Penn Arts redevelopment hits funding snag

January 26, 2009
The Penn Arts apartment building at 16th and Meridian streets will stay vacant a while longer.

A $3 million plan to transform the 82-unit apartment building into 45 fancier units has hit a snag that's become familiar to developers: No financing was available at advantageous terms, said local developer Christopher Piazza.

Piazza bought the building from JAB Real Estate Investment Group last January for $1.4 million.

He sent an e-mail Jan. 19 explaining the problem to several people who have worked on the project, including officials with Keystone Construction Corp. and Halstead Architects, both based in Indianapolis.

"Due to the lack of favorable enough terms at this time and in this market, the Penn Arts Development is now officially on hold," Piazza wrote in the e-mail. "We are keeping the property, and our plans have not changed, but we are waiting on more attractive financing terms to pursue development."

He said he plans to reopen financing discussions after redeveloping a 1914 apartment building in Irvington called Audubon Court.
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