Estridge scales back Symphony development in Westfield

The developer of the planned 1,400-acre Symphony project in Westfield is scaling back its size by about two-thirds.
The Estridge Cos. said Tuesday afternoon that it now will develop Symphony in phases rather than proceed with the entire project at once.

Company President Paul Estridge attributed the decision to the anemic residential housing market.

“Because of the weak economic climate and feedback we’ve received from members of the community, we’ve decided to significantly reduce the proposed [planned unit development] size and scope of Symphony,” he said in a prepared statement.

Estridge is reducing Symphony from a planned 1,400 acres to a size that will closer rival the Carmel-based home builder’s 436-acre Centennial development, also in Westfield.

Officials will re-evaluate the project and return to the Westfield Plan Commission with a smaller parcel for zoning consideration in the “coming weeks,” the company said.

The home builder’s decision to scale back the massive Symphony development follows its announcement last month that it would withdraw a proposal to build a massive youth sports complex within the master-planned project.

Estridge had envisioned about 150 acres of youth sports fields as part of its 1,500-acre Symphony development. The Westfield Sports Commission last month selected about 300 acres of land—about the size of the King's Island theme park—north of State Road 32 and west of State Road 31 for the sports complex.

The $1 billion Symphony project still calls for a 5,000-seat multipurpose stadium that would host an independent, minor-league baseball team, along with a new YMCA branch.

The youth sports complex is part of Westfield Mayor Andy Cook’s vision to establish the fast-growing Hamilton County suburb as the “Family Sports Capital of America.” Westfield developers Steve Henke and Beau Wilfong organized and promoted the selected site and will participate in the development of the project.

Estridge plans to develop Symphony along Towne Road between 146th and 161st streets.

“Our core vision for the area hasn’t changed, but the current economics of the project have, so we must alter our plans accordingly,” Estridge said in his statement.

As IBJ reported Sept. 16, the home builder is being sued by Bank of Indiana for allegedly failing to repay a $1 million investment the bank provided to Estridge.

The lawsuit filed in Marion Superior Court charges that Estridge, along with Indianapolis-based Indiana Securities LLC, committed securities fraud in connection with an offering the bank says was due to be paid off June 30.

Meanwhile, Cook said Westfield officials look forward to continuing to work with Estridge.

“The city of Westfield appreciates the time and resources Estridge has dedicated to Symphony,” he said in a prepared statement. “This is an economic development project cities across the country would relish.”

In its entirety, Symphony also would include condominiums and apartments, in addition to retail shops, restaurants and hotels. The project already features the Wood Wind Golf Club.

Estridge had asked Westfield to invest $70 million in the project to fund roads and sewers, as well as the stadium, which has a preliminary price tag of $15 million. Establishing a tax-increment financing district could help the city pay for the infrastructure improvements and stadium project, Cook said.

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