Controversial Broad Ripple office project gets go-ahead

A controversial plan to demolish two homes along North College Avenue in Broad Ripple to make way for a two-story office building finally got the green light from the Metropolitan Development Commission on Wednesday.

Members voted 5-2 to approve the redevelopment from Scott Lindenberg and Thomas Willey, who operate Reliant Partners Commercial Realty on Westfield Boulevard.

The approval follows a previous vote in which a bizarre, procedural twist kept the redevelopment plans alive.

The panel late last month voted 5-3 to reject the proposal. But MDC member Bruce Schumacher looked as though he marked both the “yes” and “no” boxes when a part of his signature on the ballot spilled into the "no" box, causing the MDC's secretary to misread his ballot, DMD said. His vote changed the tally to a 4-4 tie, requiring the petition to be reheard.

Wednesday’s vote of 5-2 reflects the fact that MDC needs to fill two seats. Former member Diana Hamilton has resigned since the last vote was taken.

Voting “yes” were Adam Kirsch, Tim Ping, Scott Miller, Dorothy Jones and Schumacher. Lena Hackett and William Selm voted “no.”

The developers plan to invest $1.5 million in the 5,700-square-foot building.

Their proposal to demolish the aging bungalows at 5915 and 5925 N. College Ave. had sparked contentious debate among residents in the neighborhood.

The Broad Ripple Village Association’s development committee voted 10-1 to support the project, believing the two homes were close enough to commercial activity to be sacrificed.


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