Developer planning hotel, restaurant, offices in Westfield

EdgeRock Development LLC has submitted plans for a nine-acre project at a prominent intersection in Westfield that includes a multistory hotel, office buildings and a new location for an Indiana-based restaurant chain.

The Landing at Monon Marketplace, proposed for land at the southwest corner of U.S. 31 and State Road 32, could be the next installment in a wave of property development in Westfield’s so-called “Grand Junction,” a location officials slated as the city’s gateway in 2015.

Plans for the development have been recommended for approval by Westfield's Advisory Plan Commission last month and will be considered for further approvals later this month.

The first tenant for the development is set to be Big Woods Restaurants, a Nashville-based pizzeria, brewery and and distillery with locations in Nashville, Speedway, Bloomington and Franklin. The company announced plans for an 8,000-square-foot Westfield restaurant in December.

Birch Dalton, managing director of EdgeRock, said Big Woods has purchased a lot for the restaurant. He estimated construction of the one-story restaurant, complete with its signature rustic, timber-and-hardwood design and open-air seating, will be complete in August if approvals are received without delays. The restaurant, which would have about 100 employees, could open for business in December.

EdgeRock is still negotiating with two hotel groups to determine a best fit for a four-story hotel property at the Landing, a project estimated at $12 million to $16 million.

The hotel would be the third developed recently within Westfield's city limits—joining a four-story, $12 million Hampton Inn at 17400 Wheeler Road and a four-story $17 million Cambria Hotel near East 186th Street south of Grand Park.

Dalton said EdgeRock's hotel will most resemble the nearby Hampton Inn, offering 80 to 100 rooms.

So far, EdgeRock has received little interest in the property's three planned office buildings. Designs and projected cost haven't been fully determined, but Dalton said he expects the buildings to be at least four stories.

Because market costs are expected to rise soon, Dalton said EdgeRock might construct a speculative office building to attract tenants.

The development will offer access to Westfield’s trail system via the Monon Trail and Midland Trace Trail.

Slow progress for Trails of Westfield

The Landing is the latest of several development by EdgeRock in the area. In fact, all current EdgeRock developments, as listed on the group’s website, are planned for Westfield.

However, the developer's plans for a more than $30 million apartment and business complex are at a standstill.

A final proposal for apartments in the Trails of Westfield project, located about three minutes east of the Landing at 733 State Road 32, is in limbo. A Starbucks cafe, Penn Station restaurant and Crew Carwash are under construction on the property now because those amenities can immediately be used by the community, Dalton said.

“In Westfield, we don’t have all the restaurants we need, and all the retail services we need to support the growth,” Dalton said. “It’s provided an environment for economic growth.”

When complete, Dalton speculates the Trails’ housing section will have no more than 280 units. At most, three-bedroom apartments or townhouses will make up about 10 percent of the project. This includes 20 to 25 freestanding townhouses. The rest will be traditional one- and two-bedroom apartments. 

He expects rents will match prices seen in nearby projects like Union Street Flats, a luxury apartment campus near East 171st St. and South Union Street that opened in 2013. That means monthly rents could land anywhere between $1,100 and $1,600.

“We’re putting the apartments on hold at this point,” Dalton said. “As costs have risen, the time hasn’t been right. I think patience will always pan out in this case.”

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