Former ITT Tech building to be reborn as church, co-working space

ITT Educational Services Inc.'s former building on the northwest side of Indianapolis is set to receive new life as the site of a church and co-working space for faith-based businesses and not-for-profits.

Mercy Road Church, which has a location in Carmel near the former ITT Tech branch at 9511 Angola Court, is scheduled to close on its $1.8 million purchase of the building on Nov. 5. It plans to operate a church on the first floor as part of its expansion to four other locations in the central Indiana area. Mercy Road Church has between 2,000 to 3,000 congregants.

And Multiply Resources, a not-for-profit, announced its plans to convert the second floor of the building into a 30,000-square-foot “impact space,” which will be a hub for entrepreneurs and not-for-profits working on social- or faith-driven ideas. Multiply Resources signed a seven-year lease to operate on the second floor, according to Multiply Resources founder Craig Dereka.

“The whole idea is that the church contains the solutions to the problems the city is facing, and we believe the solutions can be formulated in the church and incubated on the second story,” said Ethan Fernhaber, who serves on the operations team of Mercy Road Church. “Those people would go out and create change in our city. We just want to provide the wraparound serves so they can get the help they need to get started and redefine impact in our generation.”

The 58,692-square-foot building was built 1983. The 5.7-acre site north of Interstate 465 and east of Michigan Road, includes 485 parking spaces.

ITT Educational’s bankruptcy trustee, Deborah Caruso, filed a motion on Sept. 14 requesting to sell the building for $1.8 million to Renewing Management Inc., an Indianapolis property management firm that purchases neglected and distressed assets, which submitted a bid for the site.

Fernhaber, who is also president at Renewing Management Inc., said Renewing Management wrote the initial offer to purchase the site, but assigned the offer to purchase the site eventually to Mercy Road Church.

“I wrote the purchase agreement not knowing if it would end up as my own corporate office or a potential church site,” he said. “It was a great real estate investment opportunity either way, and I’m glad it’s going to be used for a charitable purpose.”

Dereka said his group has so far spent $250,000 on second-floor renovations. He said the space will be a “launchpad for great ideas, but more importantly, a resource center for acceleration and growth for both startups and existing operations alike.”

“We are taking everything one needs to launch and grow an impact-focused business or organization successfully and putting it under one roof,” Dereka said in witten comments.

Dereka said the hub is likely to offer creative services, legal counsel, financial services, coaching and acceleration programs. 

Dereka’s group is hosting The Multiply Conference on Nov. 8, a gathering of "courageous creators, starters, leaders and dreamers who embrace entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation as a means of glorifying God, loving others and making disciples of Jesus Christ.”

Among others, the event, hosted at Mercy Road Church’s Carmel location at 2381 Pointe Parkway, will feature Formstack CEO Chris Byers and Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall.

ITT Educational Services suspended operations at its 37 ITT Technical Institute locations in 2016 and filed for bankruptcy protection later that year. The bankruptcy case is ongoing.

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