Developer of government building sees potential for more

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A real estate firm founded at the dawn of the Great Recession hoping to break into commercial development has landed its first project: a $4 million office building it will lease to the federal government.

Ambrose Property Group broke ground last month on a 13,000-square-foot building at Intech Park on the northwest side that will house about 75 Social Security Administration employees who are moving from leased space in the Lafayette Square Mall area.

The Social Security office could be the first of many projects Ambrose develops for the government’s General Services Administration. The firm is in various stages of bidding for 15 other government projects as close as Kentucky and Ohio and as far away as Texas and New York, said Patrick M. Chittenden, a vice president at Ambrose who is also one of its founders.

Chittenden said Ambrose spent 18 months getting up to speed on the government bidding process and assembling a proposal. “Hundreds of pages go into a bid,” he said, and the firm wants to put that experience to use to win other government jobs.

Ambrose found out last Dec. 31 that it was the successful bidder. At the same time it learned it had won another project in Muncie, but the government’s budget for the Muncie office was subsequently eliminated and that project is on hold.

The Indianapolis development, at 6745 Network Place, is being financed by M&I Bank. General contractor Shiel Sexton is to complete the building by December. Ambrose purchased the 1.5-acre site in March from an affiliate of Lauth Group Inc., which developed Intech Park.

The one-story building was designed by American Structurepoint. Chittenden said it will include several security features not found in a standard office building, such as shatter-proof glass and a secure perimeter that prevents cars from parking close to or crashing into the building.

Those security features, required by the government, are among the reasons the GSA didn’t simply lease space in an existing building, Chittenden said. They’re also why the GSA will pay more than market rent to lease the building over the course of the 10-year lease.

Chittenden said because it’s a project built for government, the construction wages it requires are higher. And the small size of the building means there are “not a lot of economies of scale” that can be realized. The government is also requiring that the developer pursue Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certification for the project.

John Merrill, managing director of the local office of CB Richard Ellis, said he’s not surprised Ambrose is pursuing government development work.

“The government sector has been one of the few where there’s any activity,” he said. “It’s one of the more active segments of the market. But I don’t know that there’s enough activity for anyone to specialize in that, especially if they’re based here.”

Ambrose was founded in November 2008 by Chittenden, who has a background in construction, and Aasif Bade, a former executive at Duke Realty. The seven-person firm isn’t relying solely on development. It also has brokerage and property management divisions.

Earlier this year, the company was hired by Brenwick Development to handle commercial sales and leasing for the non-residential portions of Village of West Clay, Brenwick’s massive housing development at 131st Street and Towne Road in Carmel. The project includes development sites for office and retail space.



  • Are you kidding?
    This is a joke...there is plenty of cheap vacant space in Indianapolis. This is a total waste tax payers dollars and the reason the government is bankrupt.
  • REALLY ??
    No offense to the local developer for pursuing this project, but with all of the empty space around town, the feds couldn't buy and retrofit a property for 75 people for less than +53,000 per person ???? wow. Is the Social Security Administration THAT much of a target ? double wow. Is there much question why the government is in so much debt ? Unfreakin-believeable

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  1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

  5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?