Light reading + who is closing

August 27, 2008
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Charter Homes in King ParkLet's start with some real estate news from this week's IBJ in print:

Charter Homes owner Jerry Jaquess fancies himself a white knight for King Park, a neighborhood once known mainly for its rampant crime, boarded-up homes and vacant lots. But the local builder also has stirred up several lawsuits, dozens of liens and persistent questions about whether his business is legit. Charter has built about 50 houses (Some shown here) on vacant properties surrounding Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park—lots that sold for as little as $500 a few years ago. Yet in sales disclosures, Charter claims it sold most of the homes for $450,000, more than twice what non-Charter homes in the area typically fetch. Full story

The Mayor’s Office has quietly agreed to consider selling some of the city’s more than 1,100 properties, including police stations, parks and the City-County building. The city awarded the potentially lucrative no-bid contract to Venture Real Estate Services, a politically connected firm led by John Bales. Full story

State environmental regulators are catching grief for what some businesses say is a rush to aggressive new rules for remediating land contamination. Full story

And a few small updates:
  • The popular Chinese Ruby restaurant at 7280 N. Keystone Ave. has closed.

  • Woman’s clothing and accessories store J. Shepard at Clay Terrace has closed.

  • Plans for an Argentinian restaurant downtown called Taste of Tango appear to be on ice. The window at 36 E. Washington St. now features a for-lease sign.

    • What happened to Chinese Ruby? Last time I was there the place was packed.
    • Is the Chinese Ruby still Red?
    • The Chinese Ruby has been outsourced.
    • What's the problem with IDEM requiring businesses to clean up the toxic mess they created?

      Just look at U.S. Steel's endless lawsuits and delays that have prevented the northern Indiana's calumet river from being cleaned up for decades.
    • The Chinese Ruby along with the old Buick dealership are ripe for redevelopment........maybe something is in the works?
    • Chinese Ruby was popular? I only dined there once, but was most definitely NOT impressed...I do agree with Shane that the west side of Keystone in that area could be a nice size parcel for something good...
    • Didn't I read on here once that Taste of Tango was moving to a Market St. location? Also, I am shocked about Chinese Ruby! It was one of my favorites and had been there forever.
    • The Taste of Tango location looked great. Exposed brick on on side and a pretty central location.
    • A clothing store closing at Clay Terrace? I rarely go to that mall, it never really did become the highly upscale retail mall it was promoted to be. It isn't bad, but I still consider Keystone to be THE upscale mall for the region. Someone needs to tell Simon to quit cannibilizing itself with these suburban malls. I expect Hamilton Town Center to suffer as well.
    • BOT - parks for sale. Ballard is going to get into trouble early on this deal. Bob Grand is bales attorney and also the guy advising Ballard on a daily basis. This is another fine example of the lack of brainpower, ethics and basic logic in the Mayors Office. When folks start learning how corrupt this deal is, they will be outraged.

      Ballrd has to go.
    • Shane, it's not called cannibilization, it's called protecting market share. It's better to take money out of one pocket and put it in the other one instead of letting another developer take that dollar.
    • Chinese Ruby closed....Good riddance. It's nothing but cheap Americanized Chinese food.
    • $450K for a cookie-cutter house is in a gentrifying neighborhood? That sounds about right, doesn't it?
    • Delaware News at 130 N. Delaware St has been sold and the newstand will shut down as the new owners only wanted the building. Next month will be the last month.

      Wilson's leather stores are also closing right now they are at 40% off at castleton square.
    • $450K is absurd for that neighborhood. 5-6 blocks west houses will fetch that, but those house are huge houses, fully restored, on huge lots. I really enjoyed this reading this story. Let's see if this is another Premier collapse in the making. Could actually be better.
    • Except...Premier's collapse didn't set a neighborhood back on its heels like a collapse of Charter would. This is sad.
    • Does anyone know what happened with the Penn Arts building?
    • It is still there, isn't it?
    • yes, but vacant........I thought it was being remodeled.....or atleast it was supposed to be.......
    • Having assisted in the design and construction of other homes in the area they probably spent 400,000.00 per unit replacing stolen central air units and the other 50,000.00 on panhandelers.
    • Shane: Reverie Estates has begun marketing the Penn Arts apartment units here, which would seem to suggest the project still is alive.

