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Developer proposes $22M project for Keystone Towers site

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Local affordable housing developer The Whitsett Group LLC is proposing a $22 million project that would include nearly 140 apartments and a retail component on the property where the demolished Keystone Towers formerly stood.

Bids to redevelop the land on the northeast side of Indianapolis were due to the city by noon on Tuesday. The Metropolitan Development Commission revealed at its Wednesday meeting that The Whitsett Group was the sole bidder.

The commission can accept or reject the proposal, though there’s no deadline for the group to make a decision, said a city spokeswoman.

The Whitsett Group wants to develop the property in three phases. Construction could start in late winter or early spring on 58 apartments, followed by another 80 apartments in which work could begin late next year, company principal Joseph E. Whitsett said.

The last stage, which would target a 1.5-acre parcel near Binford Boulevard and Allisonville Road at the southern most visible tip, would include retail space.

Whitsett said he doesn’t have retailers lined up, but thinks the property could be attractive once the commercial real estate market rebounds.

“It’s a fine area,” he said, “except for that hulk of a building that finally got torn down.”

About 750 pounds of explosives brought down the Keystone Towers' 15-story apartment building and eight-story office building in about 15 seconds on Aug. 28.

Whitsett said he’s surprised his company submitted the lone bid. The federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which will provide financing, is complicated and could have scared some developers away, he said.

Any new projects on the site must include mixed-income rental housing by the rules of the federal grant used to demolish the complex. Roughly half of the units under the Whitsett proposal would be considered affordable under federal guidelines.

Founded in 2007, The Whitsett Group also is working on a $27 million plan to build 190 apartments and more than 44,000 square feet of retail and office space on a parcel northwest of College Avenue and Michigan Street. The company plans to apply for affordable housing tax credits on Nov. 1.

Whitsett finished its 707 East North apartment building at North Street and College Avenue in summer 2010. The 40 units are fully occupied.



 

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  • Factually Inaccurate
    The RFP was posted to the DMD website. Packets were also available at the City/County Building. Proper Public Notice was filed by the city. Suggesting that there was insufficient notice or any other impropriety misleading.
  • really
    Is no one surprised that Whitsett was the sole bidder....no one else was informed to bid on it. just like every other project he does, he has no competition for bidding.

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  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

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