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Technicality delays council's North of South vote

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A technicality caused the City-County Council on Monday night to delay a final vote on the massive North of South mixed-use project slated to be built on 14 acres north of the Eli Lilly and Co. corporate campus.

The lead developer of the project, locally based Buckingham Cos., hopes to finance the $155 million project with $86 million in proceeds from the sale of municipal bonds.

A preliminary vote on the bond sale by the council’s economic development committee had been set for the committee’s regularly scheduled meeting on Feb. 2, but that meeting was canceled due to inclement weather.

Instead, the committee held a special meeting Feb. 4 to consider the financial package so that the matter could be taken up Monday night by the full council. The committee voted 7-0 in favor of the project, but the city’s failure to post notice of the special meeting at least 48 hours in advance appeared to be a violation of the state’s Open Door Law.

Rather than have that become an issue, the council voted unanimously Monday night to send the financial package back to the committee for consideration. The next committee meeting is scheduled for Feb. 16. If the committee once again recommends approval of the measure, the full council could vote at its next meeting on Feb. 28.

“We respect the council's decision and will continue working to move this important project forward,” said Brad Chambers, president and CEO of Buckingham.

The developer has spent three years working with Lilly to formulate plans for North of South. Buckingham, Lilly and the city announced the effort last September, at which time Buckingham expressed hope it could break ground on the project by the end of 2010. It’s not clear how the three-week delay in city approval would affect the project timeline.

The complex, to be built primarily on Lilly owned parking lots at Delaware and South streets, is to include a boutique hotel, a YMCA, apartments and retail and office space.

Lilly, which is partnering with Buckingham on the project, says North of South would help connect the Lilly corporate campus with downtown proper and offer amenities that would help the pharmaceutical firm attract and retain employees.

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  1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

  2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

  3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

  4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

  5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.

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