Carmel puts 7-acre parcel up for grabs

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Carmel is finally ready to redevelop the former Party Time Rental site on Range Line Road, a property in which the city has invested $4 million.

The city council this month rezoned the seven-acre site, plus two adjacent parcels, from their former business and industrial classifications to the “City Center” designation, which would allow apartments and retail.

Carmel mayor Jim Brainard Brainard

The site at Range Line and Carmel Drive is more than a half mile from City Center Drive and the Center for the Performing Arts, but it’s seen as a gateway to the area.

Mayor Jim Brainard said he hopes to see the former Party Time building demolished in two to three months, and a request for proposals could go out in the same time frame. The other two rezoned parcels hold an Arby’s, which still operates, and office buildings. If those properties are sold as well, a developer could end up with more than eight acres.

Apartment builders are eager to have a crack at the busy corner. Indianapolis-based Flaherty and Collins, which wanted to build more than 400 luxury apartments there in 2011, will submit a proposal, Vice President of Development Chris Kirles said.

“We’ve been working on the site and the project in general for three years, four years maybe,” he said.

Flaherty and Collins’ prior effort stalled because the council declined to rezone the site.

Indianapolis-based Flaherty and Collins has yet to build in Carmel, a market where monthly rents start at $1 per square foot, and leasing demand is strong.

Rents in Carmel are similar to downtown Indianapolis and higher than the average in the northern suburbs of 81 cents per square foot, according to a Tikijian Associates market report.

Carmel-based J.C. Hart Co. has several projects in the city, and President John Hart said he wants to do more. He said he likely will submit a proposal.

“Our experience in Carmel has been exceptionally good,” Hart said.

J.C. Hart leased all 191 of the units at its 116 Apartments, 116th Street and College Avenue, within eight months last year, Hart said. He thinks recently announced job growth at companies like NextGear Capital and Baldwin & Lyons Inc. will only add to demand.

The council’s March 4 rezoning vote could be the first step toward a new level of cooperation between the Carmel City Council and the city’s redevelopment commission.

rangeline-map.gifThe council will have final approval over all aspects of the Party Time redevelopment, except architecture, design, lighting and signage, under an amendment to the rezoning ordinance. Otherwise, any work in the City Center zone would need only the Carmel Redevelopment Commission’s approval.

“I called this a test case,” council member Kevin Rider said of the rezoning amendment. “We’re trying to create a working relationship between the CRC and the council.”

The CRC’s independence for years was a point of contention between Brainard, who appoints most of the members, and the council.

The CRC ran up $249 million in debt without council approval and came close to running out of operating funds last year. The council agreed to lend the city’s credit to a $185 million bond refinancing, but not before taking oversight of future debt issuances.

The council turned down the Party Time rezoning in 2011 amid questions about the city’s ownership stake in the property.

At that time, the commission, which had acquired the property through a sheriff’s sale, wanted to make a $3.9 million loan to Flaherty and Collins.

Flaherty and Collins had been working with former owner Paul Zahner when the property went into foreclosure, Kirles said, but his firm wasn’t in a position to buy it out of sheriff’s sale in 2009.

The CRC stepped in, helping Zahner retain the property and taking over mortgage payments. After the bond refinancing was finalized in December, the CRC paid off a $3 million mortgage. The CRC, which has had a stake in the property since 2010, is now the sole owner.

The CRC has spent $4 million on the site, including sheriff’s sale expense, legal fees and taxes, city spokeswoman Nancy Heck said.

Two appraisals performed in February 2012 averaged $4.4 million, Heck said.

Brainard said he wanted control of the Party Time site because of its high-profile location.

“It’s very important as you enter the City Center and the City Hall complex,” he said.

The site, which sits below street level, could be difficult to work with, but Carmel no longer has the financial wiggle room to offer cash incentives. Council member Luci Snyder noted that the CRC’s budget estimates $16.7 million in tax-increment finance revenue to cover $16 million in debt service.

“In the past, we have invested heavily in both infrastructure and buildings to make Carmel an attractive destination,” Snyder said in an e-mail. “Now, if a developer wants to build in Carmel, we stand ready to put in the municipal improvements required for that project.”

Brainard said he expects the Party Time parcel will be added to the city’s TIF area, and some of the additional revenue could help offset the cost of underground parking.

Kirles said his firm could build as many as 450 luxury apartments, if the project included a parking garage.

Brainard said he’s not looking to donate the Party Time parcel.

“We have real value there,” he said, but “we may bargain on it to get the deal done a little bit.”•


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Hello Dear Are you tired of Seeking Loans and Mortgages,have you Been Turned down constantly By your banks and Other Financial Institutions or Micro Finance scheme. This is let you know with 100% guarantee that we Offer loans ranging from $1,000 Minimum to $1,000,000.00 Maximum at 3% interest rate per Month. We give out LOANS for developing business. a competitive edge/business expansion. email address: michealscottloan124@gmail.com We offer the following kinds of loans and many more; * Personal Loans ( Unsecured Loan) * Business Loans ( Unsecured Loan) * Consolidation Loan * Combination Loan * Home Improvement * Xmas Loans for contact to seek for loan email this email address: michealscottloan124@gmail.com Thanks

  2. My name is Mr Henry Josh and i live in the USA California and life is worth living right now for me and my family and all this is because of one man sent by GOD to help me and my family, i once had a life filled with sorrow because my first SON needed a kidney transplant and all our savings were going towards his medications and this normally leaves us with no money to pay our bills or even put enough food on our table and our rent was due and no funds to pay these bills and life felt so unfair to me and every night my wife will cry herself to sleep every night until one day, i was browsing through yahoo answers and i saw a striking advert of a man that gives out personal loans and that the offer is opened to all and i have heard so many things about internet scams but at this point of my life, i was very desperate and ready to take any risk and at the end of the day, i applied for this loan and from one step to another, i got my loan within 12 hours through bank transfer and you know, it was all like a dream and i called Mr Daniel Jones A Man who is the GOD sent lender i found and said, i have received my loan and he smiled stating that to GOD be the glory and i was so shocked as i have never ever seen anyone with such a GOD fearing and kind heart and today, i am the happiest man on earth because by GOD’S grace, my SON kidney transplant was successful and today he is healthy, i and my family are living very comfortable and happy and if you are in my former situation or in serious and legitimate need of a loan, you can reach this GOD sent lender via fidelityloanfirm@outlook.com

  3. Greetings to everyone reading this comment!!! I am Greg William by name. I am out here to recommend the effort of Mark Oscar,I was in need of a consolidation loan amount of 50,000 and as soon as I got in contact with Mark Oscar Loan Firm on Wednesday last week and on Friday last week as well I receive an alert from my bank(Royal Bank of Scotland Group) that the fund was transferred,I want everybody on this site to contact Mark Oscar now via email on how to get a loan because I got my loan from them and I am very happy,so contact them now. Oscarloanfinance@hotmail.com Thanks!!!!!!

  4. Elected officials, like Mourdock, get vested in 8 years. It takes 10 years for all other public employees, most of whom make a lot less money. So much for the promise to finish out his term.

  5. Great state treasurer and a good man!! Just curious if the folks who didn't quite understand his quote would like to tell my daughter-in-law that God didn't intend her! Mourdock's comment was correct but twisted and the article didn't mention that his opponent and the press let the impression stand that Mourdock meant that the rape was intended. Stupid people!!