• Towne Clipper Coupon MagazineTowne Clipper Coupon MagazineAdvertise your small business to 35,000 or 70,000 northside Indianapolis homes each month! Prices start at only $150 per month, find out how...
  • Geist Lake Coalitions Blast on the BridgeGeist Lake Coalitions Blast on the BridgeAnnual July 4th fireworks show at Geist Reservoir: Food vendors, kids zone, boat parade and fireworks at dusk.
  • Follow Us!Follow Us!Get daily updates from our twitter feed, mention us and you might be in our next print publication!
  • Post to FacebookPost to FacebookFollow our daily news updates, tag Geist photos and events, and be a part of our crowd sourced stories!
  • Past IssuesPast IssuesCheck out our past issues of the Geist Community Newsletter online!
  • Submit Your Story!Submit Your Story!Have a story or press release you'd like to share? Send it out way!
  • Ask Us!Ask Us!Have a question about Geist Reservoir? Post it on our Ask.fm page or peruse the page for questions already asked!
  • Geist District LogoGeist District LogoFind out how the proper usage of the Geist District logo, guidelines.

DSC_2217 In a small office above Puccini’s overlooking the Geist Marina sits the architect of Geist Reservoir: Allen Rosenberg, Sr.

From his early days at the Indianapolis Water Company in the late 1960’s through today, Rosenberg has been the common thread of the Geist Reservoir community.

After graduating from Indiana University in 1960, he became a certified public accountant. Working for a large Indianapolis accounting firm, Rosenberg remembers his first client: a local drug and liquor wholesaler.

“I told them they would be out of business in two years,” Rosenberg said. “I was wrong; it took them three.”

Rosenberg was later hired as the understudy to a retiring Chief Financial Officer at the Indianapolis Water Company. It was here that he learned the ins and outs of the utility regulatory process, crafting the initial rolling stock option offering that opened the door to develop the land around Morse and Geist Reservoirs.

“I bet the farm to get as many shares of stock as I could. A lot of people didn’t think we could ever get sewers and the permits to build out here,” said Rosenberg. “We wound up with a public company (Shorewood Corporation) that was more in tune with risk and land development than the water company stock holders.”

Stan Hunt and Allen Rosenberg

Stan Hunt and Allen Rosenberg were best friends and partners in the Shorewood Corporation.

Rosenberg’s reputation for shrewd business deals for the Indianapolis Water Company caught the attention of an east coast utility conglomerate. He was lured away to Philadelphia to be president over 67 different utility companies. Stan Hunt, a former Indianapolis Water Company line manager and Rosenberg’s best friend, stayed in Indianapolis to carry out the day-to-day land development activities of Shorewood.

In 1971, Shorewood began developing at Morse Reservoir in South Harbours while development of Geist was on hold. The Army Corps of Engineers wanted to raise the Geist dam by 29 feet to increase the water supply to Indianapolis. The plan would have absorbed 75% of Shorewood’s land and created a lake three times larger than the current reservoir. The proposal, dubbed Highland Lake, was shot down in 1978 by a group of Fall Creek residents led by Indiana Senator Birch Bayh. This cleared the way for Geist Reservoir land development.

“Morse was going great, but the key to getting Geist Reservoir developed was getting sewer service from Indianapolis,” Rosenberg recalls.

Later that year, four Cardinal Woods lots were sold, launching the 31-year development project known as Geist. Beamreach and Masthead development started on the south end of the reservoir in 1979 with 51 total lots sold. All told, Shorewood (now the Marina Limited Partnership) accounted for over 7,500 acres of development at both Morse and Geist Reservoirs.

“Once we got the pattern down, it was just a matter of carrying out the plan,” explained Rosenberg.

He shares the credit for his continued success with his long-time employees. Gene Heiwig (retired land development), Paul Deaton (Marina Dock Construction), Rob Bussell (lot sales), Kent Duckwall (Director of Marina Operations) and Amy Hunt (past Geist Clubhouse director) have all been with Rosenberg over 20 years. Rosenberg’s son, Allen Rosenberg Jr., is carrying on the business.

“He had to prove himself first on his own,” the senior Rosernberg said with a smile. “I’m a little biased, but he’s done a great job.”

Now living in the Marina Village behind Bella Vita Ristorante, Rosenberg still comes into his remote office every day, sitting just 100 yards from the main offices above the Marina Boat Sales showroom. His door is always open to customers and employees, a policy that has served him well over the years.

Rosenberg’s first love is sailing. He is down to a power boat in Florida which he frequents during the winter months as his warm climate retreat. A few years ago, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which has affected his ability to sail as he once did. However, that doesn’t stop him from enjoying the comforts and views from his floating home away from home.

By Rosenberg’s estimation, Geist Reservoir development will be complete in about 15 years. He’s hopeful that he will see the culmination of the plan that he and his late friend Stan Hunt conceived over 30 years ago. As the sun sets on his illustrious career, Rosenberg’s legacy as the visionary who saw the possibilities at Geist Reservoir will live on.

“I never imagined that this community would turn out like it did, but I’m sure glad it did.”

Leave a Comment »

Geist Sponsors

Latest Issue

Latest Videos

Follow Us!

Like Us on Facebook

Ask Us!

View Answers

Upcoming Events

  1. Celebrations of Creativity and Craftsmanship

    July 8 @ 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
  2. 26th annual Ice Cream Social on the Circle, hosted by American Dairy Association Indiana Inc.

    July 10 @ 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  3. The Southside Vintage Marketplace

    July 11 @ 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  4. Geist Crossing Shoppes Family Fun Day

    July 11 @ 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  5. The Southside Vintage Marketplace

    July 12
    |Recurring Event (See all)
    Every month for 8 months

Sign up for TownePost Network

* = required field
Please subscribe me to local news and updates from

atGeist.com Offices

11691 Fall Creek Road, Indianapolis, IN 46256
268 queries. 0.818 seconds. 44.75MB
© 2015 TownePost Network, Inc.