North Lockerbie LLC, a subsidiary of Dinmont Development LLC, filed plans with the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission Jan. 27 to build brick townhouses on the land.
The $20 million project, to be called Lockerbie Park, will be jointly developed by Dinmont and locally based Hearthview Residential. The development sits at the northwest corner of Michigan Street and College Avenue on land that in 2001 was slated for a multi-use project that would have included 100 condos, plus retail and office space. That project fell apart in 2002 because of a soft market for office space and the loss of a major investor.
Condos at Lockerbie Park will range from 1,250 to 1,750 square feet and will range in price from less than $200,000 to about $325,000, said Hearthview partner James E. Thomas Jr.
Based on current activity downtown, that seems to be a sweet spot. Of 40 condo sales pending in the northeastern sector of Center Township, all but eight are under contract for less than $300,000, said Joe Everhart, a real estate agent with locally based Sycamore Group Realtors. No sales are pending for more than $500,000, he said.
"January has really picked up," Everhart said. "There's a lot of movement up to $300,000 and not as much above."
The style of Lockerbie Park differs from Hearthview's previous downtown projects, which include condo conversions of office buildings at 225 N. New Jersey St. and 110 E. Washington St. and the former Indianapolis Athletic Club at Vermont and Meridian streets.
Hearthview also is developing a new-construction condo project at 96th Street and Township Line Road in Washington Township.
Lockerbie Park will include seven buildings with eight to 18 units each. Each building will have four levels with flats and stacked two-story townhouses. Each unit will also include its own garage and additional surface parking, Thomas said.
The townhouse concept has been a good seller at other new-construction condo projects downtown. Ryland Homes' 56-unit Firehouse Square and locally based City Centre Associates' Packard and Clevelander projects all feature townhomes exclusively or mixed with flats.
"We considered a broad array of different product types," Thomas said. "We felt this was something that would fit the market especially well."
Construction at Lockerbie Park could begin as soon as July, pending IHPC approval, Thomas said. Developers will construct the seven buildings one at a time, with the first units finished by summer of 2006. Total construction time could take two to three years, depending on how fast the condos sell, Thomas said.
Dinmont and Hearthview are also partners on the conversion of the former Hilltop Press buildings just north of Lockerbie Park into Mill No. 9 condos. The 44-unit first phase of that project has sold out and the developers have received IHPC approval to begin the second phase, which includes 35 units in the southern half of the two-building complex.
Pricing hasn't been released for condos in the second phase of Hilltop Press, but they will likely start at just under $200,000, Thomas said. Some units in the first phase were priced at less than $150,000.
The land for Lockerbie Park was assembled in 2000 and 2001 by 2nd Globe Structures, a partnership that included Dinmont principal Brian Knapp and principals of locally based advertising firm Young & Laramore.
2nd Globe in 2001 announced plans to develop the site with condos, plus 35,000 square feet of retail space and 100,000 square feet of office space, including 25,000 square feet for Young & Laramore's headquarters. Those plans were dropped less than a year later. Y&L principals left the partnership and Knapp changed 2nd Globe's name to Dinmont.
Dinmont also owns an additional 2-1/2 acres around the Lockerbie Park site. Hearthview and Dinmont may develop some of those parcels in future phases, Thomas said.