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At least 8 parties interested in buying Crown Hill land

March 29, 2007

The Alliance Steering Committee, a loose organization of neighbors of Crown Hill Cemetery that opposed redeveloping a section of the historic property, is meeting this afternoon with nature groups that are interested in buying the parcel.

One alliance leader, Butler University biology professor Tom Dolan said at least eight entities are showing interest in the property. The alliance hopes to play a role in finding a buyer that will maintain as much of the property as possible in its natural condition. Much of it is wooded or in wetlands.

On March 21, the Metropolitan Development Commission turned down Mann Properties’ request to develop 71 acres at the north end of Crown Hill into retail and residences. Crown Hill offered to sell the tract to Mann for $5.23 million to bulk up funding for maintenance after burial plots sell out.

Crown Hill representatives could not be reached for comment, and Brian Mann, a partner in the Indianapolis-based developer, Mann wouldn’t discuss terms of its contract with the cemetery.

Mann said the company is turning its attention to other projects. “I’ve spent far too much of my time in the last week rehashing what we could have done differently to be successful,” Mann said.

The project, which was expected to cost at least $90 million, was opposed by groups ranging from Butler-Tarkington Neighborhood Association to Crooked Creek Community Council.

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