Credit mess puts Ralston on hold

October 2, 2008
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Ralston SquareA $60 million project slated for South Street between Meridian and Pennsylvania streets is on hold until credit markets return to some semblance of normal, the developer acknowledged today. The 11-story project calls for a hotel, restaurant and an upscale bowling alley. "Nobody's closing loans today," said Brian Epstein, president of locally based Urban Space Commercial Properties and a partner on the project. "We're just waiting. Everybody's in the same boat." The developers had hoped to break ground in the summer but now say the start date is out of their control.
  • Bummer, but completely understandable.

    This is a decent project I hope to see materialize. Here's hoping the developers are able to keep the project alive until the market recuperates.
  • I was wondering why we hadn't seen construction yet. I had thought the financing was complete from previous reports, but in this environment, if the money is not in the bank, you are not going to get it I guess. I too completely understand. Let's hope the credit markets unfreeze soon.
  • I also thought financing was secured, but being how things are, I'm not surprised. It's too bad, I was kind of looking forward to see this project go up, and hope it will be revived sometime soon.
  • I have a feeling this is one of many, many projects that is going to be put on hold or simply never materialize. It's going to be a rough ride for those of us who's business relies on the construction industry.
  • I think the days of low/no equity are probably over for quite a while. Our whole credit system needs to de-leverage.
  • Obviously this is just another move Indianapolis is famous for... failing future development. I have a pretty good feeling, just like NickC said, it will simply never materialize. Typical.
  • Dustin, why are you so anti-Indianapolis? Do you even live here? You seem to be a half-empty kind of guy. Please explain.
  • Dustin,

    It is tough to blame this one on anything other than the economy. If Chicago has partially completed skycrapers with no work going on because the loan fell through, clearly Indy can't expect to be immune.

    I can understand your frustrations with some of the things that happen locally. I actually used to have an approach similar to you. But I got behind it. I think it's an expression of a local inferiority complex to tell you the truth. As cities and people mature, we compare ourselves to our elders so to speak, to the cool upperclassman, the big league cities, etc. And it isn't surprising that we come up wanting and inadequate. But like that high school or college freshman, we come to understand that the older kids weren't quite as cool as they thought they were, got comfortable in our own skin, and found our own paths to success. So it is with cities. Of course Indy should compare itself to the best that is out there in the world. And I think a high bar should be set. But expecting the city to become San Francisco or something overnight isn't realistic.

    Indy has come a long way and is positioned to go further. Is it perfect? No, of course not. I could make a long list of complaints myself and often do on my blog. But it is city that is slowly maturing and coming into its own. It is growing up and will find it own unique adulthood as a city that is a mix of the best from elsewhere and a unique local character. And Indy can feel good that it is on the way up. It is still that high school freshman with its best days ahead of it. Detroit, Cleveland and way too many other places are already in the geriatric ward. Their best days are long gone.

    Rather than always bemoaning the things that are messed up in Indy, why not celebrate the good from time to time: the Cultural Trail, the IHIE, LOS, the airport terminal, ExactTarget's expansion, etc. And pitch in and help to make it better in the places it isn't. I realize you are out of town, but that's no boundary. In fact, taking advantage of its disapora/expatriate network is something I believe Indy should do to help drive its future growth and to help bring that perspective and ideas from the outside world. Are you willing to step up and help?

    - Urb
  • Dustin, do you speak like this in real life or just through your keyboard?

    99% of those that post, or even just read these blogs have a desire to see Indy grow to what we all know it is capable of being. Your mindset is a particular one that hinders progress in a non-tangible, non-direct way. Either contribute some morcels of positive thought or like I stated previously, Go to sleep!
  • Normally I would post with a standard don't feed the trolls regarding D's post, but since it prompted Urbanophile to post such a great response I almost want to thank D for bringing it up.

    Everyone in the construction industry has been running into similar problems with a lack of credit to get things off the ground, but from what I can tell people are still genuinely optimistic. I have faith in our local economy and real estate values, we'll get through this and the Ralston will be built when the time is better. Just be sure to continue supporting your local businesses and keep a smile on your face.
  • i heard the 707 project (half built) is on hold.
  • 707 is a whole 'nother animal. Million-dollar condos tucked between a metalworking factory, the Senior Center and a scruffy bar on the east side of College is a concept that's a bit ahead of its time.
  • No surprise. As stated, even the most financially sound projects right now are on hold. Financing was secured; I am sure there is a letter stating just that; however, as mentioned, if the money isn't in the bank then no one is going to close.

