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Retail space rises in Carmel

Tom Harton
November 24, 2009
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Retail construction has all but ground to a halt because of the recession, but that’s not the case in Carmel, where Keystone Construction Corp. is in the midst of developing a $45 million, mixed-use project that includes 46,000 square feet of retail space.
 
The ground-level retail is part of Keystone’s Arts District Lofts and Shoppes project in the Carmel Arts & Design District. The project, which covers an entire block on Main Street just east of the Monon Trail, will also include 450 parking spaces in two levels of underground parking and 202 apartments on the second through fifth floors.

The Carmel Redevelopment Commission chose Keystone last year to develop the project on a site the commission assembled over several years. Keystone began excavating the two-story underground garage last May after working with Carmel to clear the site of 10 buildings. Above-ground construction began in the last month and the framing for the top floors should begin after the first of the year, said Bruce Stauffer, senior project manager.

Keystone expects to start marketing the retail space and apartments next spring. The building is expected to open in the first quarter of 2011.

That timing could work in Keystone’s favor.

“The retail sector is very soft, and 2010 will be a lot of treading water,” but conditions should improve by 2011, said Bill French, a retail broker and senior vice president at Colliers Turley Martin Tucker.

Project owners who managed to get financing during the recession will be in a good position to lease their space when things pick up because of the scarcity of new space being built now, French said.

The timing isn’t the only thing working in the project’s favor. The population density in and around Carmel’s Arts & Design district is becoming respectable, French said. And with the traffic flow generated by Carmel’s nearby City Center project, which includes performance venues, and a relatively high level of disposable income in the area, the space should be attractive to prospective tenants.

Keystone hasn’t yet determined how much it will charge for the apartments or retail space.

It secured financing earlier this year for the project, which was designed by CSO Architects. A portion of the project is privately financed. Tax increment financing will pay for a portion of the parking garage, one floor of which will be open to the public.
 

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  1. Apologies for the wall of text. I promise I had this nicely formatted in paragraphs in Notepad before pasting here.

  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.

  3. Clearly, there is a lack of a basic understanding of economics. It is not up to the company to decide what to pay its workers. If companies were able to decide how much to pay their workers then why wouldn't they pay everyone minimum wage? Why choose to pay $10 or $14 when they could pay $7? The answer is that companies DO NOT decide how much to pay workers. It is the market that dictates what a worker is worth and how much they should get paid. If Lowe's chooses to pay a call center worker $7 an hour it will not be able to hire anyone for the job, because all those people will work for someone else paying the market rate of $10-$14 an hour. This forces Lowes to pay its workers that much. Not because it wants to pay them that much out of the goodness of their heart, but because it has to pay them that much in order to stay competitive and attract good workers.

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  5. It is sad to see these races not have a full attendance. The Indy Car races are so much more exciting than Nascar. It seems to me the commenters here are still a little upset with Tony George from a move he made 20 years ago. It was his decision to make, not yours. He lost his position over it. But I believe the problem in all pro sports is the escalating price of admission. In todays economy, people have to pay much more for food and gas. The average fan cannot attend many events anymore. It's gotten priced out of most peoples budgets.

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