Construction begins on downtown condo project

November 11, 2009
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Construction has finally begun on a condo conversion of an historic five-story building known as The Shelton. A loan for the roughly $3-million project fell through last year, but developer Klaus Wittern recently secured new financing from Merchants Bank of Indiana, formerly known as Symphony Bank. Plans for the 1926 building on Delaware Street between St. Clair and Ninth streets call for 16 condo units with hardwood floors, granite countertops, tiled showers and stainless-steel appliances. They will range from $130,000 for 650-square-foot units to the mid-$200,000s for units larger than 1,000 square feet. The first should be available by March, and completion is scheduled for May. The building originally contained 50 apartment units and was designed by an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright. Keystone Construction is the general contractor.

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  • Nice
    w00t! Nice win for downtown.
  • Excellent
    I'm glad. I've watched this building for a while, especially as I temporarily lived in the Renaissance Tower behind it.

    I'm glad it is finally getting the work it needs...prices seem reasonable as well.
  • GREAT!
    it is great to hear when developers are receiving money again to develop new places. Granted, this is not new, but upgraded, which is like new. I hope that the developer can deliver like promised.
  • Great News for Indy
    Wow. Kudos to the developer for revitalizing a true piece of history. Condos under 300k with a great view are hard to find. Best of luck.
  • saturated
    I think there's a lot of potential to be had with this building. But in my opinion the market is saturated with condos. At 16th and central there are condos that have never been able to sell for $190,000.
    It WILL be great to see this blight be returned to its former glory though! So, for that I'm excited and commend the developers.
  • Never ceases to amaze me
    About 10 steps by 7 1/2 steps for $130,000. That's not much room to live in for $130,000.00
    • comment
      I like this project - and the prices seem very reasonable. I love when great old buildings like this are rehabilitated. I wish them luck as well.
    • Ummm
      I think your math may need a little work there HarveyF! ;-)
    • location
      This is actually a great location. Delaware St. is a "great divider" but once you cross it, you're just a block from the library, the new Bar Yats, Urban Elements, Living Room Lounge, etc. It's also just a couple of blocks from the soon-to-be ubiquitous Cultural Trail. With a few more investments in the area and a little bit of traffic calming/streetscaping along Delaware, this area will great.
    • Apartments???
      I wish the condo stuff would STOP. Seriously. Too many downtown and the more they build, the more vanilla the downtown becomes.
    • Do the Math
      Caliboy: 650 square feet is about 30x22.5, and my steps are 3 feet long. 10x7.5 steps.

      And since when is $200 per square foot ($130,000/650) "reasonable"? That's high end, comparable to the Axia Urban condos and townhomes.

      Don't kid yourselves. These are "starter luxury" condos. Think BMW 1-series and Mini Cooper cars.
      • I concede...
        ... that perhaps I took the "10 steps by 7.5 steps" reference a bit too literally. I still like the project.
      • Filling a void
        Cranky as some people get about more new condo developments, this is a solid addition. $200 per square foot may seem steep in this land of cheap housing, but that's very reasonable for an urban condo. Amenities at this location are relatively modest. And it sure beats the majority of condos that are going for $300-$400/s.f., which are prices you'd find in Boston. It would be hard to sell much lower than this and still find a buyer--the Mini Cooper crowd is typically willing and able to pay this. The rental market will be much more accommodating to a broader economic range.
      • Quartz over granite
        Developer should try quartz not porous and moldy like granite.
      • Disagree
        While I agree in general with the condos making downtown vanilla, this is an exception. This is nothing like the stupid boxes covered in strip mall adornments by Market Square.
      • easy move it
        The move in would be easy, 1 packing box and your tooth brush. 650 SQ FT. ?????. Isn't that about the size of a Tahoe. Nice to see it's getting rehabbed. Love the Older building.

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      2. I believe that is incorrect Sir, the people's tax-dollars are NOT paying for the companies investment. Without the tax-break the company would be paying an ADDITIONAL $11.1 million in taxes ON TOP of their $22.5 Million investment (Building + IT), for a total of $33.6M or a 50% tax rate. Also, the article does not specify what the total taxes were BEFORE the break. Usually such a corporate tax-break is a 'discount' not a 100% wavier of tax obligations. For sake of example lets say the original taxes added up to $30M over 10 years. $12.5M, New Building $10.0M, IT infrastructure $30.0M, Total Taxes (Example Number) == $52.5M ININ's Cost - $1.8M /10 years, Tax Break (Building) - $0.75M /10 years, Tax Break (IT Infrastructure) - $8.6M /2 years, Tax Breaks (against Hiring Commitment: 430 new jobs /2 years) == 11.5M Possible tax breaks. ININ TOTAL COST: $41M Even if you assume a 100% break, change the '30.0M' to '11.5M' and you can see the Company will be paying a minimum of $22.5, out-of-pocket for their capital-investment - NOT the tax-payers. Also note, much of this money is being spent locally in Indiana and it is creating 430 jobs in your city. I admit I'm a little unclear which tax-breaks are allocated to exactly which expenses. Clearly this is all oversimplified but I think we have both made our points! :) Sorry for the long post.

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