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Nov. 6, 2012

City Unveils Plans for Mixed-Use M-F Project in Downtown Indianapolis

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

City officials have announced the winning bid for the reconversion of a prime Mass Avenue parcel in downtown Indianapolis. The development team will be comprised of apartment specialist J.C. Hart Co., retail developer Paul Kite Co. and architecture firm Schmidt Associates.

The anticipated cost of the project is approximately $43 million. Plans call for up to 235 market-rate apartments, up to 40,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and two levels of surface and underground parking. The project will be developed on a 1.45-acre property bordered by Massachusetts Avenue, North New Jersey Street and East North Street. The site is currently occupied by the Indianapolis Fire Department.

“We received a number of exciting proposals to redevelop this area of Mass Ave.,” said Mayor Ballard. “This proposal by far contained the largest investment, number of apartments, retail space and parking, making it a great choice to add new residents and economic activity to this vital corridor in Indianapolis.”

The announcement concluded a year-long process led by Develop Indy, who worked with neighborhood groups and developers, to find the best use for the property.

According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, one of the most notable features of the new development will be a three-story high electronic screen wrapped around the building’s corner. At a cost of about $250,000, the giant LED screen will be 36 feet tall and 52 feet wide. It will be used for the display of a rotating art gallery and for public announcements about local arts and entertainment events. It will not be used for advertisement, Schmidt principal Sarah Hempstead told the newspaper.

The City’s investment in the project includes the land and approximately $3 million in tax increment financing. To ensure project completion, the development team has been asked to place $5.4 million into an escrow account it may draw on to fund construction. In case the project stalls, the City will keep the land and the money.

Upon completion, the Mass Ave. development will generate more than $500,000 in property taxes annually and $275,000 in income tax revenue. Construction is expected to begin next year, as the city must first relocate the Indianapolis Fire Department headquarters, Fire Station No. 7 and the Firefighters Credit Union.

Photo credits: urban-out.com

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