Apartments and Commercial Real Estate and Residential Real Estate and Retail Development and Low-Income Housing and Real Estate & Retail

Keystone Towers redevelopment could start in April

December 7, 2011

Construction could begin in April on a $22.5 million apartment-and-retail development proposed for the property where the demolished Keystone Towers formerly stood.

The project, dubbed The Point on Fall Creek, is being led by local affordable housing developer The Whitsett Group LLC.

Company principal Joseph E. Whitsett on Wednesday provided a timeline and funding details for the development to Metropolitan Development Commission members, who could grant approval at their next meeting on Dec. 21.

The Whitsett Group in October submitted the lone bid to redevelop the land on the northeast side of Indianapolis.

Plans call for the property to be developed in three phases, starting with construction of 58 apartments, which could be completed in November, followed later on by another  80 units. The last stage, which would target a 1.5-acre parcel near Binford Boulevard and Allisonville Road, at the southern most visible tip of the property, would include retail space.

Whitsett said he’s had some interest from retailers, though no commitments yet. “But we think we’ll have a lot of luck, with the high [amount of] traffic along Binford and Allisonville,” he said.

Department of Metropolitan Development Director Maury Plambeck endorsed the proposal, calling it a “good one” despite the lack of competing bids.

Any project on the site must include mixed-income rental housing to comply with the rules of the federal grant used to demolish the complex. Roughly half of the units under the Whitsett proposal would be considered affordable under federal guidelines.

Whitsett Group plans to pay the city $800,000 to purchase the land and expects to invest a total of $22.5 million in the project. More than half the amount will come from federal and state tax credits. Whitsett also expects to receive an $8.8 million loan from M&I Bank and will finance the remaining $2.1 million with its own equity.

About 750 pounds of explosives brought down the Keystone Towers’ 15-story apartment building and eight-story office building in about 15 seconds in late August. Denney Excavating of Indianapolis was paid $827,000 in federal grant money to demolish the building.

A contractor is grinding down remaining concrete on the site and could be finished with the cleanup this month, Whitsett said.

Founded in 2007, The Whitsett Group also is working on a $27 million plan to build 190 apartments and more than 44,000 square feet of retail and office space on a parcel northwest of College Avenue and Michigan Street.

 

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