Buoyed by strong demand for apartments in Carmel, Pedcor Cos. expects to break ground next spring on the first building in phase two of its massive City Center project.
The Nash, a three-story, $10 million mixed-use building, is to be built just south of City Center on the west side of Rangeline Road. It will contain 31 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments on the second and third floors and 8,000 square feet of commercial space at street level. The city of Carmel will contribute $2 million of the total for infrastructure and 42 underground parking spaces.
A residential building proposed for a site immediately west of The Nash is still on the drawing board, as are two commercial buildings in phase two that would be built immediately north of the Nash site, said Melissa Averitt, director of marketing and sales for Pedcor.
The first phase of City Center included 106 apartments and 62,000 square feet of retail/commercial space. Averitt said about 6,500 square feet of retail/commercial space remains. And the apartments, which began coming on line in August 2010, are about 90 percent leased. They range in size from 800 to 3,000 square feet and rent for about $1.15 a square foot.
The Nash units will be roughly 800 to 1,400 square feet, with rents projected at $1.25 to $1.30 a square foot by the time they open two years from now.
The apartment market is red hot, and Carmel is no exception, said George Tikijian of apartment brokerage firm Tikijian Associates.
Tikijian said a pair of projects illustrate the demand. One One Six Apartments, a 191-unit development by J.C. Hart Co. at 116th Street and College Avenue, was fully leased six months after it opened in April. Sophia Square, a 202-unit Keystone Group project in the Carmel Arts & Design District, was 94-percent leased within nine months of its opening in May 2011.
Another project, the 193-unit Penn Circle at Old Meridian Street and Carmel Drive, started leasing in September and is seeing strong demand, Tikijian said. That project, developed by Milhaus Development, is leased and managed by Gene B. Glick Co.
Tikijian said the only cloud on the horizon for the apartment market in Hamilton County is the strengthening market for single-family homes. Apartment dwellers in places like Carmel and Fishers are more likely than their downtown Indianapolis counterparts to opt for home ownership, he said.
Pedcor is counting on continued strong demand from young professionals and empty nesters to fill The Nash apartments, Averitt said.
The building's 8,000 square feet of commercial space shouldn't be hard to fill, said Donna Hovey, a retail broker at CBRE. She said the space should easily command the $23 to $24 per square foot Pedcor plans to charge.
Hovey said the center of gravity for retail in Carmel has shifted from the Keystone Square area along Keystone Parkway to Rangeline, and small users the Nash is targeting will benefit from being along that busy stretch of road.