The developer of The Bridges, a mixed-use project at 116th Street and Springmill Road that won a controversial rezoning case in June 2011, is finalizing plans for the first two components of the 62-acre development.
Gershman Brown Crowley Inc. is in the process of getting design approval from the city of Carmel for a 9,600-square-foot retail building at the southwest corner of 116th and Illinois streets and a 13,200-square-foot CVS pharmacy to be built immediately west of the retail building at 116th and Springmill. Groundbreaking on the buildings is expected in March, with the CVS opening in September and the retail building, which would accommodate three or four tenants, finished by October.
The Carmel City Council approved rezoning of the site from residential to commercial in June 2011. Gershman Brown Crowley agreed at the time of the rezoning to reduce the impact on surrounding residential properties by including higher berms on the project perimeter and limiting the height of office buildings on the property.
The project was initially described as a $100 million development with 250,000 square feet of retail space, 500,000 square feet of office space and 300 apartments. A spokesman for the company said the size projections still stand but that what is ultimately built will be determined by market demand.
The spokesman said the developer is in discussions with a large retail anchor that would be new to this market. There have also been discussions with apartment developers and medical office users. A rehabilitation hospital based out of state was close to committing to The Bridges, but the company decided not to expand into this market.
The spokesman said Gershman Brown Crowley's strategy from the beginning was to wait for road improvements in the area before starting to develop the site. Construction is underway on an extension of Illinois Street south to 106th Street, which will provide better access to the project from the south.
Bill French, a retail broker at Cassidy Turley, said The Bridges will bring needed retail space to serve the Meridian Street office corridor and people who live west of Meridian.
"I'm glad they're breaking the ice with CVS and the small shops. I suspect that once that happens we'll see a great deal more activity there." French said most retailers don't like to commit to a site until it has some retail history under its belt. "It just takes one or two retailers to take the first step."