Redevelopment of Speedway’s Main Street progressing north

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Speedway’s ongoing transformation of its once-desolate Main Street could get a big boost next year from two projects in the works at the north end of the six-block stretch.

The town’s redevelopment commission announced Dec. 18 that it agreed to sell the vacant building that housed Rosner Drugstore to an affiliate of locally based Paradigm Real Estate Investments for $75,000.

Paradigm plans to invest $1 million to refurbish the building and demolish an adjacent structure to make way for 15,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and office space.

Meanwhile, the commission in January plans to seek proposals for a mixed-use development to be built on a three-acre parcel it owns across the street. The property sits just south of the town’s new roundabout outside the front door of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Redeveloping the north end of Main Street has been a long time coming. The town bought the Rosner building in 2006, said Scott Harris, director of the redevelopment commission.

“We try to acquire some buildings periodically, realizing they eventually will be prime spots for redevelopment,” he said. “We’ve been working on finding a partner for this location for years. We had various proposals, but this one we’re moving forward with.”

Calls to Paradigm were not returned. But in a written statement, company CEO Brent Benge said: “We have taken great care in putting together a plan that directly satisfies market needs of the property. We are excited to move forward in our partnership with the town and look forward to helping Speedway reach yet another milestone in its Main Street development.”

The historic Rosner building is the oldest commercial building on Speedway’s Main Street. It was constructed by Joseph Rosner in 1915 and was operated by Rosner’s grandsons until 1983. The Rosner name can still be seen on the building, though the lower façade has been changed.

The redevelopment commission is requiring Paradigm to incorporate the existing façade into the design, Harris said.

“We want something that’s architecturally compatible with the old Rosner drug store,” he said.

The building housed the Speedway Town Press upon the town’s purchase of it eight years ago. For the past three years, the town has leased the building to the Speedway Arts Centre, which is in the final stages of moving to a former dry cleaning store at 1340 Main St.

Plans for the Rosner building continue Speedway’s quest to revitalize Main Street.

Completion of a $10 million streetscape project and $7 million Dallara chassis facility in 2011 helped jumpstart activity. A year later, Sarah Fischer Hartman Racing opened a $2.7 million, 37,000-square-foot headquarters. This fall, AJ Foyt Racing reached an agreement to buy and renovate the 45,000-square-foot building at 1180 Main St.

On the retail front, Daredevil Brewing Co. is building a 10,000-square-foot production brewery and tap room on a two-acre lot at the southeast corner of West Main and Gilman streets.

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