Developer targets long-empty College Avenue retail building

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A 1927 retail building a few blocks north of Massachusetts Avenue is poised for revival after sitting empty more than 30 years.

Teagen Development Inc. has a purchase agreement for the 6,600-square-foot building at 1101 N. College Ave., rescuing it from an attempt—since withdrawn—to demolish the structure.  

John Thompson, who has owned the property since 2005, applied to the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission in August for permission to raze the building, the roof of which caved in within the last 18 months.

IHPC has jurisdiction over and typically frowns upon the demolition of buildings that fall within the city’s designated historic districts. The building at 11th and College is in the northeast corner of the Chatham Arch historic district and is just south of the Old Northside historic district.

REW College retail building 15colThe building at 11th and College has seven storefronts and originally housed a grocery, barbershop, shoe repair business and laundry. (IBJ Photo/Perry Reichanadter)

Thompson withdrew the request to demolish when Teagen principal Larry Jones stepped forward to buy the building. Jones said he has agreed to pay “in the mid-five figures.”

Jones is no stranger to successful infill retail projects in urban neighborhoods. His company developed the Chatham Center, a building at Ninth and East streets with 9,100 square feet of retail space and 11 apartments. He also developed Lincoln Park Shops at 25th Street and Central Avenue and is a partner in the entity that bought and improved the Murphy Art Center, a 44,000-square-foot building at 1043 Virginia Ave. in Fountain Square.

The building at 11th and College has seven storefronts and originally housed the Great A&P Tea Co., a barbershop, a shoe repair business and a laundry. Over the years, it also housed restaurants and a delicatessen.

Jones anticipates leasing to three to five tenants and charging about $14 a square foot, less than the $19 he charges at Chatham Center about four blocks away. The lower rent is an acknowledgement that the property, immediately south of an interstate overpass, isn’t one that will benefit from pedestrian traffic.

“I’ve got to keep the rents down to attract tenants who will attract people to that corner,” Jones said. He noted the corner has good vehicular access from 11th and College.

A fresh produce and specialty foods retailer is Jones’ top choice for the space, but he thinks it could have appeal for small office users or service providers, such as a quick-shipping office.

Jones has a couple of hurdles to clear before executing the purchase. Though the property is zoned for commercial use, it doesn’t have dedicated parking. He’s had preliminary discussions with the city about allowing parking on a dead-end spur of 11th Street that extends east from College.

Because the building once housed a laundry, he’s also awaiting the results of environmental testing being conducted by Alt & Witzig Engineering Inc. to find out the extent of any clean-up that could be necessary.

Provided the parking and environmental issues are resolved, Jones anticipates restoring the building façade and keeping the distinctive green roof tiles. The back of the building would be rebuilt within the existing footprint. Blackline Studio, a local architecture firm, is drawing up plans.

Donna Hovey, a retail broker with the local office of CBRE, thinks the project will succeed if Jones can finalize the deal.

“He did a superb job on the Chatham Center project,” said Hovey. Jones has been successful, she said, because he knows the neighborhoods he works in and doesn’t get greedy with his rates.

She said the price point will compare well to some spaces on nearby Massachusetts Avenue that are asking $25 a square foot.

Besides benefitting from the nearby historic neighborhoods, the project could take advantage of its location just a few blocks east of the south end of the Monon Trail, Hovey said.


  • Wahoo!!
    This is excellent news - fingers crossed for a local coffee house :)
  • I walk that way all the time
    I disagree with the comment that it won't benefit from foot traffic. I think the surrounding neighborhoods would love a coffee shop or sandwhich place a little closer to home. I know I would.
  • Yeah!
    Larry Jones, thank you from everyone who loves that little building!
  • About Time!
    I used to live in the Van Rooy apartments across the street from there in 1997, and I always wondered why no one took advantage of what looks like relatively good bones (pre-roof collapse, of course). Kudos to him. I would imagine the foot traffic alone would keep a small grocery in business since it is right in the middle of Marsh and Kroger. If I still lived there, I would probably had been there all the time!
  • Kudos
    Kudos to Larry Jones for investing in existing real estate that caters to cost conscious start ups. Larry does an excellent job of rebuilding these types of properties without cutting corners on quality. Projects like this do a lot more for the betterment of neighborhoods and social good than for the owners wallet. Kudos Larry, may the redevelopment Gods bless you with no environmental issues and brisk permitting.
  • This is really good news
    "A fresh produce and specialty foods retailer is Jones’ top choice for the space" COOL. We live three blocks away. Give us a business that we can visit once a week and we'll be there.

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. Angela IS the best RD

  2. We are a nation of speed. All of our younger lives are filled with deadlines, quotas and bottom lines. We start to ease out of the pressured rat-race when we finally see "retirement." The most enjoyable travel on the planet is passenger rail service. Indy to Chicago does not beat Megabus or Southwest Airlines in speed. Passenger rail however has the best seating, mammoth legroon, seat backs that recline to more than 45 degrees and employers that really want you to return as a customer. Indiana municipalities need to maintain subsidies to support this transportation mode. Losing it is loss for all of us.

  3. Good day! I just want to testify how i got my loan from Mr. Eric Lefkofsky after i applied several times from various loan lenders who claimed to also testify right in this forum,i thought the testimonies where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan. Until a friend of mine introduce me to this popular Mr. Eric Lefkofsky who promised to help me and indeed he did as he promised without any form of delay. I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr. Eric lefkofsky who indeed helped me with the loan and changed my belief. I promised to share this testimony after I got my loan. I don't know if you are in any way in need of a genuine and urgent loan,free feel to contact Mr. Eric Lefkofsky via their email{grouponfunding@hotmail.com}

  4. Its a THUG issue. Bleecker Street and NYX are thug bars. They attract thugs of all races. Places that attract thugs need to be kicked out of Broad Ripple. Ain't nobody got time for that!

  5. Hello everyone, My name is Marian Gareth, I am from the Texas, United State, am here to testify of how i got my loan from Mr Andre Frank {frankloancompany@yahoo.com} after i applied Two times from various loan lenders who claimed to be lenders right in this forum,i thought their lending where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan.Until a friend of mine introduce me to Mr Andre Frank the C.E.O of Andre Frank Loan Company who promised to help me with a loan of my desire and he really did as he promised without any form of delay, I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr Andre Frank, who really help me with my loan and changed my lief for better. I don't know if you are in need of an urgent loan, free feel to contact Mr Andre Frank on his email{ Frankloancompany@yahoo.com} for help