CHARLESTOWN, Ind. — Developers are now breaking ground on new construction in the historic Pleasant Ridge neighborhood in Charlestown, Indiana.
The neighborhood was built in 1942 for the working class. Ellen and David Keith, have lived in the neighborhood for 47 years, growing their family. Their granddaughter now lives right across the street, and now they spend their time visiting with her twin sons.
In 2020 Charlestown issued 165 permits for new home construction. In the first quarter of 2021, 67 new construction permits were issued in the first quarter. In March, two of those new permits were issued in Pleasant Ridge.
Matt Toole, President of Infinity Homes and Development, LLC said “We're excited to be a part of the historic redevelopment of Pleasant Ridge.” Toole believes the city is in a “pivotal point in history” and said, “Infinity is honored to be a part of this milestone and the success of Charlestown.”
In 2015 the first conversations of redevelopment consisted of demolishing every home. The Keiths did not approve, they wanted to keep their long-time family home.
"It's a unique neighborhood where people still get outside and sit on the porch; not a lot of neighborhoods do that anymore," said Ellen Keith.
For the past five years, there have been disputes and lawsuits over the redevelopment of Pleasant Ridge. The most recent lawsuit was settled in December 2020.
Mayor Treva Hodges says it is a relief to finally see construction. She said the current development respects both parties. "It shows respect for the existing residents in the neighborhood and Charlestown citizens. They get to enjoy their private property rights," she said.
Toole anticipates Infinity’s homes will be available for new residents by early July and that pricing will range from the mid $170,000's to $220,000's.
The Keiths support the redevelopment. They have seen the history of Pleasant Ridge, but are hopeful for the future.
"I'm still sad because so many people lost their homes," said Keith. "I am also happy to see redevelopment here and more houses going in because that means our community is going to survive."