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Construction supplies firm plans mixed-use HQ downtown

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An Indianapolis building-supply firm displaced by the construction of Lucas Oil Stadium is hoping to move its headquarters closer to downtown in a new mixed-use building on South Meridian Street.

Keith Payne, president of Affordable Building Supplies LLC, has applied for zoning approval to develop a five-story, 12,500-square-foot building on three vacant lots just south of the Greek Islands restaurant.

Affordable Building Supplies, which now has its home at 55 S. State Ave., would take about half of the new building. The Mediterranean-influenced stone and brick structure also would include office space for other businesses, storage units and a first-floor cafe with sidewalk dining.

Payne said he has no schedule for starting construction, thanks to a still-challenging lending environment, but he hopes to begin in the next two years.

He is asking the city for permission to use the vacant properties he owns from 910 to 914 S. Meridian St. as a gravel parking lot for three years, and to provide for an eight-space paved lot once he secures financing to build the commercial structure. The gravel lot would be used only on days when there are events at Lucas Oil Stadium or for construction workers assigned to downtown projects.

Payne does not have a cost estimate for the project, and says it will depend on demand from potential tenants.

"We're just trying to lay the groundwork correctly," said Payne, whose company had its offices at Capitol Avenue and McCarty Street before work began on Lucas Oil Stadium. "We want a building that will establish a look for this side of town. The south side is one of the most untapped areas of downtown."

The city's planning staff has not yet weighed in on the proposal. A hearing is scheduled for July 6.

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