City-County Council OKs North of South project funding

Financing for the $155 million North of South mixed-use project was approved 16-12 Monday night by the Indianapolis City-County Council.

The complex, to be built primarily on Eli Lilly and Co.-owned parking lots at Delaware and South streets, is to include a boutique hotel, a YMCA, apartments and retail and office space. The project is a key part of Lilly's downtown real estate plan.

The project’s developer, locally based Buckingham Cos., expects to finish construction within two years.

Buckingham plans to help finance the project with $98 million in proceeds from the sale of municipal bonds.

Pending approval, Buckingham expects to start construction on one of two parking garages and the 158-room hotel in April.

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.

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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