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Owner of several properties south of Mass Ave starts to divest

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The pending sale of two historic buildings and a vacant lot just south of Massachusetts Avenue is the first of what could be several deals in the area as one of its largest property owners begins to divest its holdings.

North Lockerbie LLC, the seller, is an entity that a decade ago was the financial muscle behind an ambitious mixed-use development that was to have been built at the northwest corner of College Avenue and Michigan Street.

Ross Reller, a broker with Colliers International who is representing North Lockerbie, said his client is beginning “a careful unwind of their investment.”

North Lockerbie, he said, owns a dozen parcels, both improved and unimproved, in the vicinity of North Street and Park Avenue. Included are commercial buildings and residences at the northwest corner of Park and Michigan Street and three of the four corners of the intersection of Park and North.

The first sale, which is subject to rezoning and other contingencies, involves the southeast corner of that intersection. It includes a historic cottage and a 12,000-square-foot, three-story brick building that dates to 1892. That building was originally known as St. Joseph’s Hall and housed a school associated with a Catholic church of the same name. The long-vacant structure most recently housed a social services organization catering to the Hispanic population.

The listing price for the two buildings together was $475,000 cash. Reller said the two buildings have been on the market for about nine months. The sale includes a vacant lot to the west of the cottage that had not been part of the listing. Reller said the seller decided to sell the vacant lot to facilitate the sale of the buildings.

The would-be buyer is a partnership affiliated with Michele Jackson, a local attorney who specializes in international adoptions. The brick building would be tuck pointed and get a new roof and windows in a rehab that would turn it into office space. The cottage would be rehabbed and leased and the vacant lot would be used for parking.

Plans for the buildings and lot, which are at the south edge of the Chatham Arch historic district, would have to be approved by the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission. The first step is rezoning of the property from industrial to CBD2, a mixed-use zoning common in the downtown area. The rezoning case is scheduled to be heard by IHPC July 6.

Reller said if all goes as expected the sale should close by the end of the third quarter.

“We’re extremely supportive of this buyer,” said Reller, noting that financing for the purchase is already lined up. Another buyer had the property under contract last December, but its plans would not have been acceptable to IHPC, Reller said.

Though none of North Lockerbie’s other properties are listed, Reller said he expects his client to gradually put them on the market.

Reller is working directly with Intrinzia Family Office, a Minneapolis firm that advises wealthy clients, in the disposition of the real estate. He described Intrinzia’s client as a private individual, family or trust that was to have backed North Lockerbie, a mixed-use project that would have been built between North and Michigan and from College Avenue to west of Park.

The project, which was in the planning stages back in 2001, was to have included retail space, condominiums and office space, including a new home for the advertising firm Young & Laramore.

When the deal unraveled, a portion of the site was developed into Lockerbie Park condominiums by a partnership involving Hearthview Residential.   

What remains is likely to be attractive to buyers given the location between Lockerbie Square and Chatham Arch and near Massachusetts Avenue bars and restaurants.

Rob Lukemeyer, a broker with Baseline real estate who is representing the buyer in the sale that’s in the works, said there should be healthy demand for the property.

“The neighborhood has appeal for my client and a lot of people just because of the amenities and the feel,” he said.     

 

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