High-profile parcel along North Meridian corridor hits market

A prime, five-acre parcel along the North Meridian corridor near Interstate 465 is hitting the market with an asking price of $1 million per acre.

The Tutwiler auto dealership operated on about seven acres north of the interstate until it closed in 2012. The Tutwiler family sold about two acres to the Indiana Department of Transportation to make way for interchange improvements, leaving five acres to unload.

Ross Reller, director of land services at the local Colliers International office, is listing the property.

“In our business, we call this the corner of Main and Main,” Reller said. “It doesn’t get much better to be at 465 and Meridian Street. You could put your name on the building, and you’re talking in excess of 100,000 vehicles per day that would see that signage.”

Reller envisions a mix of either office or health care accompanied by a hotel. South of I-465, St. Louis-based Drury Hotels is building a 10-story, 304-room hotel and stand-alone restaurant on 6.4 acres of undeveloped property backing up to the Parkwood Crossing office park along 96th Street.

The $1-million-per-acre asking price for the Tutwiler property seems to be the going rate for property in the area. Drury paid the same for its parcel, and so did Lake City Bank for the property next to Granite City Food & Brewery on which it built a branch, Reller said.

The rich asking price is due to scarcity, said Mark Vollbrecht, who manages Chicago-based Zeller Realty Group’s Indiana operations. Zeller owns Meridian Plaza, on the east side of Meridian between 103rd Street and 106th Street, and Meridian Mark I and II, at Meridian and 116th streets.

Since 2000, more than half the remaining developable land along the Meridian Street corridor has been snapped up, Vollbrecht said.

“The best sites have gone first,” he said. “There’s definitely a scarcity of land up here.”

Tutwiler Automotive had operated on the land north of I-465 for decades. It was known as Tutwiler Cadillac until late 2010, when General Motors refused to renew its franchise agreement.

Mart Tutwiler of Carmel owned the dealership, which his father, Ed, started about five decades ago after moving here from Charleston, West Virginia. The dealership began at  2323 N. Illinois St. north of downtown, a site later occupied by Ross Gage Inc. and now by the Phalen Leadership Academy.

Lockhart Cadillac, the lone remaining Cadillac dealer in the Indianapolis area, has outposts on 126th Street in Fishers and U.S. 31 in Greenwood.

The Tutwiler family, with guidance from Carmel officials, will be patient in finding a suitable buyer and use for the property, Reller said.

“There’s no urgency in selling,” he said.

Land across from the Tutwiler property, at the northwest quadrant of Meridian and I-465, also is for sale. Hokanson Companies Inc. has 11 acres listed for a corporation controlled by the Valinet family. It’s been on the market since 2009. It hit the market with an original asking price of $1.5 million per acre.

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