Carmel has unveiled its newest district on the city’s west side in an area where an outgrowth of businesses, apartments and shops have taken root in recent years.
The triangular Flower District is bordered by Pennsylvania, Old Meridian and Main streets and extends east to Guilford Road. Carmel-based Studio M Architecture & Planning has been working with the city to design the district.
Three roundabouts serve as gateways to the Flower District: Old Meridian and Pennsylvania to the south, Main and Pennsylvania to the north, and Main and Old Meridian to the northeast.
“Great cities are made up of great neighborhoods, and we have already seen the successful growth and development within our Arts & Design District, City Center, Midtown, Brookshire and the Village of WestClay,” Mayor Jim Brainard said in written remarks.
Studio M and the city have designed preliminary plans that focus on adding a large amount of floral landscaping in the primary gateways and medians, and throughout the area.
There are also plans for public arts sculptures like those found at other roundabouts in Carmel. The bases of the sculptures will be branded with the Flower District name.
The area currently includes The Olivia on Main—a $30 million, five-story development by Indianapolis-based Keystone Group LLC with 204 apartments and 17,000-square-feet of retail and restaurants space, and Grand and Main—an $80 million development by Edward Rose & Sons with 76 townhouses, 159 senior living units, a four-story hotel with 105 rooms, a four-story, 305-unit apartment building and a 563-space parking garage.
Brainard’s seventh and final term as mayor will end Jan. 1, 2024, when Carmel City Councilor Sue Finkam takes office.
During Brainard’s first term, he established a committee co-chaired by business leaders Paul Reis and John Schuler to study the Old Meridian area. Their work resulted in improvements to Old Meridian Street, the construction of Grand Boulevard and a land-use plan that included future construction of hotels, townhouses, condominiums, apartments, shops and restaurants.
Trees from the nearby Oden Woods were preserved and incorporated into Grand Boulevard’s median.
“When we first put this plan into place in the late 1990s, we referred to this as the Old Meridian district, but I felt that that name was overused and we could come up with a better name,” Brainard said. “Then, with the addition of sculptor Arlon Bayliss’ ’Grace, Love and Joy’ in 2019, a 35-foot, pink flower sculpture, the term Flower District became the appropriate choice.”
The city and Studio M’s plan for the Flower District also calls for future improvements to the area and space for special events that would become available over the next few years.