      On the other hand, the Web site has jibberish as its bio for founder Christopher Piazza.

    • Chinese Ruby closed after I was there four hour.
    • Interesting bus goes past those houses every day and I kept meaning to look them up. But seriously $450k to be surrounded by vacant lots and vacant buildings (not to mention the crime)...clearly something is going on. I was hoping that it was a good project in the making, that neighborhood could use a facelift. I guess we'll have to wait and see.
    • As indicated in the article, they have been running a Ponzi scheme for several years.
    • After taking in all the great information on King Park and Charter I offer the following ...1. Mr flock and Mr Everhart are experts on overpriced properties(lmao) 2. The average price for lots in king park or damn near anywhere close is 30 large.I will pay 5,000 for any you know of .3.450,000 for any house in Indianapolis is a joke.Im not picking on Indy but come on....five blocks away....10 blocks away ....4.18,000 for drawings on 3 houses???? and by the way there all the same so 18,000 for one o.m.g. ill take the tax loss on that deal.5.285,000 balance for drywall ,dude wake up how did you afford gas money from new should have pulled off after 20g and went to frosty boy.are you sure thats drywall dust on your nose.6.why would the assessor not use charters sales figures!!!!! why are you not fired. hell charters tax bill alone would pay for the luke!!!7.Of course the investors live in carmel,where the same house would be 1.5m in CAYmation. 8.Student housing is a respectable use for charter's homes 400 a month is fair but ,2000.00/mo. per unit dosen't pay the bills. So I say to you mr Indy fan be glad your bus hasn't stopped!
    • Haha my bus does stop busses stop every 30 feet didn't you know that?

      In response to your 450k for any house in Indianapolis is a joke I hope you're kidding. There are loads of houses in Indianapolis (downtown, Meridian Kessler, Chatham Arch, Old Northside, Fall Creek Place, Herron-Morton) where houses sell for 450k--that's not unusual. It's the fact that these are in a crime ridden area that offers nothing but empty lots and boarded up buildings to the buyers (bad school, no commercial buildings/restuarants/etc). Very fishy.
    • My family and I are actually devastated about Chinese Ruby closing. It had hands-down the BEST Pork Fried Rice I have ever had. I enjoyed the other food, such as PuPu platter, and cna understand if some of the other offerings were average, but their Pork Fried Rice has been atradition with my family since I can remember. I seriously want to cry every time I drive by. Does anyone know what happened to the owners? Did they open a new place somewhere? Is there any way to contact them??? It will be very sad if I never get to taste their PFR again....please help!!

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    1. I am so impressed that the smoking ban FAILED in Kokomo! I might just move to your Awesome city!

    2. way to much breweries being built in indianapolis. its going to be saturated market, if not already. when is enough, enough??

    3. This house is a reminder of Hamilton County history. Its position near the interstate is significant to remember what Hamilton County was before the SUPERBROKERs, Navients, commercial parks, sprawling vinyl villages, and acres of concrete retail showed up. What's truly Wasteful is not reusing a structure that could still be useful. History isn't confined to parks and books.

    4. To compare Connor Prairie or the Zoo to a random old house is a big ridiculous. If it were any where near the level of significance there wouldn't be a major funding gap. Put a big billboard on I-69 funded by the tourism board for people to come visit this old house, and I doubt there would be any takers, since other than age there is no significance whatsoever. Clearly the tax payers of Fishers don't have a significant interest in this project, so PLEASE DON'T USE OUR VALUABLE MONEY. Government money is finite and needs to be utilized for the most efficient and productive purposes. This is far from that.

    5. I only tried it 2x and didn't think much of it both times. With the new apts plus a couple other of new developments on Guilford, I am surprised it didn't get more business. Plus you have a couple of subdivisions across the street from it. I hope Upland can keep it going. Good beer and food plus a neat environment and outdoor seating.