The Carmel City Council on Monday agreed to pave the way—literally—for commercial development planned for the west side of Michigan Road south of 106th Street.
Thompson Thrift’s West Carmel Commons already has landed Outback Steakhouse as a tenant, and Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said Darden Restaurants is poised to build an Olive Garden.
The two development sites, directly across from a retail center that includes a popular Super Target store, would be accessible via a 600-foot extension of Retail Parkway.
Hamilton County will pay up to $480,000 to build the road, and city engineers will oversee construction.
City Council members OK’d a so-called interlocal agreement allowing the project to proceed, agreeing to contribute as much as $150,000 in road fees from developers if the winning bid exceeds the county’s appropriation.
Brainard urged the council to approve the project, saying businesses already have expressed interest in the property.
“Olive Garden is ready to build,” he said, adding that the company has identified a dozen potential restaurant sites and is prepared to choose a different one if road construction doesn’t begin soon. “This is where they want to build it, but we need to get going or they’re going to move to another site.”
Early development on the site, located in a county-controlled tax increment financing district, is expected to contribute $160,000 a year in TIF revenue.