Outback, Olive Garden slated for Michigan Road

May 7, 2013
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The Carmel City Council on Monday agreed to pave the way—literally—for commercial development planned for the west side of Michigan Road south of 106th Street.

Thompson Thrift’s West Carmel Commons already has landed Outback Steakhouse as a tenant, and Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said Darden Restaurants is poised to build an Olive Garden.

The two development sites, directly across from a retail center that includes a popular Super Target store, would be accessible via a 600-foot extension of Retail Parkway.

Hamilton County will pay up to $480,000 to build the road, and city engineers will oversee construction.

City Council members OK’d a so-called interlocal agreement allowing the project to proceed, agreeing to contribute as much as $150,000 in road fees from developers if the winning bid exceeds the county’s appropriation.

Brainard urged the council to approve the project, saying businesses already have expressed interest in the property.

“Olive Garden is ready to build,” he said, adding that the company has identified a dozen potential restaurant sites and is prepared to choose a different one if road construction doesn’t begin soon. “This is where they want to build it, but we need to get going or they’re going to move to another site.”

Early development on the site, located in a county-controlled tax increment financing district, is expected to contribute $160,000 a year in TIF revenue.

  • Blah
    Brainard: “Olive Garden is ready to build,” he said, adding that the company has identified a dozen potential restaurant sites and is prepared to choose a different one if road construction doesn’t begin soon. “This is where they want to build it, but we need to get going or they’re going to move to another site.” So? Is it really that important to spend over $600,000 in city and county tax monies to attract Olive Garden and Outback, two chains that can be found all over the metro area? I thought Carmel was trying to up its game and be more unique.
    • Go for it
      Moving the big (boring) chains to Hamilton County hopefully makes more room for imaginative, independent, locally owned restaurants south of 96th street. Victory for Marion County! Enjoy that blooming onion with your (free) breadsticks.
      • PLEASE....
        Everyone knows that N. Michigan Road really isn't Carmel....more of the nicer side of 465. The Mayor would never allow an Outback or Olive Garden in the heart of Carmel. So let social climbing Marion County kids and Zionsville escapees flood Carmel's share of sales tax from these chains so we can continue to build the real Carmel!
        • Thanks
          I could not have said it better myself! You hit all the points. Building the real Carmel is key. I am in awe of the progression.
        • What about Red Lobster?
          I would preferred a Red Lobster over Outback Steakhouse since I'm much closer to the Outback Steakhouse on 86th and Michigan and I am a Carmel resident. The nearest Red Lobster for me is in Castleton but it's pretty far to travel. Same goes for the Lafayette area.
        • Give me a break
          The nicer side of 465 IS Zionsville. Zville puts the concrete jungle of Carmel to shame. I grew up in Carmel, went to CHS, moved to Zville 16 years ago and bye bye Greyhounds and hello Eagles. Zionsville is old money with class and manors. Carmel is new money that are crass and over blown upper middle class wanabes. Mayor No Brainer has ruined Carmel. Carmel lost all it's small town charm circa 1988.
          • carmel is becoming commercial
            I agree with you Lisa. Carmel is becoming commercialized. hell from 86 and Michigan to 82 and 69, really is no different then what carmel is. To me carmel is just another extended part of indpls. Lets just call it the far north side. I drive down springmill everyday and at 116 springmill their putting a cvs and other retail stores. Next will be fast food restaurants. There goes the neighborhood. oh yea Zionsville is the old carmel.
          • Upset
            Some of us that live in Carmel are not stuck up wanna be's we don't all live in big house and I find your comments really offensive!
          • Olive Garden management is so so poor
            The structure and treatment of workers is nothing short of appalling. It's a shame that the restaurant allows such unfair and illegal activities to happen. Currently, there is an issue with how much the employees are being paid. There are workers who are being told that they are serving, but when they show up to work, they are placed as a "runner", but still making the $2.13/hr server wage rate. This issue has been brought up but not taken care of. This isn't the first time and probably won't be the last, but there seems to be an ongoing issue with the restaurant. This is already an issue nationally as Darden restaurants (Olive Garden, Red Lobster, etc) is under a class action suit for unfair labor practices. It's a shame that this restaurant JUST OPENED and is in the middle of a lawsuit, yet continues to ignore fair labor practices and continues to remain ignorant and offend the law. Go to dardenlawsuit.com to view more information. The issues described in this site are exactly what's going on and the restaurant is only DAYS old! So disappointing. Please think twice when dining here. The workers are underpaid and being taken advantage of.
          • never a carmel??
            Everything has a price! Carmel is not exempt.

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          4. downtown in the same area as O'malia's. 350 E New York. Not sure that another one could survive. I agree a Target is needed d'town. Downtown Philly even had a 3 story Kmart for its downtown residents.

          5. Indy-area residents... most of you have no idea how AMAZING Aurelio's is. South of Chicago was a cool pizza place... but it pales in comparison to the heavenly thin crust Aurelio's pizza. Their deep dish is pretty good too. My waistline is expanding just thinking about this!