    This does not mean that in the next few weeks, assuming the screwing of the American people gets passed today, the loan will close and all will be well.
  • Is this the same Dustin clown from other posts??? Geez.

    Several of these large projects need to realize that in the not too distant future if any of these projects want to be up and running before the Super Bowl they will need stay somewhat close to their timelines. Some of these projects can't go into 2010 still on the unknown list.

    The credit squeeze will ease a bit going into next year. It still will be hard to come by, but credit lines will open back up a little as the banks stablilize and will need to begin generating income producing loans again.

    The problem was not large upscale projects... the problem was fools taking out either predatory loans, homes they couldn't afford, and high-margin/max leverage loan practices. Solid projects will a solid lender and reputable owner should not be held back.
  • Some solid lenders thought Premier Properties built solid projects and that they were a reputable owner, CreamCrimson. Those lenders were left holding pretty pictures of a large upscale project and an abandoned strip mall. Venu, anyone?
  • Hopefully Ratio will use this extra time to re-evaluate the design of this eyesore. I agree that the architecture is progressive, at least in Indianapolis terms, but frankly, the design needs some serious TLC.
  • Cory, it might be interesting if you can find the info to give a rundown of many of the big projects you've blogged about to see what their status is. I'm sure there are many on hold.

    The downside to the entire credit mess is that it will likely negatively affect more good projects that now can't get financing than it will help the banks get out from under the bad projects they've financed.
  • I am waiting for berwickguy's assessment. :lol:
  • How about thundermutt's assessment: don't feed the troll!
  • Dustin is nothing more than the typical lower middle class fool from the midwest who LOVES to piss people off with his inane comments. I do believe everybody can and should share thier opinions, but when it is clearly done in a way to antagonize people, JUST SHUT UP!!!! Dustin, please go flip some burgers and stay off this site, it is not meant for moronic children. The reasons this project is on hold is to complex for you to understand, so silence yourself. Oh, and can you make that burger plain thanks.
  • Brian Epstein knows how to get things done the right way. As things improve, he will move this project along with the correct considerations. It is a shame that the greed that has driven these markets to a point of self destruction has impacted so many that didn't deserve to take a hit. Brian is one of those that does not deserve his current fate.

    I worked for Irwin Union several years ago. I could see some of the changes that Will Miller was making were suspect. He proved to be much too big for his own shoes, trying to turn a small town bank into a national player with very risky strategies. And now, he may be lucky to even hold on to the pile of rubble that he has left himself with. Shame on you Mr. Miller for your ridiculous decisions and for the bad calls you made toward people that served you well and whom you wrongfully and callously terminated.
  • Is there any way to report Dustin to IBJ? Get a job, get a life, get a clue. Nobody appreciates your quips or condescending remarks. It is you who appears to relish the attention from your posts. Nobody wants to know you, get over yourself. Get lost. Go to sleep.
  • Dustin, you've worn out your welcome here. Please find another site to troll.
  • For those annoyed by D's posts: Please don't feed the trolls. It is the responsibility of those who use the property lines forum to deal with the troll menace in the only effective way - complete disregard for anything they post.

    Nobody values a troll's posts, they contribute little if nothing to the conversation. Responding to them only validates the troll's pathological need for attention. Resist the urge to respond.
  • I wonder if this will affect The Legends SoDo District? Does anyone know?
  • Thank you Cory. :-)
  • I'm not even sure if the Legends SoDo District was real in the first place. I don't see it happening in my lifetime.
  • the beliouy (sp?) was given back to 5/3 yesserday. :/ Evidently 5/3 has fired every one of their comm loan officers.

    dis not guud.
  • berwick guy = brian epstein?
  • Not Brian Epstein, just one who respects what he does. You continue to be full of hooey.
  • thanks for resorting to petty name calling. :roll: All i did was axe a questyun.
  • 5/3 has NOT fired all their commercial loan officers. In fact, I heard that they hired at least one new one from Nat City in the past week or two. 757 hasn't

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