Developer plans new retail center on Michigan Road in Carmel

A Carmel developer plans to spend $4 million redeveloping a vacant property near the Carmel-Zionsville border into a retail center that would include a Tropical Smoothie Café and Rise’n Roll Bakery.

JDF Development presented plans to the Carmel Plan Commission Tuesday for The Avenue at Bennett Farm, a proposed two-building commercial project that could bring 13,000 square feet of retail, restaurants and office space to the southwest corner of Bennett Parkway and North Michigan Road.

JDF Development is seeking development plan approval plus waivers related to parking and building height from the plan commission. The plan commission on Tuesday forwarded Farr’s plans on to its commercial committee for further review and discussion at its Feb. 2 meeting.

Preliminary site plans show an 11,000-square-foot, multi-tenant building with space for six new businesses on the southern portion of the property and a standalone 2,000-square-foot restaurant building to the north—each with their own drive-thrus.

Already, Tropical Smoothie Café and Rise’n Roll Bakery have singed leases to open at The Avenue, Joe Farr, founder of JDF Development, told IBJ. Both currently operate at The Yard at Fishers District and have three other central Indiana locations.

Other tenants with a presence at The Yard could also open at The Avenue, with Farr saying he has letters of intent in hand from other businesses with locations in Fishers. He declined to provide further details.

“Geographically, the locations are far enough apart that we feel this area is a natural fit,” he said.

In addition to those chains, Farr said he’s working with a locally-owned business to lease The Avenue’s standalone building. He declined to identify the business but said it will compliment the project’s other tenants.

“We would probably have none of these deals individually, but collectively—in this submarket—it makes a lot of sense,” he said.

Farr said if his plans are approved by the city, construction would begin in the spring and should be complete by fall. The Avenue’s first tenants could open by early next year.

Farr has been involved in several other nearby developments. He worked on The Shoppes at Bennett Farm immediately south of The Avenue. That retail strip is now fully leased by Farr’s own Moe’s Southwest Grill, as well as Sherwin Williams, Natureleaf CBD and a nail salon.

Across Michigan Road, he and Indianapolis-based Sandor Development worked to develop the Shoppes at Western Pointe. Farr said that 19,000-square-foot retail hub’s lineup is slated to include Eat the Frog Fitness, Club Pilates, I Heart Mac & Cheese and Nutrition Hub’s second Indianapolis-area location. That project will also serve as Arizona-based Prose Nail Salon’s first Indiana location, as well as the first Kentucky-based Homemade Ice Cream & Bakery Café in the state.

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4 thoughts on “Developer plans new retail center on Michigan Road in Carmel

  1. Totally agree Greg! I am bewildered by this as well? I guess it is somewhat a result of tax law effectively writing off commercial investment in 7 years? Could local governments request a developer investigate existing properties for redevelopment?
    Gotta have the new, hot & shiny thing!!

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