NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — The City of Noblesville is growing. This week, it announced development plans with a total estimated value of more than $700 million.
Mayor Chris Jensen said expanding Noblesville’s footprint in Wayne Township has been a goal for the past several years, and it’s one they plan to reach with a chunk of previously annexed land.
“This is probably, on the very largest end, 600 acres of residential is nothing to balk at,” Jensen said.
The space could provide new housing options for hundreds of people in central Indiana.
“Growth is something natural that happens when you’ve got something great,” current Noblesville resident Cameron Sprinkle said.
“Everybody wants to live where we are,” Noblesville resident Phyllis Garrison added. “I understand that because it’s wonderful, but I don’t know. I just don’t know if there’s a need.”
Apartments, townhomes and some age-restricted units will soon go up on the east side of Noblesville, which Jensen said has been underserved in the past.
“It sounds silly, but it’s absolutely true,” Jensen said. “We didn’t have sewer service on the east side of Noblesville east of Boden Road. We now have that agreement in place with HSE Utilities.”
Some current residents are worried about affordability, but Jensen said the city’s vision includes something for everybody, meaning housing at various price points.
“I think Noblesville — out of most communities in Hamilton County — tends to have the most diverse housing needs,” Jensen said. “But that’s why we continue to study those.”
Other concerns Noblesville residents have are related to the infrastructure that may need to be developed to support the development.
“They’re building tons of apartment buildings in places where they don’t have the roads to accommodate the traffic,” Garrison said.
An agreement with developers addresses infrastructure concerns and includes plans to resurface and widen nearby roads.
“And oftentimes, these developments are the catalyst for these road infrastructure improvements going forward,” Jensen said.
Jensen added that the city is also planning for 10,000 square feet of retail space and a large amenity center with a pool, parks, trails and more.
“I’m glad that there will be more jobs brought to this area,” Sprinkle said. “I know that, post-COVID, finding good jobs was kind-of tough.”
As the city prepares to welcome a potential influx of newcomers, some locals are feeling sentimental.
“It’s so quaint still,” Garrison said. “I don’t want to happen to it what kind of happened to Carmel, where it’s just so crowded and the charm will eventually leave.”
“Parts of Noblesville that I love that are simple and quiet, they might be less simple or less quiet,” Sprinkle added. “But I don’t feel like I have the right to demand that it stays that way.”
Jensen said ground could be broken as early as this winter, but the city is expecting it to be a work-in-progress over potentially the next decade.