A Planned Community in Carmel

When development began on the Village of WestClay, it was as if a town bloomed overnight in the fields of Carmel. First there was a boulevard and then a row of fine homes for a grand opening show. It was a huge hit and has enjoyed continued success ever since. We took a tour and talked to two real estate professionals Joe Kempler and Donna Park to find out more about its history.
What was the concept behind the Village of WestClay?
Donna: This was the first time Brenwick developed a neighborhood of this type and The Village was the first of its kind in Indiana. The prototype is a concept called a ‘Traditional Neighborhood Development’ (TND), which is part of the New Urbanism.
Joe: My wife Joey and I decided to come back to Indiana after being gone for 31 years of corporate life and living in gated communities from Atlanta to Dallas. We loved the Village of WestClay and found it’s the best of them all. After purchasing a home here ten years ago we’ve experienced its growth from almost the beginning.
When did construction begin?
Donna: Development began in 1999 at Main Street and Towne Road. Brenwick elected to work with a local land planner so that its layout would be conducive to Carmel and its architectural design an integral part of its appeal. The structures in the Village of WestClay have all been built in a style prior to the 1940’s; architecture classes actually come to study buildings here. Brenwick also wanted to have beautiful green spaces intermingled with homes and commercial areas.
Joe: Walking the trails and sidewalks here provides an ongoing appreciation for the different styles of homes and the pride that people take in caring for their lawns and gardens. Everyone you meet is friendly and has a smile on their face. It’s a neighborhood in the best sense of the word.
Describe some of the benefits of living in a planned community.
Donna: There is something about the Village of WestClay that makes residents not want to leave once they’ve come here. Over 250 households have moved within its boundaries and many have convinced family and friends to join them. Its social aspect is enriched with concerts in University Green, an Ice Cream Social, End of Summer Party, Fall Festival and too many clubs and field trips to mention.
Joe: The effort and commitment from neighborhood residents to enhance the Village environment has always been outstanding. When we first arrived we wanted to contribute as well, so we helped organize a social committee and started a monthly newsletter to communicate what was happening. I can guarantee that there is an activity or event that almost every resident can enjoy and participate in.
Discuss the mix of homes, businesses and people that exist in the Village of WestClay.
Joe: As of build-out the mix of housing types are: 1,032 single family homes, 199 townhouses, 63 Village Center lofts, 186 apartments/condos, and 216 senior housing units. We expect to see additional retail/commercial development as the economy becomes more positive. Currently there is a grocery store, a number of real estate offices, banks, schools, restaurants and salons, to name a few. My real estate office has been in the Village for five years.
Donna: The Village has a broad mix of ages living here as well, which helps keep the older residents young. The Stratford Senior Living is the only housing for seniors that is located in a neighborhood and offers the same amenities that every resident enjoys. Seniors can ride golf carts to the market or any other area, as well as walk in one of the many parks. With such diversified appeal, we see the inventory of home sites dwindling. Individuals and families are moving here now so they won’t miss the opportunity to live in such a remarkable neighborhood.