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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          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.