John Creamer


Even with a car, transit access can be valuable

Because I’m a residential Realtor, I usually need to have my car—unless I’m going to meetings downtown, and then I take Blue Indy so I don’t have to find parking or run out to put money in the meter. But when I was in college, I used the Shaker Heights Rapid Transit Line three days a week to get to my internship in downtown Cleveland. It was a tremendous experience.

Earlier this year I had two clients in their early 30s, both doctors with practices in downtown Indianapolis, who decided they wanted to live in Midtown. They found a home on Broadway that fit all their needs and made an offer, but there were several others on the table so the listing agent asked us to come back with our highest and best.

When I had showed them the home, I’d talked about the Red Line and what the plan was for College Avenue. They looked it up online and decided to offer $11,000 above the list price because of the value of being able to walk two blocks to get on a bus that takes them to University Hospital, where they can work 12 hours and get back on the train and be dropped back off at home. It was worth thousands of dollars to them. Unfortunately, even that wasn’t enough to get the home.

The National Association of Realtors says access to transit increases property values by as much as 35 percent. I definitely see that potential for College because there are so many available rentals where the residents would have access to the universities and a tremendous number of entry-level jobs—which many times don’t pay enough for workers to have an automobile.

And while we baby boomers are very proud of our automobiles, the next generation—and you hear it time and time again—isn’t as infatuated with driving, and as a matter of fact want to live in a community where they don’t have to drive an automobile.

Some partners and I recently bought a 10-unit apartment building on College, just north of Kessler. One of the main reasons we purchased it was because of the Red Line and its accessibility. It’s more than a draw for millennials—it’s an alternative transportation mode for people who live in the community and want a different way to go places.