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Out-of-state developer pitches $75M Carmel project

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Baltimore-based Atapco Properties is seeking to redevelop 34 acres of land between Carmel City Center and the Meridian Street office corridor, converting a portion of the commercial property to residential use.

The Carmel Plan Commission will begin reviewing the $75 million-plus Carmel Lakeside proposal at its June 18 meeting.

Atapco already owns the property on either side of Carmel Drive east of Guilford Road. It plans to keep the existing Lakeside Corporate Center office building on the northeast corner, adding 280 apartments in 10 buildings on now-vacant land behind it.

Atapco carmel development 15colThe $75 million Atapco development would take shape on either side of Carmel Drive east of Guilford Road. (Atapco Properties)

Later phases of the 10- to 15-year plan call for adding more one- and two-bedroom apartments south of Carmel Drive and replacing the nondescript Carmel Corporate Center—four single-story office buildings erected in the 1980s and ’90s—with a pair of two-story structures.

Eventually, a pair of mixed-use buildings would be added along Guilford, on either end of the existing parking lot. One of them is expected to be a three-story parking garage surrounded by retail and 52 more residential units.

“It’s a big project on a pretty important piece of ground in the Carmel Science & Technology Park,” said Mike Hollibaugh, who oversees Carmel’s planning and zoning department. “Converting potential office uses to dense residential is something the city is going to weigh very carefully.”

Atapco representatives said the project is a response to the hefty investment Carmel and private developers have made in recent years. City Center is about a 10-minute walk away, which should draw residents to the apartments—and vice versa.

“It fortifies uses in the Arts & Design District,” said local attorney Charlie Frankenberger, who is representing the developer.

Atapco does not plan to ask for tax abatements or other public assistance, he said.

The project “represents one of the first large-scale investments … which will be funded entirely by the private sector,” said Jon Dobosiewicz, a land-use planner who works for the Nelson & Frankenberger law firm.

That’s likely to be an advantage since the project, pitched as a planned-unit development, will need the approval of a City Council that seems increasingly reluctant to offer financial support to private development.

Officials also must consider how many apartments the market can support, Hollibaugh said.

Although current demand for apartments in Carmel is strong—the occupancy rate there is about 95 percent, according to data from Tikijian Associates—a number of projects already are in the construction pipeline.

“We’ll see who gets out there and gets them built, and who is late to the game,” said George Tikijian, senior managing director of the apartment brokerage firm. “That’s the big question: How many of these projects can go before there’s too many? I suspect we’re going to find out.”

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  • 116th & College
    Sorry, meant 116th & College apartments
  • 116th & Guilford
    Jeffr, I assume the project you're talking about here is the Barrington neighborhood, currently under construction. That is a retirement community, not a normal apartment complex.
    • Oh Well
      Carmel, the land of luxury apartments! Well, luxury for at least a little while. Oh well, Jim needs the money. Add in the Jim's mega-debt and it won't be long and Noblesville and Fishers will be the preferred suburb. Actually Fishers might already be there.
    • Is this a typo?
      "Atapco does not plan to ask for tax abatements or other public assistance"
    • Reset
      This isn't 2006 anymore and it is doubtful we will see the high percentage of home ownership as we did at the peak of the housing boom For many high paid workers their jobs are fluid and the anchor of a house limits job option. The millenials with high student loans are putting off buying houses to much later. These walkable / bicycle friendly apartments will attract the type of works and citizens to keep Carmel as one of the top places to work, live and play in Indiana.
    • Too many apartments
      How many apartments is enough? Huge new development nearby at 116th and Guilford. Housing market is picking up, we will be left with half empty (and not maintained) apartment complexes.
      • Doesn't Matter
        Atapco owns the land. It doesn't matter if you want a local developer or not - it's their land to do with as they wish. That said, they're not going to ship in construction workers from Baltimore to build a Carmel project. Jobs, albeit temporary, will be added, so the city council has no incentive other than greed or spite to shoot this down.
      • Out of State
        Wow, I wonder if we could keep the work in Indiana, and give that project to a more local group. Create more jobs in our own state!

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