Apartments and Township Government and Buckingham Cos. and Development/Redevelopment and Government & Economic Development and Real Estate & Retail

Trustee chooses $20.5 million Buckingham plan for old YMCA

December 23, 2009

The Center Township Advisory Board has picked Buckingham Cos. to redevelop a 2-acre property the township owns at 860 W. 10th St. near the IUPUI campus.

The locally based developer plans to tear down the former YMCA branch and replace it with a $20.5-million mixed-use project featuring retail space, a fitness center and 210 apartment units.

The board chose from two bids on Tuesday night. The unsuccessful bidder, locally based Van Rooy Properties and several partners, had proposed a larger project including the redevelopment of the Van Rooy-owned Campus View Apartments to the east of the YMCA property.

The township had sought a project compatible with the Indiana Avenue Cultural District and nearby IUPUI and hospital campuses.

Buckingham will pay $225,000 per year to rent the property. The company will have the option to buy it after five years for an additional $3.3 million, township officials told IBJ.

As part of the agreement, Buckingham agreed to a goal for 20 percent minority-owned business participation in the construction and 10 percent participation from contracting firms owned by women. It also agreed to fund $15,000 in college scholarships per year for 20 years for students at Crispus Attucks High School.

The township trustee’s office bought the 50,500-square-foot former YMCA building for $1.5 million in 2004. The trustee’s office spent about $175,000 on renovations and turned over operations to the Indiana Minority Health Coalition, which operated a fee-based fitness center that closed earlier this year when revenue came up short.

Buckingham has constructed similar projects near the campuses of Notre Dame and the University of Kentucky, Buckingham executive Andrew Klineman said in a statement to IBJ.

"Buckingham's vision for this location will help create a north gateway into the district that will reflect the unique historical footprint of the area and combine the modern conveniences required by residents working, shopping and living in the city," he said.

The Buckingham structure, designed by locally based CSO Architects, is designed to be "refined and hip," according to bid documents. "The building is classically pedestrian and street-level appealing," the developer says. "It has a defined base, with street-level detailing, a middle and a cap element along its roof line. The store front at the plaza is shown pulled out from the main core, providing visual interest with the scale change, as well as creating the opportunity of a roof-top deck."

To see a rendering and weigh in on the project, visit Property Lines.

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