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Broad Ripple buildings slated for office conversion

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A new real estate development firm launched by a pair of tech-savvy twentysomethings is cutting its teeth on a $1.5 million boutique office project in the heart of Broad Ripple.

Kyle Robinson, 28, and Drew Loftus, 26, are in the process of buying and rezoning a trio of vacant, connected buildings at 6334 Westfield Blvd., where the Monon Trail crosses the canal.
 

West Elevation The renovation project will create 9,000 square feet of office space.

The renovation project, the cost of which includes acquisition, will result in 9,000 square feet of office space flanking a small courtyard facing the Monon.

The new firm, Loftus Robinson Development, is asking $26 per square foot for the space, which Robinson said will probably house from three to seven office tenants. Though all inquiries so far have been from office-space users, it’s possible there will be a retail tenant on the Monon side, he said.

The asking rent is higher than what most Class A suburban buildings charge, but prospective tenants haven’t objected, said Jack Hogan, the Jones Lang LaSalle broker who has the listing.

“People are willing to pay a little more to be in Broad Ripple,” he said. It’s essentially brand new office space in a highly desirable part of town where office space is scarce, he said. “There isn’t a lot of unique, interesting office space in Broad Ripple that appeals to young entrepreneurs.”

Hogan expects half the space to be spoken for in the next week. The price includes parking. The developer is in the process of securing spaces off site that are close to the property.

Bike racks might be just as important to the kinds of tenants that are showing interest, Hogan said. The development will include bike storage and showers. The LEED-certified building will have direct access to the Monon Trail, one of the city’s busiest bike trails.   

Hogan just joined Jones Lang LaSalle after working independently for about a year. He previously had a long career with Lauth Property Group.

That’s where he met Robinson, a Rose-Hulman grad with an engineering degree who became a lawyer before working as an analyst for Lauth. Robinson’s day job now is in-house legal counsel and director of operations for local start-up Precise Path Robotics.

Loftus, who graduated from Indiana State, had been a development intern at Thompson Thrift Development before joining the firm full time in 2008. He’s now in charge of business development for local technology start-up TinderBox.

The Broad Ripple Village Association supports the project, but no one involved with the group was available to comment.

The buildings involved in the Loftus Robinson project previously housed at various times a boat-engine repair shop, a veterinary clinic and a pet supply store. The southernmost of the three buildings is believed to be at least 100 years old.

All of the structures will be gutted and reskinned and a second floor will be added to one of them. Completion is scheduled for next spring. The architect is Eric Weflen

 

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  • cool
    Familiar with these buildings. The old Vet bldg on Westfield before you get to the 4 way stop at Winthrop. If they design something totally modern, rad and out of the box, it would be a breath of fresh air for some cool businesses. If not there is space galore already for rent on top of Ambrosia and at the office bldg already there on the corner. Rent in BR is already high most agree.

    They need to give me a reason to rent from them. And my clients will need easy parking and access to me. Broad Ripple is definitely cool place to work.
  • back to the point...
    back to the point of this article...

    I think the price is high. Ripple has its appeal but the market is limited.
  • a hotel is not the answer
    While a hotel would make Broad Ripple a town of its own, I don't think it's a good idea. There's no direct need for a hotel, there is no nearby office complex or corporate headquarters that requires it. There is no demand beyond that of the party crowd. Find me an example of a hotel in a similar environment in any Midwestern municipality. It's a rarity, and with the current crime rate... a liability.
  • A positive addition
    As an Indianapolis real estate broker (my site: http://www.mswoods.com/ ) I think this will make a nice addition to the Broad Ripple landscape. Certainly there is nothing wrong with improving otherwise vacant buildings.
  • Have a question...
    Glad to see some development of a quality nature in this highly visible area. Now, if something could be done to improve the looks of Rogers Pools. Question...whatever happened to the attempt to build a small but nice hotel on the site north of here? That's what BR actually needs.
    • Nice!
      Good to see adaptive reuse and a dedication to cycling for transportation.

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    1. If I were a developer I would be looking at the Fountain Square and Fletcher Place neighborhoods instead of Broad Ripple. I would avoid the dysfunctional BRVA with all of their headaches. It's like deciding between a Blackberry or an iPhone 5s smartphone. BR is greatly in need of updates. It has become stale and outdated. Whereas Fountain Square, Fletcher Place and Mass Ave have become the "new" Broad Ripples. Every time I see people on the strip in BR on the weekend I want to ask them, "How is it you are not familiar with Fountain Square or Mass Ave? You have choices and you choose BR?" Long vacant storefronts like the old Scholar's Inn Bake House and ZA, both on prominent corners, hurt the village's image. Many business on the strip could use updated facades. Cigarette butt covered sidewalks and graffiti covered walls don't help either. The whole strip just looks like it needs to be power washed. I know there is more to the BRV than the 700-1100 blocks of Broad Ripple Ave, but that is what people see when they think of BR. It will always be a nice place live, but is quickly becoming a not-so-nice place to visit.

    2. I sure hope so and would gladly join a law suit against them. They flat out rob people and their little punk scam artist telephone losers actually enjoy it. I would love to run into one of them some day!!

    3. Biggest scam ever!! Took 307 out of my bank ac count. Never received a single call! They prey on new small business and flat out rob them! Do not sign up with these thieves. I filed a complaint with the ftc. I suggest doing the same ic they robbed you too.

    4. Woohoo! We're #200!!! Absolutely disgusting. Bring on the congestion. Indianapolis NEEDS it.

    5. So Westfield invested about $30M in developing Grand Park and attendance to date is good enough that local hotel can't meet the demand. Carmel invested $180M in the Palladium - which generates zero hotel demand for its casino acts. Which Mayor made the better decision?

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