by Shari Held

New home construction is going strong in the Greater Indianapolis area. Based on current information, Steve Lains, CEO of the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis (BAGI), anticipates 10,000 single family permits will be issued in the nine-county metropolitan area by the end of 2021. That would represent a 20 to 25 percent increase from 2020. And 2020 saw a 30 percent increase over 2019!

So where is all that growth occurring? It’s all along I-70, I-69, I-65, and 31, the city’s major transportation corridors. Convenient access allows workers to easily commute back and forth to their jobs and other destinations. Plainfield, Brownsburg, Avon, Zionsville, Carmel, Fishers, Westfield, Noblesville, Pendleton, Greenfield, Greenwood, Franklin, and Trafalgar have all experienced growth in recent years.

But easy access is only part of the picture. “The communities that prosper in those areas are the ones that embrace growth and build amenities that attract sustainable growth because they understand the tax benefits it brings to their community,” Lains says.

Currently you’ll find pockets of new growth in the suburbs, downtown Indy, and “surban” areas. Here’s a look at some areas of trending development and what you’ll find in them.


Homeowners have always been attracted to the connection to nature that suburban living offers – lakes and water features, woods, wildlife, and hilly terrains. In the suburbs you can build a spacious home on a large lot – something more difficult to find in urban areas. The suburbs have long been touted as the best place to raise a family. Typically, crime rates are lower, and the cost of living may also be lower. Post- Covid, some communities saw a resurgence of growth as people wanted to escape densely populated cities.

Builder Joe Garcia, owner of G&G Custom Homes, Inc. in Westfield, builds homes in both Hamilton and Boone counties. He anticipates growth will remain strong there in 2022.

“Boone County is actually busier now than Hamilton County,” Garcia says, adding that Carmel doesn’t have readily available land for new growth.

Within Boone and Hamilton counties, Garcia considers Zionsville and Westfield the two hottest growth areas. Growth there is being spurred by Chatham Hills in Westfield, Home of the 2016 and the upcoming 2022 Home-A-Ramas, and Holliday Farms in Zionsville, home of the 2020 Home-A-Rama. Both are resort-like golf communities, each featuring hundreds of custom homes.

“People love building in the suburbs,” Garcia says. “I think they choose to live in these communities because of all the amenities.”

Perks make life more convenient and enjoyable. And these communities offer the ultimate in amenities. They feature 9 and 18 hole Pete Dye championship golf courses, clubhouses with indoor and outdoor pools, fitness centers, tennis and pickleball courts, trails and nature settings, event space, and childcare, plus many others. Chatham Hills even boasts a four-lane bowling alley, gym, and two indoor golf simulators.

Aberdeen in Bargersville, a gated community touted as Indy’s first wellness lifestyle community, was the site of the 2021 Home-A-Rama. Its 100 acres of common space, trails, three lakes with fishing and boating, and wooded areas are all conducive to an active lifestyle. Aberdeen features a community farm, two outdoor courts, and two community buildings where residents can participate in programmed activities. The 2021 Home-A-Rama Virtual Experience is still available at


The suburban housing market quickly rebounded from the Covid aftermath, but the downtown Indy market was a different matter. “It took eight to 10 months to start to see some strength return to that market,” Lains says.

Now, two pockets of growth are going strong in downtown Indy. One stretches from Washington Street up along the Massachusetts Avenue Corridor to the North and Northeast side. Another hotspot is the old Central State location in the West Washington Street and Hope Road area.

BAGI’s IndyRama 2021 urban home tour featured seven custom homes and townhomes in some of the most popular downtown spots. You can view the virtual tour on BAGI’s website. Indy-Rama 2021 featured homes by MI Homes of Indiana, Integra Builders, Onyx+East, Green Square Design|Construct, The Re-Development Group, and The Property District.

Land is at a premium and lots are narrow, which means most single-family residences favor vertical construction – two-or three-story townhomes. They often feature detached garages with separate living quarters above that give the owner the option to rent it out.

So, what’s the appeal of downtown living? Being able to walk to Indy’s premier sports and entertainment facilities, top-rated restaurants, theaters, museums, shopping centers, parks, and other attractions, for starters.

And who is building homes there?

“We have two ends of the spectrum who find downtown lifestyle appealing,” Lains says. At one end are the 30- to 40-year-old young adults who moved into downtown apartments during the city’s resurgence and don’t want to leave now that they are in the market for a new home. At the other end there are empty nesters who want to downsize and enjoy the excitement of downtown living.


“Carmel and Fishers are examples of communities that had enough foresight to understand the changing marketplace – what people’s needs and interests are today – and they created developments that mirror the downtown amenity package and walkability,” Lains says. “Greenwood, Franklin, Trafalgar, and other communities are following suit. The industry has termed these new developments “Surban” – combining the aspects of the urban development patterns (increased density and mixed-uses) in a suburban setting.”

Surban living offers similar amenities. It’s an active, walking lifestyle with access to all the amenities the specific community offers – restaurants, bars and brew pubs, entertainment centers, bustling nightlife, boutique shopping, sports activities, parks, and trails.

Whatever kind of lifestyle appeals to you, you can find a builder in the area by using the “Find a Builder” or “Find a Home” searches on BAGI’s website.

“It’s an exciting time in the new home building industry,” Lains says.