Latest real estate headlines

February 19, 2008
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It's a busy week for real estate news. Here are a few headlines:

Circuit CityCircuit City closes Clay Terrace store

Carmel's high-end lifestyle center Clay Terrace has an empty big box. Virginia-based Circuit City closed the local store Sunday as part of a nationwide effort to shore up finances. The struggling electronics retailer has seen its stock fall below $5. The Carmel location is the only local store affected by a recent round of closings. What would you like to see here?

                              Merrill TowerHearing planned for Merrill Street tower

Plans for a 24-story tower between Eli Lilly & Co.’s Faris Campus and Lucas Oil Stadium are scheduled for a Wednesday hearing by the Metropolitan Development Commission. The $47 million project, by a development team including locally based Prince/Alexander Architects, calls for a 225-room hotel, first-floor retail, a parking garage and 40 apartments. The original plan called for condos instead of apartments. Planning staff has recommended approval for rezoning of the parcel along West Merrill Street.

Local food shop looks at Sunflower space
Sunflower MarketBroad Ripple's homegrown Good Earth Natural Food Store is exploring the possibility of moving into the vacated Sunflower Market space on 62nd Street. The Good Earth is bursting at the seams of its current location, a converted house at 6350 Guilford Ave. Grocery chain Supervalu closed its Sunflower stores this month and is looking to sublease the space.

  • The Merrill tower looks nice but I don't want to see the beautiful houses there demolished for it(especially the brick ones).
  • What a great idea for Good Earth. The old store has poor space for parking and is a warren of little rooms....yet it draws a steady customer base. Yes it has quirky charm but it should do even better with increased space, exposure, and parking. Go for it!
  • Amen. Good luck to Good Earth. A natural fit.

    And what's this? Hamilton County can't support all the big boxes it already has? What a shock!
  • Just found out yesterday that Value City is closing...not that I really am saddened but just didn't know
  • Yes, yes, yes and yes to apartments in the Merrill Tower. Finally a developer sees that there's a saturated market for condos and an unsatisfied demand for downtown apartments.
  • Right with CorrND here. If I were to move back to Indy, me and my wife would be looking for an apartment downtown, and I'm sure there are many people like us who are looking for a real residence, not a pied-a-terre. More projects like this could lead to a real increase in actual population density, which makes it more likely that public transit options would improve as well as maybe attract real education options to Center Township.
  • I think Good Earth should go for it! They have a great track record in Broad Ripple and I'd hate to see the former Sunflower Market sit empty for a long time.

    Also...I agree that there would be higher density downtown if there were more apartments available.
  • I'm for more apartments, but there isn't much around for those that would dwell in those apartments. Red Garter Subway and White castle. No other plans for food has been brought forth in that area except for Ralston Square which hasn't been on the radar recently. I like the ideas of apartments, but I think they should at least offer a few condos. Peyton Manning bought a condo at the Hilton for his family to stay when they come in to town. I bet there are others out there that would do something like that.
  • I think it is a great idea to build apartments into this project vs condos. There are no other quality aparments in this area but I can certainly see the demand with Lucas. If they can get the financing to build this, it would be a great project along side Ralston Square and SODO (if they happen).
  • Mr. Apartments...

    Not much around?

    If you walk a couple of blocks NE (it's a hassle, I know) you're right in the middle of the Wholesale District.

    Let's talk about the real issue hear. The design, as is, is fugly. It's a horribly run-of-the-mill parking garage with a cheesy beach hotel stuck on top.

    ...and yes, I will complain about the design. Somebody has to! :-)

    The move to apartments is great news.
  • Apartments -- you must not realize how close Merrill Street Tower would be to downtown. If built, it will be a 2-block walk to the Slippery Noodle and then one more block to the heart of the Wholesale District. I'd say that's plenty close to things to do.
  • Sorry able, we must be on a wavelength this morning, typing the same thing at the same time!
  • Brian which Value City is closing?
    Brian Says:
    February 19th, 2008 at 7:07 pm
    Just found out yesterday that Value City is closing…not that I really am saddened but just didn’t know

    Good Earth needs the space and maybe they can expand their selection.
  • Crystal: The Value City Department Store location in Greenwood is closing. Also, as an update, the Daily Journal reports that the City of Greenwood may consider moving government offices into the space.
  • Great news about Merril Street Tower. This change to apartments has really helped the likelyhood of it getting built! I would assume that financing is lined up if they are proceeding forward. Obviously it isn't the best design, but I have been surprised lately at many projects once construction started versus the renderings/elevations. This tower should be about the same height of the Conrad (aprox 250') and will really be noticable in that area around the Luke.
  • I thought the Panda Express location downtown was going to be a Dunkin Donuts. I saw Carmel was getting another DD. Any word on downtown? The rest of the city?
  • donutman: The Dunkin deal is still on for the Panda Express location. Look for a May opening.
  • Forbidden City 86th street location is now closed. I will miss their Egg Drop soup.
    Thanks Cory for the VC info.
  • To all, your right, I thought that the tower was further south closer to the Interstates and the SouthEast corner of the entire Luke block. My apologies. I hope IndyGo though does reroute and thinkg about the public transportation in this section. Cory, are talks still going on with the Central US POstal Building downtown becoming more of a transportation HUB for IndyGo?
  • FYI: The Merrill Street tower plans were continued again today.
  • Can you please update us with the hearing on that building Cory? Thanks.
  • It looks like there's going to be a saturation fo apartments downtown. Here's another one:

    I happened to drive by last weekend and it looks like they're going to open soon.
  • Occupants rates for apartments in the downtown are pretty much the highest of anywhere in the city. I think it will be a very long time before the downtown apartment market becomes oversaturated.
  • thanks alot cshouten I appreciate your help. Do you know if it will be a 24 hr DD? I work downtown at night and there is only so much Speedway coffee a person can drink.
  • For the Merril Tower they should buy the design for the Intercontinental Hotel proposal that fell thru a year ago & build it here. Now THAT would be something!
  • Is there really a large enough amount of people that would pay $850 for a one bedroom apartment? I know it is a luxuary apartment, but it is only 677 squarefeet. I own my place with just under a 1000 square feet and it is less that $750 a month for all my insurance, taxes and PMI rolled into it. I'm just scared that apartments are going to be priced too high on all the new units and then it won't get the right demographic of people we need downtown to sustain a more vibrant night-life.
  • Apartments-

    MOST DEFINTELY. Thus the reason why the occupancy rate for apartments in the CBD is at 98%. Further, it's a lifestyle living downtown versus somewhere on 465 that will bring people to these new options.
  • But $850 for a Walk in Closet with a Bath and Kitchen? Rents even in Bloomington aren't that bad and they Rape you down there. I guess some would, I just assume people would realize that you pay less for a house you own and are building up equity, still near the downtown. I will say this though, with Merril Tower being so close to Lilly, I have heard that the developers talked with Lilly on actually using multiple apartments units as corporate housing for when staff from other states comes to work on projects. That will be a nice consistent revenue stream. This came from a person that works inside the Lilly Business Development Office.
  • Merrill Tower hearing: Wed. March 5th, 1 p.m. I wonder if anyone will show up to remonstrate about the design of the building, or if it will just be neighbors that don't want something tall next door.

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