Picture a podunk farm town along a state highway with a sleepy little main street. A grain elevator is the tallest architectural feature, and the busy, big-city problems of Indianapolis feel far away. That was Carmel just a few decades ago. And that is Bargersville now—but probably not for long. Quietly, the subdivisions and fields southwest of Greenwood, commonly known as Center Grove, have become a magnet for high-earning professionals building big-ticket homes. But Center Grove isn’t really a “place” as much as it is a school district (and a good one at that). Which brings us to Bargersville’s strongest parallel to Carmel: Just as Carmel gobbled up western Clay Township in Hamilton County, Bargersville has recently absorbed big chunks of formerly unincorporated Center Grove, extending the town’s boundaries all the way to State Road 37. Those million-dollar “Center Grove” listings? Many of them are now in Bargersville. And while the thriving Umbarger & Sons grain elevator in the heart of town isn’t going anywhere, Bargersville proper is poised to catch up with the changing demographics. A downtown-redevelopment plan is in the works, and across the street from the grain elevator, Taxman Brewing—one of IM’s best new breweries of 2014—is already a destination.
The Turning Point
In 2011, Bargersville expanded its footprint from about 2 square miles to nearly 20, annexing swaths of White River Township. It engulfed numerous well-off subdivisions (along with their taxpayers) and a well-regarded school district. The transformation from cow town to exurb was underway.
What’s Holding Things Back?
While neat and tidy in their own way, the modest homes and storefronts of the historic downtown stand in marked contrast to the ritzy, gated communities proliferating on the outskirts. But planning is underway to add livability upgrades like bike lanes, and a new Main Street association plans to give downtown Bargersville a facelift. The hope is that Taxman’s success will encourage more businesses to set up shop.
Greg Costelow, partner in Parsetich-Costelow Development, with multimillion-dollar investments in a 47-acre sports complex along State Road 135 and the Kerrington Park subdivision
“The history of development in Center Grove over the past 20 years has been impressive. That growth, coupled with the sports history of the area, gave us the confidence to move forward with the sports complex. And in Kerrington Park, we’ve had an incredible number of early reservations.”
Who Lives Here?
Bryan Spetter, 43, married with two children Home-based investor and former CFO of Franklin College
“Generally, folks who come to Indy from out of town are going to be directed toward Fishers, Carmel, and Zionsville. That’s just how it has always been. But I think people would be pleasantly surprised by the residential market down here. There was a time when people would kind of shuffle their feet, look down, and say, ‘Aw, shucks, we’re on the south side.’ But I don’t get that sense anymore. People are pretty happy with the community they’ve built.”
3201 Autumn Run, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths
3220 Tremont Blvd., 5 bedrooms, 3.5 baths
» $1.5 million
5369 N. 400 West, 7 bedrooms, 7.5 baths
85 Percent Increase Since 2009
Average Home Price: $248,652