Developer unveils plans for former Central State site

October 17, 2013
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Plans for a proposed $5 million redevelopment of the former Central State Hospital campus show a mix of uses, including student housing, event space, office and industrial space and even the possibility of a brewery.

central state 225pxThe city’s Metropolitan Development Commission is considering whether to rezone 115 acres on West Washington Street to allow for the redevelopment. The commission continued the request Wednesday until Nov. 20 to gather more information.

Local developer Reverie Estates is floating the plan to convert four historic buildings at what’s now known as Central Greens. With the exception of the Indiana Medical History Museum, none of Central State’s buildings has been renovated so far.

Reverie President Chris Piazza is pursuing the project in partnership with master developer Central Greens LLC, led by Mike Higbee.

Piazza declined to offer many specifics because the two are still in negotiations and haven’t signed a contract. But, he said, “We do have an interest in the site and hope to move forward with the development if negotiations go well.”

Piazza plans to finance much of the project with a $3 million loan from the Local Initiatives Support Corp. LISC Executive Director Bill Taft said he’s already received approval from the not-for-profit’s credit committee to make the loan.

The administration building would re-used for student housing (A on the site plan key), the men’s recreation building would be converted to an event center (B), the carpentry shop would be redeveloped into office and industrial space (C), and the kitchen and dining building would become a brewery (D), according to the plans.

There already is activity at Central Greens. Ground was broken in August on Christel House Academy West, a charter school being built on about nine acres donated by the city. And local developer Pedcor completed the 144-unit The Steeples on Washington in December.


  • Plenty of space
    Great, The area needs to be productive an help with tax revenue coming. It also would be nice space to build some adult disabled housing as well. This is in short supply in Indy and would be a good space to put some new apartment homes for those 50+ with Disablities. Just a thought.
  • Central State
    I have commented on this for the last 10 years. The city and state should declare this a 100% tax free enterprise zone subject to certain ownership requirements and length of time of owning property. All state and city taxes are waived for 5 or 10 years. The area hires private security and it will grow and prosper.
    • tax free?
      I don't think we need tax free zones. Explain this concept to all the homeowners who struggle with their property taxes to subsidize developers. Enough!

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    1. What became of this project? Anyone know?

    2. Scott, could you post an enlarged photo of the exterior of the building? This will be a great addition to Walnut Street. This area will only continue to develop with additions like this. Also, please give us more updates on the "Cultural Trail light" expansion. Also a great move for the city, as long as there is maintenance money set aside.

    3. Great story IBJ! Citizens don't have a real sense of the financial magnitude of supporting Indy's sports and tourism sector. The CIB was a brilliant idea for creating a highly integrated public-private partnership to support this sector from the economic activity it generates. Unfortunately, most folks think the benefits of that economic activity accrue directly to the City budget, and it doesn't. So though the CIB is facing lean times (covering its costs while maintaining minimally acceptable reserves), the City is operating with deficit - less tax revenue than expenses each year - with a very fragile reserve balance. That's why it's so challenging for the City to fund basic needs or new intitatives (e.g. pre-k education; new jail), and some credit rating agencies have downgraded Indy from it's past stellar AAA status. More reporting on City finances would be welcomed.

    4. Sure, I'll admit that it bugs me to see that the IBJ.COM censors it's blog posts almost as much as the D of I does when someone points out the falsehoods and fabrications. _____But I think it bothers me almost as much that Captain/Defender/Disciple get his yanked too. You see, those of us with a sense of integrity, humanity, compassion, and a need for fact based opinion WANT to see all of his screeds posted. It makes our point so much better than we can do it ourselves.

    5. We're conflating two very different topics. Voter fraud is a myth and excessive gun violence is all too real. I just hope rational gunowners decide to stop being shouted down by the, well, let's call them "less rational" ones.