surge of market-rate housing being built but limited affordable options, the firm developed the 142-unit Monon Lofts to help meet the housing demands of many of the city’s workforce. Eight-six of the one- and two-bedroom apartments serve residents earning up to 50% and 60% of the area median income, and 56 market-rate units are offered at a 30% discount compared with the firm’s other properties in the downtown core.

The initial group of residents, which include hospital workers, restaurant staff, and graduate students, shows that the property is accomplishing its goals. “It’s a true workforce housing development,” says Jonathan Ehlke, development director, noting that the affordable apartments are indistinguishable from the market-rate units.

The property’s location allows residents to commute easily to downtown jobs and throughout Indianapolis. Extra bike racks and storage space has been included at the development. BlueIndy, an electric car-share program, is also stationed on site.

TWG hopes to repeat this model of bringing new construction, mixed-income housing in the downtown fringe to other markets, says John Sullivan, vice president of tax credit development.

Monon Lofts also benefits the larger neighborhood by replacing a blighted warehouse that had been vacant for more than a decade. The neighborhood is a designated Promise Zone, a federal initiative that brings together federal and local government to boost community and economic development.

The $18.4 million development was an early user of the Freddie Mac Tax-Exempt Loan program. It also received low-income housing tax credit equity from the National Development Council.