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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There has been a separate Carmel thread for a while. Given all that is going on in Carmel, I certainly think that's warranted. But there is a lot starting to pop in the other suburbs too, I think largely driven by what has been happening in Carmel. So I thought this deserved a thread too. All this could be merged into the main Indy thread, but that is primarily city oriented to date and the high volume of discussion means actual development projects can easily get lost. Hence my rationale for this suburban development thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I don't know if you all have been following the River Place proposal in Fishers. This has been a bit controversial because of a tussle with environmental groups. River Place is a proposed 1.3 million square feet, $500 million, fairly dense, mixed residental/commercial project at the corner of 96th and Allisonville. It would be anchored by two 25 story towers. If downtown won't build up, it looks like the outlying areas will.

Here's an article.

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070602/LOCAL/706020350/1015/LOCAL01

Zoning change weighed
Town Council will vote on residences at RiverPlace

By John Tuohy
[email protected]

The Fishers Town Council will consider a zoning change Monday that could jumpstart a $500 million business and residential development anchored by a pair of high-rise towers along White River.

"This can be an absolute jewel, but it won't happen if the developer doesn't get the zoning it needs,'' said council member Art Levine.
Centre Properties will ask the council for a zoning change to allow homes to be mixed in with businesses at the 69-acre site to be called RiverPlace.

Currently only commercial development is allowed on the property at 96th Street and Allisonville Road.

The seven Town Council members generally favor the plan, and this week removed an issue from the ordinance that threatened their approval of the zoning change: traffic.

Instead of demanding a detailed final traffic plan, they said they would seek guarantees that the congested area could handle the increase in traffic. The town's technical advisory committee will review the traffic plan as the development progresses.

"We still aren't sure about how many residential units or how many square feet of retail we will end up with,'' said town Planning Director Wes Bucher. "All that affects traffic projections. It wouldn't make much sense to present a detailed traffic plan based on hypothetical building plans."

Separating the two also will allow the council to take action before the June 11 deadline required by law.

Still, council President Scott Faultless said he'd like to begin street preparations for the massive project.

"I'd like to improve traffic on Allisonville Road and other intersections before this is built,'' he said.

Centre Properties said rezoning the land for mixed use would generate less traffic than a strict commercial use. A study it conducted found RiverPlace would add 22,500 automobile trips to the area, compared with 27,800 if the area were all retail. Town engineers were doing their own evaluations
"If all the concerns have been resolved to the satisfaction of our highway experts and traffic consultants . . . I am inclined to strongly support it," Levine said.

Council members agree that mixing uses on the land better fits the long-range plan.

"They already have the right to build big box stores and auto dealerships there," council member Stuart Easley said. "The question is, do we want that or something better?"

Centre wants to build a 1.3 million-square-foot complex of homes, apartments, stores, restaurants and shops, including two 25-story buildings.
The RiverPlace project could generate $5.3 million a year in property taxes but would require filling in 15 acres of land on the east bank of the White River.

Centre recently ended years of environmental wrangling by gaining permission from the state to fill in a portion of the White River flood plain.

The Hoosier Environmental Council had challenged Centre's application for a permit, but after turning the developer away several times, the Department of Natural Resources granted one in 2005.

HEC spokesman Clarke Kahlo said the fill would cause flooding just north and south of the site, despite a canal the developer is building to relieve some of the pressure.

"It makes no sense to have state and federal programs for flood damage if we don't address the root causes of flooding," Kahlo said. "Part of that would be unfettered growth."

Kahlo said he favors a mixed-use site, just not one that intrudes on the river.

RiverPlace would have 300,000 square feet of high-rise office space, two 150-room hotels, 500,000 square feet of retail and underground parking and 1,000 residential units.

--------------------------

Call me crazy, but I don't see any 25 story towers in this rendering.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Lawrence has approved a new town center development at Ft. Harrison. I was surprised to see that this requires MDC approval. I had thought that as an excluded city, Lawrence ran its own planning and zoning.

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070602/LOCAL/706020380/1195/LOCAL18

Cover Story
Lawrence Village zoning gets council's support
Proposed plan for new town center is updated version

By Cathy Kightlinger
[email protected]

Plans for a new town center -- a village filled with residences, shops, walking paths and offices -- got a stamp of approval from the Lawrence City Council Thursday.

