The Family Condo

A family of four sits on a park bench.
August, Andrea, Ryan, and Addison Hunley downsized their home for the large playground of the city center.

Tony Valainis

When her family lived in historic Butler-Tarkington, Andrea Hunley could have knocked on multiple doors to borrow the proverbial cup of sugar. But after they moved into a quiet downtown condo and she needed cilantro for tacos? She took the elevator five floors down and hit up her “neighbors” at Adobo Grill, the lively Mexican restaurant on East Washington Street that closed in 2017. “They were so good to us,” she says.

Family and friends were skeptical when Andrea, husband Ryan, and their two young daughters left a four-bedroom house in 2015 and bought a two-bedroom condo in a former bank building. What about all your stuff? Easy—they unsentimentally gave things away to friends and family, except for the holiday decorations and outdoor gear piled comically high in their storage alcove in the building’s vault. Where are the girls going to play? This past winter, they did snow angels at Lugar Park, a new addition to the City-County Building. This summer, they’ll kick a soccer ball around the public green-space at the new Cummins office tower. Addison, 10, and August, 8, have normal kid lives, including sleepovers with friends. “Ever try to fit seven girls into 1,300 square feet?” Ryan says. “It’s wild,” Andrea adds. (So is their washer and dryer, a single contraption in the kitchen that performs both functions.)

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110 E. Washington St., 317-262-4989
Management Meridian Management Corp.
Size 26 condos
Parking Garage space included in the HOA fees, which range from $443 to $1,223.
Walk Score 92
Price The average condo lists for $300,000
[/sidenote]What the family lost in physical space, it gained in quality time and weekend-getaway freedom. No more Saturdays spent on home maintenance. No more time-consuming commutes: It takes eight minutes for Andrea and the girls to ride their bikes to Center for Inquiry #2, an IPS magnet school, where Andrea is the principal. Ryan zips along the Cultural Trail to his office at Second Street Creative, where he is owner and art director. The family walks to services at Christ Church Cathedral on Monument Circle.

More than adjusting to less square footage, moving has meant a shift in mindset. They have to creatively solve conflicts in a place, where, as Andrea jokes, “There are only two doors to slam.” They also expanded their concept of neighbors to include the fellow bus riders at the Julia M. Carson Transit Center. “It was important for us to be as intersectional with as many different people as possible,” Ryan says. “I’m most thankful our kids are growing up that way.”

Why did you choose this unit? The built-in bookshelves. How many places did you look at before this one? Seven or eight, but all were snapped up quickly. What’s something you’d change about downtown? There’s no Target.