Property Lines - Scott Olson

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Real Estate & Retail

It's back: Bank hopes to salvage Di Rimini project

February 17, 2012

Di Rimini IndianapolisThe bank that now owns the troubled Di Rimini apartment project wants to repair the building in an attempt to recoup some of the millions it stands to lose on the deal. Di Rimini IndianapolisTwo public hearings are scheduled for March for consideration of fixes proposed by Stock Yards Bank & Trust, which provided financing for the trainwreck of a project at 733 N. Capitol Ave. The city ordered construction to stop in October 2010 after code enforcement and planning department officials noted developer Jeff Sparks was building an entirely different structure than the one for which he had sought approval. Despite the order, the owners began moving tenants into the building, leading the state's fire marshal to issue an emergency order barring occupancy. The order said the building posed a "serious and immediate hazard of death or serious bodily injury" in part because of brazen violations of the Indiana Building Code including a lack of fire walls between apartment units or a working sprinkler system. The bank is scheduled to make its case at two public hearings, one on March 13 to seek a variance to allow encroachment into the so-called sky exposure plane at the corner of St. Clair Street and Senate Avenue. If Stock Yards is successful, it would then make the case for Regional Center approval of its exterior fixes to the building on March 15, said senior city planner Jeff York. The bank is proposing several fixes including a different paint color scheme and trim accents around the windows (click on the elevation above to see some detail on the proposed changes). It would also have to invest in major improvements to the interior to pass code enforcement muster. "The onus is on the owner to prove they can bring this back to building code standards," York said. Some neighbors of the structure are skeptical, noting there are cracks all over the exterior and parts of the roof have peeled back, suggesting interior water damage. An IBJ story about the project from 2010 is here, and earlier Property Lines posts about the project are here.

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