Indianapolis–Undeterred by the economic slump and intent on boosting the local employment rate, a public-private team is proceeding with the development of a $155 million mixed-use residential property in downtown Indianapolis. Buckingham Cos is partnering with local employer Eli Lily and Co., the City of Indianapolis and. the State of Indiana to build North of South, a project that will create jobs and revenue, as well as an energized downtown.
An Eli Lilly-owned parcel that served as a parking lot in the past will become home to North of South. The land sits in the very heart of downtown just north of South Street and within close proximity to leading area employers Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, WellPoint Inc. and project partner Eli Lilly. While many developers continue to sit on the sidelines, still wary of building in a real estate market that has yet to recover, Buckingham is moving forward eagerly with North of South. “The employment market is struggling; it’s not where we want it to be and this project has a significant job component—both permanent and temporary jobs,” Deron Kintner, executive director and general counsel to the Indianapolis Local Public Improvement Bond Bank, tells MHN. “We’re developing a corridor that contains the three biggest employers in the city. This will help them attract new employees and retain the strong employees they already have, so jobs are one of the main reasons to do the project.” The development will yield an estimated 2,400 temporary and permanent positions.
North of South’s residential segment will feature 320 high-end apartment units in an area where the call for such product is on the rise. “The occupancy rate for apartments in downtown Indianapolis is above 90 percent,” Kintner says. “The three corporations will provide a lot of demand for the apartments; people working at those locations will see the benefit of living nearby.” The corporations in the corridor will also create a market for other facets of North of South. The mixed-use endeavor will also feature a premier 150-room hotel that will be operated by Dolce Hotels & Resorts, 40,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space and a new state-of-the-art YMCA. With all its offerings and central business district location, North of South is designed to serve as a vital link between downtown and underserved neighborhoods and businesses on the city’s Near-Southside.
Additionally, North of South will be a boon to the area economy. Studies indicate that the development will eventually produce an aggregate $5 million in annual revenues for the City of Indianapolis, Marion County and the State of Indiana.
As for financing North of South, the issuance of bonds backed by tax increment financing revenue will provide the necessary funds. If all goes as planned, the first segment of North of South will reach completion in late 2011.