Purchase of Capitol Clutch building continues area’s resurgence

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The owners of a downtown strength and conditioning studio plan to open a second location in a building they purchased on Capitol Avenue along a stretch that’s experiencing a resurgence.

Peter Brasovan and Jared Byczko, who operate CrossFit NapTown at 609 N. Delaware St., in mid-March bought the building at 922 N. Capitol Ave. that last housed Capitol Clutch. Its owners retired and sold the 11,000-square-foot structure through a sealed-bid process.

Capitol cluch building 15 colThe industrial building at 922 N. Capitol Ave. will get a gut rehab for fitness fans who also would like a gut rehab. (Image courtesy Peter Brasovan)

Including the purchase price, Brasovan said they’ll invest about $450,000 to spruce up the bland-looking industrial shop built in 1980. Painting the exterior and gutting the inside, in addition to adding new bathrooms and showers, are part of the plans. They hope to open by fall.

CrossFit NapTown member Michael Semler, a principal at Cassidy Turley, helped Brasovan and Byczko zero in on the building.

“Me being a member, they’re always picking my brain about real estate,” he said. If you look at most CrossFit gyms around town, they’re in warehouse buildings. You want open space to do everything that they do.”

Brasovan and Byczko, both Merrillville natives who attended IUPUI to play soccer, graduated from the IU Kelley School of Business in 2007.

The two moved to Chicago and worked at different marketing and advertising agencies before becoming interested in the CrossFit trend. In 2011, they returned to Indianapolis to open CrossFit NapTown in 5,000 square feet that they lease on Delaware Street. A year later, they doubled their occupancy in the building by taking neighboring vacant space.

The Capitol Clutch building enables them to expand their CrossFit program while also offering additional strength and conditioning activities, Brasovan said.

CrossFit NapTown has more than 200 members. Helping to drive the owners’ decision to buy the building is the boom in apartment construction to help meet the high demand for downtown living.

“People moving downtown are helping the downtown area explode,” Brasovan said. “And that’s what’s happening in our gym. You would find a very similar demographic, the 28 to 40 age range, as you would downtown.”

The Capitol Avenue corridor is experiencing a rebirth as well.

The former Litho Press building received a $16 million rehab from local developers TWG Development LLC and Ambrose Property Group to transform it into the 111-unit 800 North Capitol Apartments.

Another multi-family redevelopment finally could be taking shape across the street. On April 2, the city’s Metropolitan Development Commission signed off on plans to salvage the ill-fated Di Rimini apartment project.

Local restaurateur Mike Cunningham and contractor Patrick Heitz purchased the vacant 31-unit complex at 733 N. Capitol Ave. in March 2013 from Louisville-based Stock Yards Bank & Trust for $700,000. The bank took ownership of the building in 2012 after foreclosing on a $2.8 million loan to the original developer.

And Valparaiso-based Investment Property Advisors is building a 10-story apartment tower with 293 units along the Central Canal.

At 702 N. Capitol Ave., a second story has been added to a building that Rowland Design Inc. moved into. Loftus Robinson Development purchased the building, which formerly housed an ADT call center.

Just north of that, at 714 N. Capitol Ave., owners of the upstart TwoDeep Brewing Co. have signed a long-term lease to occupy the 7,000-square-foot ground level. They hope to have the brewery and tap room operating by mid-May.

Semler of Cassidy Turley and a partner sold the building that Loftus Robinson Development bought.

“It’s one of those areas that’s kind of been skipped over,” he said of Capitol Avenue. “I think with the Litho Press building being transformed into multi-family, everything’s exploded around it.”

If for some reason CrossFit NapTown fails, Brasovan and Byczko will have a “great piece of real estate that they can find another use for,” Semler said.

For now, though, the CrossFit craze is alive and well. CrossFit Broad Ripple, at 6542 Westfield Blvd., in the same building that houses Howald Heating Air Conditioning and Plumbing, already has outgrown its 6,000-square-foot warehouse-type space.

So to keep up with demand, owner Jeff Edwards will be adding 3,000 square feet. The additional space will front the Monon, making the Howald building into an “L” shape.

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