Developer plans Lockerbie residential project

A local developer with a residential project underway in the Chatham Arch neighborhood is starting a much more ambitious development in nearby Lockerbie.

Daniel C. Jacobs, who operates Chase Development, plans to build residences on a 1.25-acre parcel bounded by North Street to the north, Michigan Street to the south, Park Avenue to the east and Leon Street to the west.

REW Lockerbie project mapJacobs closed Jan. 28 on the purchase of the property from an out-of-state investor. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The land he acquired once was targeted for part of a massive mixed-use project that fell apart in the early 2000s.

That project, dubbed North Lockerbie, called for a 12-story condo tower, 35,000 square feet of retail along Michigan Street, and 100,000 square feet of office space, including a new headquarters for the advertising firm Young & Laramore along College Avenue.
The investor years ago sold the land on the east side of Park to Hearthview Residential, which built condos on part of the property, between Cincinnati Street and Park.

TWG Development LLC owns the land between Cincinnati and College, where it plans to build 215 market-rate apartments and 9,000 square feet of retail, in addition to a 240-space underground parking garage.

In the meantime, Jacobs said he plans to build on his property six four-story townhomes—a residential design more prevalent in large cities such as Chicago, New York City and Washington, D.C. The remaining six lots will be reserved for more traditional homes.

Once finished, Jacobs anticipates the project will have an overall market value between $12 million and $15 million. Prices of the homes, which could be larger than 4,000 square feet, might top $1 million.

The residences will include outdoor living space or rooftop gardens, city views, high-end finishes, and an optional interior elevator.
“The grand idea is to help restore a very challenged block of real estate to its previous use of housing,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs’ purchase of the property excludes two blighted duplexes at the south end along Michigan Street. Riley Area Development Corp. is attempting to buy the structures and demolish them to make way for four affordable condominiums priced in the range of $100,000 each.

Ross Reller of Colliers International, the broker who sold the land to Jacobs, said Lockerbie residents are excited about the project.

“It’s been a big question mark,” he said of the property. “Daniel’s not only answering the question. He's exceeding the expectations of what anybody could have envisioned.”

Joe Everhart, a veteran residential real estate broker who specializes in downtown and surrounding neighborhoods, thinks Jacobs’ project will attract interest from those who would rather buy than rent downtown.

“I think what he’s doing really hits the mark,” Everhart said. “It’s one of the last big lumps of well-located real estate off of Massachusetts Avenue.”

Because the Lockerbie neighborhood is designated by the city as a historic dictrict, Jacobs needs to file his plans with the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission. The commission could consider his project in March.

The land needs to be rezoned and re-platted, which also would require approval from the Metropolitan Development Commission’s plat committee.

Jacobs is no stranger to the Lockerbie and Chatham arch neighborhoods.

He received approval in September from city officials to build three million-dollar homes on a surface lot south of Massachusetts Avenue in Chatham Arch.

Two of the three homes that will make up Park Place North are sold, and construction is expected to begin in the spring.

The homes will be built on a lot at the northeast corner of Park Avenue and North Street, adjacent to the land he bought for his latest project.

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