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Controversial Broad Ripple office project gets go-ahead

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A controversial plan to demolish two homes along North College Avenue in Broad Ripple to make way for a two-story office building finally got the green light from the Metropolitan Development Commission on Wednesday.

Members voted 5-2 to approve the redevelopment from Scott Lindenberg and Thomas Willey, who operate Reliant Partners Commercial Realty on Westfield Boulevard.

The approval follows a previous vote in which a bizarre, procedural twist kept the redevelopment plans alive.

The panel late last month voted 5-3 to reject the proposal. But MDC member Bruce Schumacher looked as though he marked both the “yes” and “no” boxes when a part of his signature on the ballot spilled into the "no" box, causing the MDC's secretary to misread his ballot, DMD said. His vote changed the tally to a 4-4 tie, requiring the petition to be reheard.

Wednesday’s vote of 5-2 reflects the fact that MDC needs to fill two seats. Former member Diana Hamilton has resigned since the last vote was taken.

Voting “yes” were Adam Kirsch, Tim Ping, Scott Miller, Dorothy Jones and Schumacher. Lena Hackett and William Selm voted “no.”

The developers plan to invest $1.5 million in the 5,700-square-foot building.

Their proposal to demolish the aging bungalows at 5915 and 5925 N. College Ave. had sparked contentious debate among residents in the neighborhood.

The Broad Ripple Village Association’s development committee voted 10-1 to support the project, believing the two homes were close enough to commercial activity to be sacrificed.

 

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  • Owner Occupant vs. Spec
    The fundamental difference with the 59th & College project is it's a privately funded, owner-occupant project that will only be financed by a bank if it has minimum pre-lease commitments. Meaning it will not built unless Reliant Partners gets enough lease commitments. 59th & College is an office building - not a retail building so they will not compete with retail space for tenants. From what I've research there are few, high quality, Class A comparable buildings and they are well occupied. The new Rockdale building at 63rd & Westfield is 100% leased. The Veranda building on 64th (just east of a College) is 100% leased. The newest building in Broad Ripple (former united package liquor site) is finalizing lease negotiations for the top 2 floors of office space and will be 100% occupied. Seems like these Reliant guys did their homework and kudos to them for taking risk and making a great investment in Broad Ripple. Who's up next & willing to invest their hard, earned money in the village?
  • nimby and such...
    What is wrong with being a NIMBY? It's your neighborhood! College Ave north of Kessler has become more commercial, probably due to BRVA allowing homes to be converted to businesses. Just drive around town and see what eventually happens to other neighborhoods where this occurs. You would not want to live there. Granted, the developers will occupy their own space, but that doesn't detract that there a lot of vacant spaces in Broad Ripple. There is also a current request in BR for a variance for liquor sales. Will this never end? Just watch the zoning attorneys on any given day and make promises that developers never keep. Attorneys that plead that this is all they want and it won't expand or interfere with a neighborhood. Attorneys that say, like a little kid, Well, something like this already exists. I want mine too.. but they assure us that this is the last time they'll ask.
  • Unoccupied
    That's great - I agree I like to see the investment in the local area instead of suburbs. I just hope the overall supply does not outstrip demand so much that we see empty buildings and spaces. Sounds like this particular group will be occupying their new space. I wonder about all the other spaces I mentioned though - will they be adequately occupied ?
  • Owner occupied building
    Previously reported by IBJ on February 18, 2014: Lindenberg and Willey’s Reliant Partners brokerage is temporarily located in Loftus Robinson’s new Rockdale development at 6334 Westfield Blvd. in Broad Ripple. If their project is approved and built, Lindenberg and Willey plan to move Reliant Partners to the new development. “It’s an area we want to be in,” Lindenberg said of Broad Ripple. “We live in the area and we want to stay in the area.”
    • Owner occupied building
      The owners of Reliant plan to occupy the building for their business which was previously reported. Isn't the American dream to own your own business and real estate? This is a reputable and professional real estate business investing over $1 million in our city rather than the suburbs and it should be applauded for the visionary investment in our community.
    • Open space
      Kent - yes, thx for the confimation of unoccupied spaces. And that doesn't count the new spaces going up - maybe they are already occupied (perhaps Maria knows), but I doubt it. Speculators will be complaining later when it isn't occupied.
    • Moving in the right direction!
      I think this new development on College will benefit the village. Last month we had about 12 office space locations in the village for sale or lease. However, some of these were located in homes or on side streets. The new proposed apartment complex on the Shell site will increase density in the village, which is what will help to sustain businesses like sub shops. We need more people living in the village to attract and keep small businesses.
      • Unoccupied space
        I'm not a real estate expert, but anecdotal evidence and talking to business people I know in the area tells me this. Are you telling me there's a shortage of office space in Broad Ripple, or anywhere in Indianapolis ? It's ludicrous - I see unoccupied spaces everywhere. Maybe not "class A" - I don't know what that is. All I know is the new parking garage is not very occupied, a business has already failed ther in less than a year, a new complex going up at BR ave and Winthrop - I don't get it.
      • RE: Dave
        Dave, since it sounds like you're a real estate expert, please tell me all the unoccupied Class A office space (similar to the space being build with this project) is in the Broad Ripple area. I'll be waiting.......
        • Finally common sense
          This is a very nice looking project, and continues the positive development going on in Broad Ripple. This makes it more and more likely people can live and work in the same desirable area. And certainly a lot better than a couple of rundown bungalows in an obvious commerical district along College Ave.
        • Why ?
          Just what we need. There are already many unoccupied spaces in Broad Ripple. How is there possibly demand for this with at least a couple more office buildings going up ? I know it's not the same - but the parking garage has unoccupied space and even more now that Firehouse Subs has closed. I don't get it.
        • Duke
          NIMBY = "Someone who objects to siting something in their own neighborhood but does not object to it being sited elsewhere; an acronym for not in my backyard." - source, thefreedictionary.com -- use your internet, you have the power!
        • NIMBY
          Might IBJ consider publishing another "Book of Lists" of explaining current acronyms, cross-check nyms and euphanyms for us in the over 40 crowd so we can read posts and comments without often feeling "left out?" Just what the hell is a NIMBY anyway?
        • Poorly written?
          From the article: "The panel late last month voted 5-3 to reject the proposal." Wouldn't it be better to say that "it was announced that the panel had voted 5-3, but it was later determined that the vote tally was 4-4.."? Unless you are implying that the actual vote was changed later, rather than the correction being made later, I think it would be inappropriate to say that they actually voted 5-3. Good thing they eventually got it right though.
        • I agree!
          Those Broad Ripple NIMBY's are the worst in this world! They are worthless!
        • Wonderful!
          This is wonderful news! This project really wasn't all that controversial. It is a normal type of project that is built all over the U.S. in urban areas. However it seems that Broad Ripple has a special breed of toxic NIMBYs that parade false concerns (traffic, "village" atmosphere, etc.) to mask their real opposition, which is personal greed.

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