Council votes to support $30M Broad Ripple project

The City-County Council on Monday evening approved issuing up to $7.75 million in bonds to assist in the development of a $30 million apartment-and-retail project in Broad Ripple.

Council members voted overwhelmingly in favor of the project, 22-7, after a lengthy debate about whether it needed a city subsidy.

Developer Browning Investments Inc. plans to use $5.7 million from the bond issue to help finance the project along the Central Canal. A $1.5 million bond to rebuild Tarkington Park on Illinois Street north of Meridian Street is tied to the development.

The city-issued bonds will be paid off over time from property-tax proceeds in the North Midtown tax-increment financing district. The district, created in January 2013, includes the Browning project, called Canal Pointe.

The developer received approval in October to rezone 1.9 acres northeast of College Avenue and the Central Canal to allow for a single 35,000-square-foot retail space—earmarked for a Whole Foods store, plus 119 apartments and a four-story parking garage.

"We have said all along that we would need TIF money to move this project forward," said Jamie Browning, vice president of development for company, in a prepared statement. "This is the news we've been hoping for to truly open the door to convert what has been a debilitated site there in Broad Ripple for nearly a decade, into something of real value to the community."

Browning Investments expects the project will generate more than $7 million in property taxes that will be used to pay down the bonds. It plans to use the $5.7 million for infrastructure improvements such as installing lighting and landscaping, demolition of existing buildings, and construction of a parking garage for the development.

Last month, the council’s Metropolitan and Economic Development Committee vote to support the bond issuance by a 5-1 margin. Democrat Councilor Zach Adamson cast the lone dissenting vote.

Also on Monday, the City-County Council voted to award a total of $5.5 million in tax-increment bonds tied to two downtown projects under construction.

TWG Development LLC is building 500 units and retail space as part of its $11.25 million Pulliam Place, a redevelopment of The Indianapolis Star headquarters property at 307 N. Pennsylvania St.

And Insight Development Corp., the development arm of the Indianapolis Housing Agency, is partnering with Flaherty & Collins Properties to build the $23 million Millikan on Mass project consisting of 144 affordable and market-rate apartments and retail/restaurant space.

The bonds will be used for improvements to North Talbott Street, the existing Star headquarters, the parking garage at North Delaware and East Vermont streets, and property adjacent to the existing Barton Tower site, as well as the construction of a dog park and public plaza, and streetscape and landscape improvements.


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