Carmel announces plans for $100M first phase of redevelopment at Monon Square

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Carmel is planning to redevelop the site of the Monon Square Shopping Center. The project would include housing, office and retail space, restaurants, and parking garages. (Rendering courtesy of the city of Carmel)

Carmel announced plans on Monday for a $100 million first phase of redevelopment at the site of the former Monon Square Shopping Center.

Carmel-based developers J.C. Hart Co. Inc. and David Stirsman are planning the Monon Square North project at East 126th Street and South Rangeline Road. Plans call for housing, office and retail space, restaurants and parking.

Carmel Redevelopment Commission Executive Director Henry Mestetsky told IBJ the Monon Square North project will “bridge the gap” between City Center and Midtown.

“It’s the last piece of the puzzle,” he said.

A $70 million project on the northwest quadrant of the site would include 21,000 square feet of office and retail space. Salon 01, a hair salon and spa currently owned by Stirsman at 200 City Center Drive, would move to the development.

The northwest quadrant would also include 249 multifamily units and a 390-space public parking garage.

Plans also call for a $30 million northeast quadrant that would have 122 multifamily units, retail and restaurant space, for-sale condos, and a 79-space parking garage.

The project would also have a solar component. The city plans to develop the east and south areas of the site in the future.

The city consulted with urban planner Jeff Speck, who worked on the design for Midtown, to rebuild the street grid in the area from scratch, Mestetsky said.

The project is expected to raise the assessed value of the area from $1 million per acre to $14 million per acre, he added.

The Carmel City Council will consider an ordinance on Monday night for about $18 million in developer-backed tax-increment-financing bonds.

The city purchased the Monon Square Shopping Center in 2018 for $15 million. The 8.7-acre property at 620 S. Rangeline Road had about 75,000 square feet of leasable space.

Tenants at Monon Square included Union Brewing Co., Ristorante Roma and Antique Emporium. The shopping center is set to be demolished early next month, and Mestetsky said Monon Square businesses have moved to other areas in Carmel’s downtown core.

Construction on Monon Square North is expected to begin sometime next year and last 18 to 24 months.

“We have worked to transition most businesses to new locations, and everyone has known about the coming demo since 2018,” Mestetsky said. “Tenants have been month-to-month.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified Union Brewing Co.

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11 thoughts on “Carmel announces plans for $100M first phase of redevelopment at Monon Square

    1. Jaron- Construction costs are likely too high for it to be profitable without. Development is too risky to operate near charity level.

    2. Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is based on the theory that development can pay for itself. The basic idea is that public investment in an area, often in the form of infrastructure, induces property value growth which increases property tax revenue. The revenue increase is, in turn, used to pay for the initial investment. This results in TIF being labeled as “self-financing,” due to the use of future revenue to pay current costs. It’s the incremental increase in the tax revenue from the development that is used. Think of it as an investment from the city that eventually creates a positive return (increase) in revenue to Carmel. It’s not a “gift” to the developer.

  1. Not only are we giving the developer $18M in TIF ie no property taxes for 20 years but there is also another $63M city bond being proposed. This one is for a few projects one of which is Monon Center infrastructure improvements. The kicker is the bond states it’s to be paid solely by a Special Benefits Tax levied on all property in Carmel. Residential property owners directly subsidizing the developer. The flurry of spending before Jim and gang bail is ramping up

  2. I’m all for redeveloping empty strip malls. But this strip mall was packed with busy local businesses prior to the city’s purchase. And it only emptied out as the city forced them out.

    Honestly Carmel doesn’t care about small business unless you are on the approved list of Brainard donors.

  3. If you ever visit Nashville, Kansas City MO, Columbus Ohio, Cincinnati’s over the Rhine and even much larger cities like, Atlanta, Houston and Charlotte, they’re all doing developments like this and they pay for them with TIF and tax payers money ect. Indy is keeping up with a national trend. Its always funny to see Hoosiers visits these other cities to then come back home bragging about how beautiful that city. was, even when Indy is offering the same amenities

  4. Everything looks/feels the same. It is like living in a neighborhood with only 3-4 different elevations/floor plans. There is such an opportunity with this great piece of property due to its central location to the downtown, main drag (Rangeline Road), and the Monon Trail where something really really interesting and special could have been done. This could have been Mayor Brainard’s final legacy – but just not enough creativity!