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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. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

    2. If you only knew....

    3. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

    4. The facts contained in your post make your position so much more credible than those based on sheer emotion. Thanks for enlightening us.

    5. Please consider a couple of economic realities: First, retail is more consolidated now than it was when malls like this were built. There used to be many department stores. Now, in essence, there is one--Macy's. Right off, you've eliminated the need for multiple anchor stores in malls. And in-line retailers have consolidated or folded or have stopped building new stores because so much of their business is now online. The Limited, for example, Next, malls are closing all over the country, even some of the former gems are now derelict.Times change. And finally, as the income level of any particular area declines, so do the retail offerings. Sad, but true.

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