Plans set for abandoned neighborhood

For the second time, development is planned for a stalled neighborhood in the Center Grove area that has become overgrown.

The Riley Meadows subdivision, formerly known as Cricket Ridge, is about 40 acres of land along the west side of Paddock Road, between Olive Branch and Smith Valley roads in White River Township. In 1995, a developer planned to construct about 100 homes, brought in sewer lines and a road and built two models homes, but the plans eventually fell through.

The property became overgrown, and the two model homes burned down.

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M/I Homes of Indiana purchased the property in 2013 and submitted development plans to the county. But that project was put on hold when M/I began development of the nearby Harrison Crossing neighborhood, because the company didn’t want to compete with itself, division vice president Jerrod Klein said.

Now, with an improved housing market and the final section of Harrison Crossing nearing completion, the timing is right to move forward again with a new set of plans, Klein said.

M/I Homes has proposed building 105 homes on the property. The single- and two-story homes will range from 2,000 square feet to 3,400 square feet and be priced from $240,000 to $375,000, he said. Students from the new neighborhood would attend Center Grove schools, which is a key component in drawing residents to the area, Klein said.

The condition of the property has been a source of complaints from other residents in the area, Johnson County senior planner Desiree Calderella said.

Across the street is the Brookhaven neighborhood, whose residents have had to look across the road at the eyesore of overgrown acres for decades.

“People have been concerned about it, the brush and vandalizing, just getting it cleaned up is a big step,” Calderella said.

Part of the work needed will be to remove the infrastructure that was installed in the 1990s, which will cause the development process to take longer than normal, Klein said.

Work on the first phase of the project will be finished in late 2017 or early 2018. Home construction is planned to begin in the spring of 2018, he said.

The project still needs approvals from the county plan commission, drainage board and county commissioners, Calderella said.

Paddock Road will need to be widened near the entrance to the neighborhood, she said.

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Jacob Tellers is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at jtellers@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2702.