Long-vacant Carmel restaurant to become pet center

May 30, 2014
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Plans are in the works to transform the former Lotus Garden restaurant in Carmel into a veterinary clinic with a pet spa, boarding facilities and a future bark park.

Veterinarian Anthony Buzzetti is seeking city approval to renovate the distinctive building at 1085 N. Range Line Road (inside and out) for use as a “companion animal medical/wellness center.” A later phase would replace parking with a play area for pets.

Lotus Garden, CarmelThe distinctive roof "wings" on the former Lotus Garden are set to be removed. (IBJ photo)

The 9,600-square-foot facility also will offer dog training, Buzzetti told a Carmel Plan Commission committee this month.

Architect Shawn Curran plans to replace the green metal roof with asphalt shingles. Laminated beams along the roof line will remain, he told committee members, but the “wings” that give the building an Asian flair are set to be removed. He also plans to add a dormer above the entrance vestibule.

An existing house at the rear of the 4-acre site will be remodeled and used to store equipment.

Buzzetti is purchasing the long-vacant property from North Hill Realty LLC. Located at the north end of Range Line just south of Clay Terrace, its assessed value is $1.4 million.

Construction is expected to begin as soon as the Plan Commission OKs the site plan and design.

Two other Buzzetti facilities in Carmel—a medical center at 1455 S. Range Line Road and a wellness center at 12750 Horseferry Road—will remain open, CEO Hal Bond told IBJ.

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  • Really?
    A Chinese restaurant turns into a vet clinic?! Sounds like a SNL skit!
  • Great Idea!
    This property has been vacant for way too long (no pun intended!) Love the new plans for this site!
  • FINALLY!!!
    So glad something is finally going to happen with this space. It is a bit of an eyesore and it needed to either be torn down or somehow developed long long ago!
  • Dog Wash?
    Convenient location for a boarding facility. Would be great if they also put in a few dog-wash stations (for DIYers to come in and use at a reasonable price).
  • Awesome idea
    Sounds great! Hope it is affordable. Be great to have the play area for small dogs to come visit. I board my Min Pin sometimes to travel and places get a little expensive. Hope it works out because my Min Pin deserves the best!

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  1. The $104K to CRC would go toward debts service on $486M of existing debt they already have from other things outside this project. Keystone buys the bonds for 3.8M from CRC, and CRC in turn pays for the parking and site work, and some time later CRC buys them back (with interest) from the projected annual property tax revenue from the entire TIF district (est. $415K / yr. from just this property, plus more from all the other property in the TIF district), which in theory would be about a 10-year term, give-or-take. CRC is basically betting on the future, that property values will increase, driving up the tax revenue to the limit of the annual increase cap on commercial property (I think that's 3%). It should be noted that Keystone can't print money (unlike the Federal Treasury) so commercial property tax can only come from consumers, in this case the apartment renters and consumers of the goods and services offered by the ground floor retailers, and employees in the form of lower non-mandatory compensation items, such as bonuses, benefits, 401K match, etc.

  2. $3B would hurt Lilly's bottom line if there were no insurance or Indemnity Agreement, but there is no way that large an award will be upheld on appeal. What's surprising is that the trial judge refused to reduce it. She must have thought there was evidence of a flagrant, unconscionable coverup and wanted to send a message.

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