Proposed $48M apartment project advancing slowly at former Noblesville granary site

A $48 million mixed-use redevelopment project proposed for the former Noblesville Milling Co.’s granary site is slowly moving forward despite uncertainty caused by changes to the nearby Pleasant Street improvement project.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. awarded Indianapolis-based Flaherty & Collins Properties up to $7.3 million in industrial recovery tax credits in 2018 to build approximately 238 luxury apartments, a parking garage and retail space between 501 and 601 S. 9th St., south of Noblesville’s downtown.

The Industrial Recovery Tax Credit program expired at the end of 2019, but the project still qualifies for the credit, and an agreement was executed last December after the city and Indiana Department of Transportation determined their preferred realignment of Pleasant Street passed by the site.

The road improvement project’s design is ongoing, so its progress and the city’s uncertainty about the need for additional multifamily projects could delay the project even further.

“Any new proposal would have to be vetted, and as of right now we have not reviewed any new proposals,” Sarah Reed, the city’s community and economic development director, told IBJ.

Deron Kintner, general counsel for Flaherty & Collins, declined to discuss the project.

North Central Co-Op started demolition of the 1904 granary, which included an 85-foot grain elevator to store wheat for the Noblesville Milling Co. to the north, in 2015. Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development previously planned a $12 million mixed-use project on the site with 56 one- and two-bedroom apartments dedicated to affordable housing, a business incubator space and 4,000 square feet for commercial retail.

That project died after it was denied grants from the county and state.

The property is currently owned by Natco LLC, with Darren Peck listed as its sole member. Peck is the owner of Indiana Restoration and Cleaning in Noblesville and co-owns of PT-17 Development with his wife, Monica Peck, of Hare Chevrolet.

Peck also declined to talk about plans for the former granary site.

Currently, the site is vacant and serves as a staging area for equipment involved in the construction of the nearby Levinson apartment development and other area projects.

Reed said the Flaherty & Collins project was first proposed—though never formally submitted—during the city’s previous administration. Although the company has until the end of 2027 to meet its investment deadline under its agreement with the state, there could be short-term delays to its advancement as Noblesville figures out the current demand for more multifamily projects.

The city has partnered with Greentstreet Ltd. to conduct a residential market analysis to determine the city’s capacity for apartment development and update its 2016 analysis. Reed said that update could be available in the next two or three months.

“We’ve had so many multifamily growth announcements, we wanted to take a pause and look at how much multifamily can a northern suburb of Indianapolis absorb over time, and what important amenities we should have,” Reed said.

There has been a slew of recently started or proposed multifamily projects in and around the city’s downtown.

Cityscape Residential broke ground on a more than $50 million project earlier this month called Nexus, a public-private partnership expected to bring 287 luxury apartments and 36,000 square feet of commercial space online by winter 2022.

Rebar Development is continuing to work on The Levinson, a $24 million project with 75 market-rate and 10 affordable-rate studio, one- and two-bedroom modern apartments. Those units, along with the 5,100 square feet of commercial space and a 337-space parking garage, are expected to be completed later this year.

Other projects planned or coming online in downtown Noblesville include Republic Development Corp. and J.C. Hart Co.’s $48 million East Bank mixed-use project with over 200 units and 23 units at PT-17’s The Lofts on Tenth.

“We’ve done a really good job of infill at this point in the downtown,” Reed said. “We just want to make sure what we consider and review in the future, any new projects and proposals, that we have those data points to guide that project proposal.”

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