The current concept for Lawrence Village at the Fort is more pedestrian-friendly. - Artist's rendering provided by Ehren T. Bingaman

Council members voted 8-0 to recommend a zoning change to pave the way for Lawrence Village at the Fort -- a development expected to transform about 150 acres of the former Fort Benjamin Harrison property into an urban village.

Planners liken it to those in Indianapolis' Fountain Square, downtown Noblesville and parts of Brownsburg.

The new plan offers characteristics of circa-1950s developments, said Ehren T. Bingaman, executive director of the Fort Harrison Reuse Authority.
"(The developments are) a little safer for the pedestrian (and are on) a friendlier scale for the human on foot and bike and Segway," said Bingaman.
The plans will go before the Metropolitan Development Commission June 20 for a recommendation to the Indianapolis City-County Council, whose members will determine whether the zoning actually changes.

The area is currently zoned for a planned unit development, said Bingaman. But Fort Harrison Reuse Authority officials want the change to update a decade-old version to an updated planned unit development -- an area with a mix of residential, office and retail uses.

"It will create a mixed-use village similar to traditional downtowns," said Bingaman. "Our plan was 10 years old, and this is a revisit."

The older plan keeps buildings farther away from curbs than the new one, has more parking lots and doesn't encourage stacked residential, office and retail uses in buildings, Bingaman said.

Lawrence Village at the Fort sits in the middle of the former military post near 56th Street and Post Road. It already contains several buildings that are incorporated into the new master plan. One holds a YMCA, another a branch of Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana.

Since the fort closed in 1996, a victim of military downsizing, the Reuse Authority has found civilian uses for land and many fort buildings.

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think this whole Noblesville corporate campus is a pretty garden variety type development. Still, it is massive, with a $30 million investment in 146th St., a near 1 million square feet mall (most filled with typical national chains, however), the medical buildings, and the whole Saxony development. If you haven't been up there recently, the amount of dirt being moved is astonishing.

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070602/LOCAL/706020333/1015/LOCAL01

Work begins on Saxony offices
Intrametco moving into 2-story building at Exit 10 off I-69

By James A. Gillaspy
[email protected]

Employees and associates of Intrametco, an Indianapolis metal trading company, broke ground Friday on their new offices -- the latest addition to the Saxony development at Exit 10 off I-69.

"We've got a tent and some champagne and some appetizers," said Intrametco vice president Jon Town, who helped toast the spade-turning moment that begins an expected seven-month construction project on two acres along Bergen Boulevard.

"It's just exciting to finally get going on the building."

The 20,000-square-foot office building will replace the three-story house at 3655 N. Washington Blvd. where the company has been operating for 10 years.

The 27-year-old firm will relocate near the crown jewel of the Saxony acreage on Noblesville's side of the interchange at Ind. 238 -- the open-air Hamilton Town Center shopping mall planned by Simon Property Group and Gershman Brown & Associates.

"The Simon mall next door to the property is a big plus, as well as restaurants and other conveniences," Town said. "And the commute going north versus south on (I-)69 is a huge plus. Most of the employees live in the Geist areas and are going to have a much improved commute."

As for business benefits, Town said, the opportunity to have everyone's office on the same floor should help with interoffice communication and business synergy.

The ground floor of the company's new headquarters is to be leased.

The 725-acre Saxony project of Ohio-based Republic Development straddles the north and south sides of Exit 10 in Fishers and Noblesville. The estimated $500 million mix of businesses and homes is considered an economic boon to both communities.

The Fishers side of the project made headlines recently with the announcement of St. Vincent Hospital's plans for an emergency center and Clarian Health Partner's purchase of 95 acres.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This sounds like setting up what has long been the case in Hamilton County, where towns control zoning for their surrounding township areas.

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070602/LOCAL/706020393/1020/LOCAL05

4 towns seek more zoning control
They hope to get county to let them oversee bigger area

By Josh Duke
[email protected]

Hendricks County planners are working to improve zoning standards, but it may not be enough to satisfy leaders of the county's largest towns.

The county last revised zoning standards in 1998 and hopes to have the rules in place by next year. At two public meetings this week, county planners asked the public to offer views on what changes they would like on rules ranging from subdivision design to road plans.

"There certainly is a sentiment to do things more creative than in the past," said County Plan Director Don Reitz.

The county's efforts come as leaders in Avon, Brownsburg, Pittsboro and Plainfield have grown disenchanted with the county's zoning standards, which in some cases they consider lower than their own. They've joined forces to gain more control of unincorporated land adjacent to their towns.

