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Trustee chooses $20.5 million Buckingham plan for old YMCA

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The Center Township Advisory Board has picked Buckingham Cos. to redevelop a 2-acre property the township owns at 860 W. 10th St. near the IUPUI campus.

The locally based developer plans to tear down the former YMCA branch and replace it with a $20.5-million mixed-use project featuring retail space, a fitness center and 210 apartment units.

The board chose from two bids on Tuesday night. The unsuccessful bidder, locally based Van Rooy Properties and several partners, had proposed a larger project including the redevelopment of the Van Rooy-owned Campus View Apartments to the east of the YMCA property.

The township had sought a project compatible with the Indiana Avenue Cultural District and nearby IUPUI and hospital campuses.

Buckingham will pay $225,000 per year to rent the property. The company will have the option to buy it after five years for an additional $3.3 million, township officials told IBJ.

As part of the agreement, Buckingham agreed to a goal for 20 percent minority-owned business participation in the construction and 10 percent participation from contracting firms owned by women. It also agreed to fund $15,000 in college scholarships per year for 20 years for students at Crispus Attucks High School.

The township trustee’s office bought the 50,500-square-foot former YMCA building for $1.5 million in 2004. The trustee’s office spent about $175,000 on renovations and turned over operations to the Indiana Minority Health Coalition, which operated a fee-based fitness center that closed earlier this year when revenue came up short.

Buckingham has constructed similar projects near the campuses of Notre Dame and the University of Kentucky, Buckingham executive Andrew Klineman said in a statement to IBJ.

"Buckingham's vision for this location will help create a north gateway into the district that will reflect the unique historical footprint of the area and combine the modern conveniences required by residents working, shopping and living in the city," he said.

The Buckingham structure, designed by locally based CSO Architects, is designed to be "refined and hip," according to bid documents. "The building is classically pedestrian and street-level appealing," the developer says. "It has a defined base, with street-level detailing, a middle and a cap element along its roof line. The store front at the plaza is shown pulled out from the main core, providing visual interest with the scale change, as well as creating the opportunity of a roof-top deck."

To see a rendering and weigh in on the project, visit Property Lines.

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  • Reply to Amos' innacuracies
    Amos... Does the fact that "In Indianapolis, minority and women business particpation goals have been utilized on public projects for years" make it right? Does the fact that "They have been upheld by law and court decisions" make it right? OF COURSE IT DOESN'T. And I would LOVE the proof that "buttressed by disarity studies that document that minority-owned and women-owned businesses are not provided a level playing field in construction". This is nothing short of DISCRIMINATION. And we wonder why Buckingham's bid was chosen. It was purely political, NOT what was best for the city.
  • Reply to Roger's Inaccuracies
    Obviously, Roger is the Scrooge on this Christmas Eve. In Indianapolis, minority and women business particpation goals have been utilized on public projects for years. They have been upheld by law and court decisions. And buttressed by disarity studies that document that minority-owned and women-owned businesses are not provided a level playing field in construction.
    The Buckingham project is the second such plan with strong MBE/WMB goals done by private sector companies in Indianapolis. The Mariott Hotel project is another. IF Roger believes his "color blind" solution is better then I challenge him to produce examples of public and private construction projects that have achieved serious MBE/WBE inclusion without considering race, ethnicity and sex. Or does Roger want all these projects to be handled by white males?
  • Don't Discriminate
    "As part of the agreement, Buckingham agreed to a goal for 20 percent minority-owned business participation in the construction and 10 percent participation from contracting firms owned by women." Why do race, ethnicity, and sex need to be considered at all in deciding who gets awarded a contract? It's fine to make sure contracting programs are open to all, that bidding opportunities are widely publicized beforehand, and that no one gets discriminated against because of skin color, national origin, or sex. But that means no preferences because of skin color, etc. either--whether it's labeled a "set-aside," a "quota," or a "goal," since they all end up amounting to the same thing. Such discrimination is unfair and divisive; it costs the taxpayers money to award a contract to someone other than the lowest bidder; and it's almost always illegalâ??indeed, unconstitutionalâ??to boot (see 42 U.S.C. section 1981 and comments we submitted to the Colorado DOT here: http://www.ceousa.org/content/view/655/86/ ). Those who insist on engaging in such discrimination deserve to be sued, and they will lose.

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