A 196-unit mixed-use apartment and retail development in Carmel has been sold in a deal brokers called one of the most notable—and complex—sales of the year in the metropolitan area.
The sale of Ver at Proscenium from Carmel-based Birkla Investment Group to Mishawaka-based real estate investment firm The Sterling Group closed Sept. 27 for an undisclosed price.
Ver at Proscenium, at 1225 Veterans Way, features studio, one- and two-bedroom floor plans. Amenities include a resort-style swimming pool, fitness center, pet spa, virtual sports simulator, co-working space and the metropolitan area’s only fob-activated resident beer tap.
The complex also has two restaurants on site—Wahlburgers and 101 Beer Kitchen—and a salon and spa, Lux Lab Hair + Body.
A proposed 4,600-square-foot Proscenium tavern is also planned, which would house an Italian steakhouse and a wine-coffee bar.
Members of the Indianapolis office of Dallas-based CBRE, led by Steve LaMotte, Dane Wilson and Ross Wettersten, represented Birkla Investment Group.
LaMotte, a multifamily broker, said CBRE received 20 bids for Ver at Proscenium despite market turbulence and the complexity of the sale.
Ver is part of the much larger Proscenium complex, which also has 16,000 square feet of retail space, 22 condo units called Rev at Proscenium and a 100,000-square-foot office building called Agora at Proscenium. While those assets were not part of the sale, they include a shared homeowners association with the Ver apartments.
“It had, I think, every complexity I’ve ever seen in a transaction,” LaMotte told IBJ. “The fact that the market and 20 bidders in the market said, ‘OK, well, we’ll get our heads around that and try to make a play on this’ was, I think, pretty remarkable, especially in these challenging times that we’re in currently.”
The Proscenium, completed in 2021 and developed by Birkla Investment Group and Dayton, Ohio-based Woolpert Inc., is located on a seven-acre lot on the northwest corner of South Rangeline Road and West Carmel Drive.
The city of Carmel purchased a Party Time Rental warehouse in 2009 and an Arby’s property in 2017 for a combined $6.2 million to make way for the project. The city partnered with Carmel-based developer Novo Development Group—whose holding company is Birkla Investment Group—to work on making the Proscenium a reality on the sites.
The $85 million project’s first elements—the Agora at Proscenium office building and a 600-space subterranean parking garage—opened in summer 2020.
Construction is also ongoing on a $29 million second phase called Proscenium II.
The five-story second phase at 1215 S. Rangeline Road is expected to include 48 rental units and seven penthouse condominiums, 16,000 square feet of ground-floor space for restaurant and office uses, and a 120-vehicle multi-level parking garage.
The project is being built on the site of a former Walgreens store that Birkla used as offices for the Proscenium project. Indianapolis-based Lynch, Harrison & Brumleve Inc. will provide structural engineering for the project.
The Sterling Group was founded in 1976 by Larry Swank as Sterling Management Ltd. The family-owned company owns and manages approximately 80 apartment and self-storage properties in 18 states across the Midwest and Southern United States, including 16 properties in Indiana.
The company operates four apartment properties in central Indiana: Ver at Proscenium, East Village at Avondale Meadows in Indianapolis, Heritage Place at Parkview in Indianapolis and The Astral at Franklin in Franklin.
The Sterling Group’s focus is on developing, constructing, acquiring and managing multifamily housing and self-storage properties.
The company was involved in one of the largest—and possibly the largest—apartment sales in state history when it sold Lake Castleton Apartment Homes, which it co-owned with Austin, Texas-based Virtus Real Estate LLC, in March 2022 for $171 million to Cleveland-based Pepper Pike Capital Partners.