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Summit Realty pursues downtown building for HQ

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An Indianapolis commercial real estate brokerage that plans to purchase a downtown building and move its headquarters there is requesting a property tax abatement to offset costs related to the $3.3 million investment.

Summit Realty Group wants to acquire and renovate the building at 241 N. Pennsylvania St. known in recent years as Five Indiana Square. The project is expected to create 50 jobs at an hourly wage of $29.65 and retain 38 more at an hourly wage of $38.46, according to the abatement request.

The Metropolitan Development Commission of Marion County is set at its Wednesday meeting to consider the eight-year abatement, which has received support from city officials.

Constructed in 1902, the four-story building has been owned by a Lafayette investor for the last several years and has been vacant for about 10 years. Summit principals said they have the building under contract but there are a number of hurdles to clear, including winning the tax abatement, before the purchase goes through.

If the deal closes, Summit would move its offices to the top two floors of the 31,000-square-foot building from space it leases on the 47th floor of the Chase Tower. The 5,600-square-foot street level and 6,500-square-foot second floor would be offered for lease.

“We are excited about the opportunity for Summit to retain its presence downtown and rebrand the building for our headquarters,” said Summit CEO William Ehret. The rebranding would include doing away with the Five Indiana Square name.

The building is notable for its terra cotta facades on Pennsylvania and New York streets. Those would be restored as part of the building's overhaul. Summit is also seeking LEED certification for the project.

According to the abatement request, Summit’s investment would result in an increase to the county tax base of about $1 million of assessed value. It is estimated the firm will save $132,268, or 56 percent of the total property tax bill, over the span of the abatement.

One of Summit's current developments, led by Ehret and another firm principal, John Demaree, involves the conversion of the seven-story McOuat Building at 14 E. Washington St. and the adjoining building at 10 E. Washington St. into retail space and apartments.

The McOuat Building will have room for between 20 and 22 one-bedroom loft apartments on floors three to seven. Available retail spaces on the first and second floors will range from about 3,600 square feet to about 15,500 square feet.

Founded in 1993, Summit is the city’s fourth-largest commercial real estate brokerage, according to IBJ’s most recent statistics. The firm has 24 licensed salespeople and 30 full-time employees.

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