The communities are working on agreements to divvy up zoning control of land between the towns.

"We hope when we have those agreements in place, we can go to the county to try and reinstate control of two-mile boundaries outside our perimeter," said Mike Green, president of the Brownsburg Town Council. "When they are making decisions that affect our schools and fire territory, we feel we need to be more strongly represented."

Two-mile planning jurisdictions were in place until 1995, when the county changed its advisory plan commission to an area plan commission. Towns now control zoning only within their incorporated limits.

Marcus Turner, an Avon Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals member, participated in one of the meetings last week to find out what the county had in mind. He was pleased with the county's efforts and hopes it creates some consistency across jurisdictional lines.

"I'm real interested in what the county is doing to see if we are on the same page, and if we are not, to get on the same page," he said.

Reitz said the county's most recent efforts to improve zoning classifications had nothing to do with the towns' initiatives. He said last week's meetings were conducted to bolster county development standards and bring them in line with what residents expect.

At the meetings this week, the county sought input about zoning issues through four surveys completed by participants.

The first survey focused on agricultural uses, such as grain elevators and raising livestock. A second survey gathered input on what type of visual aesthetics -- such as landscaped medians or ornamental lighting -- should be added to state and federal highways in the county.

The final two surveys gauged participants' views about the importance of building facades, open space, landscaping and other amenities in both commercial and residential developments.

"We will compile the results and bounce it off the steering committee," said K.K. Gerhart-Fritz, hired to help with the zoning plan. "We hope to have some draft ideas this fall and a final draft of the zoning ordinances by the end of the year."
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Plainfield is getting very aggressive in a number of areas like trail building. They've also been a Hendricks County leader in road construction, and are seeking to make significant streetscape improvements along their gateway corridors, which today are quite depressing. I think Plainfield has got a ways to go, but they are moving in the right direction.

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070601/LOCAL0505/706010342/1135/LOCAL0505

June 1, 2007

Trail section will connect East, Dan Jones
White Lick Creek and East will be tied by Lincoln

By Bruce C. Smith
[email protected]

Plainfield is stepping up construction of its fast-growing system of hiking and biking trails.

The Town Council this week hired a local construction company to install a key section that follows the old Vandalia Rail Road line. JDH Contracting was awarded an $873,580 contract to pave about 7,000 feet of trail, improve related curbs, storm water and sanitary sewers and create a pedestrian trail crossing with a blinking light.

JDH representatives said work on the Vandalia East trail could begin this month and be completed by Oct. 15.

The new section of trail will begin at Lincoln and East streets, travel north on East and climb a steep embankment to get up on the old bed of the former Vandalia Railroad.

The new trail route then will travel northeast on the abandoned rail bed and go under Ind. 267, or Avon Avenue, in Plainfield. It will continue east to the new pedestrian crossing with a blinker light at Carr Road and end at an existing trail crossing of the railroad bed with Dan Jones Road.

A future phase of development will extend the trail eastward from Dan Jones for at least a mile to Perry Road.

The new section of the Vandalia East trail will connect at Lincoln and East, where work on the Bob Ward Park, a small neighborhood green space, was recently completed.

It also connects to another section of trail to be built this summer along several thousand feet between White Lick Creek in Franklin Park and East Street, following Lincoln along the way.

A federal grant of about $1.1 million will pay for that new section. The trail will be laid over a storm drainage pipe to be installed in an open drainage ditch along the south edge of Lincoln.

The total effect of those two linked projects will be construction of several miles of new trail, plus new curbs and enclosure of an open ditch in an older section of town.

This week, the council also opened bids to create a trailhead, or public area, at White Lick Creek and U.S. 40. The public could park in the area and begin hiking or biking the creekside trail.

The trail head is to be on town parkland on the northwest side of the highway and the creek, which is across the creek from Kristy's Cafe.

Town engineers estimated the project at $272,000. The four bids ranged from $299,000 to $509,000. A town government committee will study the bids, and the council will consider awarding a contract June 11.

Other trail development projects this summer include paths and a tunnel under a new section of four-lane Ind. 267.

Also, large subdivisions on the southwestside will be served by a trail under construction this summer. A 2,300-foot section of the Center Grove Road trail will bring Center Ridge, Glen Haven and Glen Haven West into the community trail system at Hummel Park and Peacock Lake.

