Just a few years ago, this area acted as little more than a bridge between downtown and the achingly hip cultural district of Fountain Square. Named for Calvin Fletcher, who had a hand in shaping the city shortly after it gained capital status, the place hit a rough patch in the 1960s when it was cut off from the city due to construction of I-65 and I-70. Today, thanks in large part to the Cultural Trail, a slew of acclaimed eateries, and major buy-in from local developers, Fletcher Place has become a destination once again. The chatter of al fresco diners and the yellow blur of Pacers Bikeshare cycles zipping down the Trail are common sights and sounds along Virginia Avenue. But despite its newfound trendiness, the neighborhood still manages to retain its historic charm. You can’t get around using the word “quaint” to describe front yards with white picket fences and well-maintained rose bushes. Outside the James Beard–semifinalist restaurant Bluebeard, a rustic bench bears this Vonnegut quote: “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.” The perfect sentiment for a neighborhood that has become the hottest in the city.
The Turning Point
The Hinge building, aptly named for both its shape and proximity (it sits squarely between downtown and Fountain Square), opened in 2012 with chic apartments, later adding the Asian restaurant Rook and a co-working space called The Bureau. Bluebeard put Fletcher Place on the culinary map, followed by brunch spot Milktooth, Chilly Water brewery, and Hotel Tango distillery.
What’s Holding Things Back?
The corridor of Stevens Street just beyond the intersection of College and Virginia avenues is one-way, limiting traffic flow to and isolating that end of the neighborhood. It could easily accommodate two-way traffic while maintaining the current parking. And ugly I-70, convenient as it may be, isn’t going anywhere.
Craig Von Deylen, developer of The Pin, a $1.5 million, 11,000-square-foot office building at 325 S. College Ave.
“We started developing here 10 years ago. Everyone else is just starting to figure it out. For awhile, the area has attracted people who want to live downtown in a quiet neighborhood. Now it has some of the best restaurants in the state. That’s why we bought The Pin. It’s going to be home to the next batch of small businesses.”
Who Lives Here?
Brittany Smith, 26, single, Yelp senior community manager
“I grew up in Union City on a farm and moved to Indy for Butler. Even while I was in school, I chose to live downtown. I knew I wanted a place on the cusp. I hit the jackpot as far as timing goes. There’s a sense of pride in the way people take care of their homes here. And obviously with my line of work, the saturation of local businesses here was a big attraction.”
706 S. Noble St., 2 bedrooms, 1 bath
736 Lexington Ave., 5 bedrooms, 3.5 baths
501 Fletcher Ave., 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths
85 Percent Increase Since 2009
Average Home Price: $276,426