Developer plans massive mixed-use project on western edge of Marion County

An Indianapolis developer is proposing more than 800 apartment units and 500,000 square feet of office and retail space as part of a massive new project north of the Indianapolis International Airport.

Sam Patterson plans to develop about 28 acres of land—assembled from 17 mostly-wooded parcels—at the southeast corner of Rockville and Bridgeport roads on the western edge of Wayne Township in Marion County. The site is about four miles north of the airport.

A rendering of Tremont Town Center. (Image courtesy of Prince Alexander)

The project, called Tremont Town Center, would consist of seven residential buildings; four mixed-used residential and retail buildings; and two office buildings. Together, they would total more than 1.2 million square feet.

Tremont Town Center would offer 828 multifamily units and 550,000 square feet of office and retail space, as well as several parking garages and lots, trails and public plazas.

The elaborate project is being pursued through the holding company Bridgeport East Limited Partnership, for which Patterson is the only listed principal. The partnership already owns the parcels involved in the development.

Reached by IBJ, Patterson referred questions to Steve Alexander, owner of Indianapolis-based architecture firm Prince Alexander, which is designing the project.

Alexander said the cost of Tremont Town Center hasn’t yet been determined.

He said Patterson plans to find development partners for the project that could build out certain aspects. This includes partnerships with senior housing and multifamily builders, as well as firms specializing in office and retail construction.

The retail elements would not be focused on national tenants, he said, but more “mom-and-pop-type establishments.” The focus of the project is to create a walkable village.

The developer has asked city planning officials to rezone the acreage from the D-A, D-4, C-3 and C-S districts to MU-2, which allows for mixed-use developments. A variance request has also been submitted to allow buildings of up to 65 feet; commercial buildings exceeding 8,000 square feet; and curb cuts greater than 24 feet. None of those specifications are generally permitted in MU-2 zoning.

A hearing on the project was continued by the Metropolitan Development Commission’s Hearing Examiner from June 11 to July 9, as Patterson continues to work with city officials to address outstanding concerns over the project, Alexander said.

Staffers for the city’s Department of Metropolitan Development are opposed to the project in its current form, calling it “wholly inappropriate and not supportable” in a staff report. They attribute much of the apprehension to the fact that the MU-2 designation is generally reserved for use in older urban commercial districts next to existing residential neighborhoods.

The project is south of a residential part of the Rockville Road corridor with commercial and industrial developments to the west and east (including a storage facility abutting the property) and a set of railroad tracks immediately south.

City staffers said the project could have a “significant negative environmental impact” because it would involve the clearing of woodlands and potential encroachment on a floodplain.

Additionally, the city said details for the project are too sparse.

“A site plan with blocks of land identified with proposed building stories and height does not provide adequate information to properly review to determine compatibility of how the site would be used, including whether a [traffic study] would be warranted,” the staff report said.

Alexander said the development team has “been in close conversations with zoning staff about their concerns,” and is providing additional documentation about traffic, environmental impact and access to the property.

The project received letters of support from Indy Gateway Inc., a community economic development organization on the west side, and Indianapolis City-County Council member Jared Evans, whose district sits directly south of the project.

“It’s definitely a new type of project for the west side,” Lisa Bentley, executive director of Indy Gateway, told IBJ. “And we were interested in seeing new types of options for this area. We are open and happy to see this kind of investment on the west side. We hope this is just the first of this type of investment.”

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3 thoughts on “Developer plans massive mixed-use project on western edge of Marion County

  1. The Avon strip starts just a country block west at Raceway, this site make no sense especially with the numerous residential properties involved. Looks like another out of place pipe dream!

  2. This would be a good development if it were near an existing or future BRT station in the Compact Zone. Spatially, this development just doesn’t make sense.

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