Pittman Partners drops plans to develop $90M Zionsville project

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Local developer Steve Pittman’s Pittman Partners LLC has withdrawn as developer of The Farm, a $90 million, mixed-use project planned for 62 acres near the southwest corner of U.S. 421 and Sycamore Street in Zionsville.

The move is the latest sign of tensions among Pittman and his siblings—Mark, Chad, John and Anne Kelton—in the wake of the December 2014 death of their father, Dr. John Pittman, a Carmel real estate developer. The siblings have been fighting in court since September over how to handle the estimated $2.4 million estate.

Kelton had charged Steve had a conflict of interest as estate executor, estate beneficiary and manager of businesses the estate had interest in, including The Farm.

In an email to his siblings dated April 28 and made public Wednesday, Steve Pittman wrote: “For the record, Pittman Partners has no interest in developing The Farm in Zionsville. … At one time, that interested me, However, I realize a partnership like that could never work.”

Steve and Chad Pittman in the summer of 2013 won zoning approval from Zionsville for the project. However, while Kroger Co. last year announced plans to open a Fresh Fare grocery in the development, the project has not moved forward.

With Pittman Partners stepping aside, Mark Pittman, a Los Angeles attorney, is seeking proposals from other developers to take over the project.

In a prepared statement, Mark Pittman took a swipe at Pittman Partners, stating: “After three years, we don’t have a contract signed with a single tenant, and we don’t have financing for the project. Accordingly, we decided that it was in the best interests of our family and the community to discuss the project with more experienced developers.”

Mark Pittman added: “We are excited about the quality of the development companies that have shown a strong interest in the project.”

To help untangle the estate, the family might end up auctioning three other north-side properties, IBJ reported in early May. Kelton is pressing in court to force the auction of a seven-acre parcel in Zionsville and two parcels adjacent to one another on 106th Street in Carmel. 

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