A new pedestrian bridge will span White Lick Creek west of Center Street and Hadley Road, to connect the Crystal Bay subdivision to Hummel Park.
 

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I live out in Avon and I am very jealous of what Plainfield has done with their trail system. It's absolutely wonderful, almost every single part of the town is connected with trails. What I am wondering is why their haven't been any new urbanism developments in Plainfield, I think the town made some mistakes when planning Metropolis. Plainfield also should be working on extending it's main street downtown, and trying to bring life back to it (something like Zionsville).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It's tough for Avon, which wasn't even incorporated as a town until the 1990's. They've got a way to go to catch up.

Plainfield is working on a downtown master plan of some sort. Part of this is linked to the Main St. (US 40/Washington St.) streetscape plan that they have. I don't know all of the details, however.

I was in downtown Plainfield the other day. One thing I noticed is that like a lot of smaller towns in Indiana, the streets and such are just bare asphalt on grass - no drainage, curbs, sidewalks, etc. This needs to be addressed. One of the things that Carmel did that doesn't show up on the radar but makes a huge difference was to completely reconstruct the infrastructure of old town. The sewers were replaced, storm drainag installed, curb/gutter & sidewalk put in, and new asphalt laid. This was a very expensive proposition - about $18 million I think. That may prove too expensive for Plainfield, though with their commercial base they should certainly be able to afford it.
 

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Thanks for the updates arenn. These proposed developments are VERY exciting. That Riverplace proposal is kick-ass. I would LOVE to see 25-story buildings in that part of the metro area. Fishers/Castleton has been booming for so long, it is about time it got a skyline to match.

Riverplace, along with the Westfield proposal at Keystone and 86th, will totally remake the north side of Indy for the better in my opinion. North Indy/Fishers/Carmel could truly become a commerical nerve center along with DT Indianapolis. Let's hope we get some light-rail to connect all these mega-developments.
 

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I went out to lunch in Castleton today and noticed how much construction there was at Castleton Square Mall. Does anyone know what is going in the new buildings there?

Regarding Plainfield, does anyone know the construction status of the outer beltway (the Ronald Reagan parkway)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
hoosier, it is odd that high rise proposals seem to fare poorly downtown, but that there are at least three 20+ story buildings proposed in the north suburban areas.

The "outer beltway" as you call it will extend from Kentucky Ave. and Ameriplex parkway, up through Hendricks and Boone Counties as Ronald Reagan Parkway, across through Hamilton County as 146th St. and south through Hancock County as Olio and Mt. Comfort Rds. (name changes at the border - technically it is called CR 600W in Hancock County).

This road is completed as a four lane divided highway between Kentucky Ave and Stafford Rd. in Plainfield. A section that will be four-lane divided is under construction from Stafford Rd. north to CR 200S (a bit north of Washington St). It is mostly done, but not yet fully open to traffic.

There is a gap between CR 200S and Rockville Rd. This route is designed and 80% of the ROW is acquired. The price tag I've seen has this at $14 million, which makes me think they are planning to build it as a two-lane road. This would include a needed bridge over the CSX Avon Yard.

Between Rockville at CR 300N (30th St), the road has been built as a two-lane country road on a four lane ROW.

The segment from CR 300N to Crawfordsville Rd. (US 136) is in design I believe. I suspect it will also be a two-lane segment.

The segment from Crawfordsville Rd. to 56th St. is under construction as part of the interchange project at Ronald Reagan at I-74. It will not be complete until fall of 2008.

The segment north of 56th St. is in the environmental assessment process. No route has been selected, though there was just an article about it in the paper:

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070531/LOCAL0202/705310434/1145/LOCAL02

There were a few options last I looked at this, but it appears they are looking at a route that will connect to the I-65/SR 267 interchange. From there existing CR 400S and CR 300S in Boone County will be used. I suspect we are a long, long time from seeing a lot done in Boone County given the critical highway funding problems there, but if the use TIF dollars it might be sooner.

Hamilton County has design projects underway for the four mile segment of 146th from the county line to Spring Mill. This would widen that segment to four lanes. There is no construction or ROW funding at this time.

From Spring Mill to SR 37, 146th St. is complete as a four lane divided parkway.

From SR 37 to I-69 Exit 10, 146th is under construction as a four or six lane parkway, with the project to be completed this fall.

Exit 10 is being upgraded by INDOT as we speak.

Olio Rd. is already four lanes from I-69 Exit 10 to just north of Geist Reservoir.

