Carmel's Main Street getting more upscale apartments

May 2, 2014
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Carmel officials have signed off on Keystone Realty Group’s plans to build a five-story mixed-use building southwest of Old Meridian and Main streets.
As IBJ reported in February, the Indianapolis developer is proposing 14,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and 204 upscale apartments atop a parking garage, making the most of the narrow 5.3-acre site.

Sophia Pointe rendering, April 2014Keystone Realty Group's five-story building will include ground-floor retail along Old Meridian Street. (provided rendering)

The land also slopes down as it nears Old Meridian, forcing designers to come up with a building that is 89 feet tall in places. Keystone had to ask the city to approve the height and other exceptions to established development rules.

Members of the Carmel Plan Commission unanimously approved Keystone’s development plan at their April meeting, and the Board of Zoning Appeals this week cleared a handful of related requests.

“It’s a challenging site,” said City Councilor Kevin “Woody” Rider, also a member of the Plan Commission and chairman of its special studies committee. “We have to concede on height because of the shape of this lot. If we didn’t, we’d have a building in Carmel that would make a great ski slope.”

Keystone made a number of changes to the proposal during the approval process, Rider and others said, including increasing the amount of brick used on the building façade.

The developer also agreed to provide a connection from the property to The District, an $80 million mixed-use project planned south and west of the Keystone site.

Carmel’s Old Meridian District is drawing developers’ attention as West Main Street is poised to become the main route between its Arts & Design District and U.S. 31, which is undergoing a massive overhaul now. No interchanges are planned between Main Street and 116th Street once that project is complete.

Improvements to Main Street also are in the works.

Krieg DeVault attorney Paul G. Reis told the Plan Commission that Keystone is finalizing a cost-sharing agreement with the city to pay for road construction and streetscaping near its site.

The city said last week it has secured $4.2 million in state funding to help expand Main Street on either side of U.S. 31; the required local match is at least 10 percent.

Plans call for expanding roundabouts at Old Meridian and Illinois Street to accommodate two lanes of traffic, as well as installing new utility lines, curbs, gutters, storm sewers and sidewalks. Construction could begin this fall and conclude next spring.

Initially dubbed Sophia Pointe, Keystone’s Old Meridian project likely will get a new name to avoid confusion with the developer’s similar Sophia Square mixed-use building in downtown Carmel. 


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  1. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...

  2. 85 feet for an ambitious project? I could shoot ej*culate farther than that.

  3. I tried, can't take it anymore. Untill Katz is replaced I can't listen anymore.

  4. Perhaps, but they've had a very active program to reduce rainwater/sump pump inflows for a number of years. But you are correct that controlling these peak flows will require spending more money - surge tanks, lines or removing storm water inflow at the source.

  5. All sewage goes to the Carmel treatment plant on the White River at 96th St. Rainfall should not affect sewage flows, but somehow it does - and the increased rate is more than the plant can handle a few times each year. One big source is typically homeowners who have their sump pumps connect into the sanitary sewer line rather than to the storm sewer line or yard. So we (Carmel and Clay Twp) need someway to hold the excess flow for a few days until the plant can process this material. Carmel wants the surge tank located at the treatment plant but than means an expensive underground line has to be installed through residential areas while CTRWD wants the surge tank located further 'upstream' from the treatment plant which costs less. Either solution works from an environmental control perspective. The less expensive solution means some people would likely have an unsightly tank near them. Carmel wants the more expensive solution - surprise!