Pittman plans for 'The Farm' at key Zionsville corner take root

July 16, 2013
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A $90 million mixed-use development proposed for a prominent Zionsville property sailed past its first hurdle Monday night, winning support from the Zionsville Plan Commission.

The board voted 6-0 to advance a rezoning request for The Farm at Zionsville to the Town Council, which could consider the project at its Aug. 5 meeting.

Developer Pittman Partners LLC wants to transform about 62-acres of land at the southwest corner of Michigan Road and Sycamore Street into a high-end commercial and residential hub. (Read IBJ’s May story on the project here.)

Partner Steve Pittman and a team of consultants laid out the project in a three-hour meeting that reflected the care they intend to take in creating a so-called Gateway District at the edge of the largely residential town.

The Pittman family has owned the residentially zoned land for more than three decades, and the current proposal emerged after years of work.

Plans call for up to 150,000 square feet of retail anchored by a specialty grocery store, plus offices and 400 attached housing units. Pittman’s tenant wish list also includes a breakfast spot, a brew pub and other specialty restaurants.

Six single-family “estate” homes are slated for 15 acres on the western edge of the property, where partner Chad Pittman already lives and the family shares a log cabin vacation home.

An eight-foot-wide trail is planned to provide “pedestrian circulation” through the development, Steve Pittman said, with a “connector” crossing Sycamore Street that could tie the project into Zionsville’s historic downtown to the west.

Connectivity is key, Plan Commission member Larry Jones said, urging the Pittman  to do more to encourage walkability on the site. A purely auto-centric development could divert business from downtown, he said.

Plan Commission Chairman Allan Rachles said officials reviewed correspondence from Zionsville residents who supported and opposed the project. Almost all of those who spoke at Monday’s public hearing, however, praised the plans.

Indianapolis attorney Greg Zubek was the primary dissenter, addressing the panel on behalf of client William Ferree, who lives on Sycamore Street across from the proposed development. Pittman’s plan is “sorely lacking in specificity,” he said, and doesn’t do enough to mitigate the impact on long-time homeowners on the north side of Sycamore.

Commission members peppered the Pittman team with questions, but ultimately agreed with town planning staff who said the proposal fits Zionsville’s long-term land-use plan.

The property is a “premiere gateway to the community, and we want it to be right,” Rachles said.

Pittman would not have carte blanche even if the Town Council approves the zoning change. The Plan Commission must approve specific development plans for the site, which would take shape over the next three to five years. 

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  • FYI
    Found interesting
  • The Farm adds much to Zionsville
    The Pittman's vision for The Farm will be a great gateway development at the entrance to the Zionsville community. Appears the Zionsville Plan Commission felt the same way. Good for them. Good for Zionsville.
  • Welcome Development
    I live just north of this area on Michigan Road and look forward to seeing this development come together. It would be nice (but prob cost prohibitive) if they could build a pedestrian tunnel under Sycamore (aka 116th street) to connect to the trail that leads to downtown Zionsville. There are a couple of curves in this road that could make it dangerous for pedestrians to cross. Overall I do think this will be a great development for the Zionsville area.
  • This is the best thing that could happen to Zionsville
    I am thrilled at the prospect of this ill-sited large-scale commercially intensive development being slammed into the face of everyone who drives on Michigan and Sycamore Roads. The inevitable disruption to traffic flow, and the loss of property values for those unfortunate enough to live nearby - especially those on the north side of Timber Ridge, whose homes will, in winter, look right into the dumpsters and loading zones of the stores - is exactly what is needed to, hopefully, totally destroy the quaint character of Zionsville and to finally(?) wake up the many in Zionsville who are asleep at the wheel and have elected Town Council members bent on destroying Zionsville, or at least turn it into another over-built, ill-planned, and under-funded mess like so many other formerly quaint towns and villages. This will be a Gateway development? What a crock! The Brick Street is, and should remain, the gateway to Zionsville. And as for the Pittmans caring about Zionsville, please! Where is my airsickness bag when I need it most? If they cared so much about Zionsville, there wouldn't be three foot high weeds all over their property and thriving in the many cracks in the sidewalk along Michigan Road.

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  1. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

  3. Illegal aliens. Not undocumented workers (too young anyway). I note that this article never uses the word illegal and calls them immigrants. Being married to a naturalized citizen, these people are criminals and need to be deported as soon as humanly possible. The border needs to be closed NOW.

  4. Send them back NOW.

  5. deport now

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