Deylen offers another vision for Mass Ave redevelopment

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A little post-Halloween candy for Property Lines readers: Check out the renderings of an unsuccessful Mass Ave redevelopment proposal from locally based Deylen Development and architect Blackline Studio. The proposal called for a 100-room boutique hotel, 20,500 square feet of retail, about 80 residential units and a 300-space parking Deylen Mass Ave proposalstructure, Deylen Mass Ave proposalto be built in three distinct projects.

Local architect Craig Von Deylen notes his firm's proposal for the parcel occupied by the Indianapolis Fire Department was the only one that didn't ask for TIF funds. Instead, the company requested a 7-year property tax abatement. Deylen offered to buy the 5.5-acre site from the city for $1 million and spend another $1.5 million to develop three pads it would market to other developers (total cost for all three phases: $38.5 million). The city would have the right to repurchase the property if no work had begun on the site after two years, the proposal notes.

The proposed financial terms, which basically amounted to a two-year, risk-free option on prime city-owned real estate, ultimately sunk the proposal, which also lacked commitment from a hotel developer. The city chose a more developed proposal from J.C. Hart Company, Paul Kite's Strongbox Commercial, and the architecture firm Schmidt Associates. City officials say the partners will be required to put $5.4 million into an escrow account toward construction of the $43 million project. If it doesn't get built, the city would keep the land and cash.

Von Deylen, whose latest project is The Hinge in Fletcher Place, is no fan of the Schmidt design: "Right now they have a mishmash of ideas cobbled together into a street scape more appropriate to a cut-rate amusement park than a destination avenue in a 'world class' city," he wrote in an email. "Schmidt (and for that matter many of the larger firms here in town) has a tendency to not sweat the details when it comes to design and presentation. It's like they get things to a point where they are just good enough, and then they stop and figure they are done."

Any other bidders want to share proposals? Drop me a line.

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