Former IU star and NBA player Alan Henderson wins battle to build big in Indy

Indianapolis

Former Indiana University power forward and NBA player Alan Henderson wants to build a home in an historic neighborhood on the north side of Indianapolis. But he has been in a battle with his future neighbors almost every step of the way. Tuesday, city officials finally gave Henderson special permission to take up more land that what is allowed under a certain zoning regulation.

"I'm relieved. We're looking forward to coming back to the community," said Alan Henderson.

His future neighbors, however, are disappointed.

"Right now, we have great continuity throughout the neighborhood," said Jim Cramer, who will be Henderson's next-door neighbor.

Cramer said the plans call for a home that is too big for the property.  He is a member of the Nora-Northside Community Council that voted unanimously to take that argument downtown to the Indianapolis Board of Zoning Appeals.

"Homes that are overbuilt to this degree detract from the natural beauty of the neighborhood," said Dr. Steven Harris, Henderson's other future next-door neighbor.

The board voted to allow the exception. City staffers also voiced their approval for the plans claiming the alternative, which is building up, may not also please the neighbors.

Henderson's attorney said a redesign would also hurt the value of his client's home, which will sit on a double lot.
"You have to create enough value in improvements to justify a double lot," said attorney Joe Calderon.

"I know people are passionate about keeping it beautiful. They saw it one way. We saw it a different way," said Henderson.

Henderson also said he will finalize his plans as soon as possible and begin construction.

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