The bridge over Geist Reservoir is being replaced with a new four lane structure as we speak.

South of there, design is complete on Olio to four lane it to the county line. There is no funding as of yet other than to widen and realign the intersection at 104th St. But I believe Hamilton County is considering using local funds to complete the four laning from the new bridge to the new intersection.

In Hancock County, Mt. Comfort Rd. already exists as a two-lane route. There are no short term plans to widen it. However, McCordsville is studying the alignment through town. The old town centers of both McCordsville and Mt. Comfort, including two cemetaries, complicate expansion here.

INDOT is planning to spend about $25 million during the Major Moves program to improve the interchange of Mt. Comfort Rd. at I-70.

The southern part of the "beltway" doesn't really exist. Johnson County has been studying east-west routes. I believe they want to upgrade CR 750N and build a new I-65 interchange there, but it is difficult for me to see how this would connect with the northern arc I just discussed.

I hope you found this status update useful.
 

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hoosier, it is odd that high rise proposals seem to fare poorly downtown, but that there are at least three 20+ story buildings proposed in the north suburban areas.

The "outer beltway" as you call it will extend from Kentucky Ave. and Ameriplex parkway, up through Hendricks and Boone Counties as Ronald Reagan Parkway, across through Hamilton County as 146th St. and south through Hancock County as Olio and Mt. Comfort Rds. (name changes at the border - technically it is called CR 600W in Hancock County).

This road is completed as a four lane divided highway between Kentucky Ave and Stafford Rd. in Plainfield. A section that will be four-lane divided is under construction from Stafford Rd. north to CR 200S (a bit north of Washington St). It is mostly done, but not yet fully open to traffic.

There is a gap between CR 200S and Rockville Rd. This route is designed and 80% of the ROW is acquired. The price tag I've seen has this at $14 million, which makes me think they are planning to build it as a two-lane road. This would include a needed bridge over the CSX Avon Yard.

Between Rockville at CR 300N (30th St), the road has been built as a two-lane country road on a four lane ROW.

The segment from CR 300N to Crawfordsville Rd. (US 136) is in design I believe. I suspect it will also be a two-lane segment.

The segment from Crawfordsville Rd. to 56th St. is under construction as part of the interchange project at Ronald Reagan at I-74. It will not be complete until fall of 2008.

The segment north of 56th St. is in the environmental assessment process. No route has been selected, though there was just an article about it in the paper:

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070531/LOCAL0202/705310434/1145/LOCAL02

There were a few options last I looked at this, but it appears they are looking at a route that will connect to the I-65/SR 267 interchange. From there existing CR 400S and CR 300S in Boone County will be used. I suspect we are a long, long time from seeing a lot done in Boone County given the critical highway funding problems there, but if the use TIF dollars it might be sooner.

Hamilton County has design projects underway for the four mile segment of 146th from the county line to Spring Mill. This would widen that segment to four lanes. There is no construction or ROW funding at this time.

From Spring Mill to SR 37, 146th St. is complete as a four lane divided parkway.

From SR 37 to I-69 Exit 10, 146th is under construction as a four or six lane parkway, with the project to be completed this fall.

Exit 10 is being upgraded by INDOT as we speak.

Olio Rd. is already four lanes from I-69 Exit 10 to just north of Geist Reservoir.

The bridge over Geist Reservoir is being replaced with a new four lane structure as we speak.

South of there, design is complete on Olio to four lane it to the county line. There is no funding as of yet other than to widen and realign the intersection at 104th St. But I believe Hamilton County is considering using local funds to complete the four laning from the new bridge to the new intersection.

In Hancock County, Mt. Comfort Rd. already exists as a two-lane route. There are no short term plans to widen it. However, McCordsville is studying the alignment through town. The old town centers of both McCordsville and Mt. Comfort, including two cemetaries, complicate expansion here.

INDOT is planning to spend about $25 million during the Major Moves program to improve the interchange of Mt. Comfort Rd. at I-70.

The southern part of the "beltway" doesn't really exist. Johnson County has been studying east-west routes. I believe they want to upgrade CR 750N and build a new I-65 interchange there, but it is difficult for me to see how this would connect with the northern arc I just discussed.

I hope you found this status update useful.
WOW!! That was amazing arenn. Thanks a lot!:banana:

As for the southern portion of the outer beltway, I think Southport road would be a good candidate to carry it. Southport was recently widened to five lanes from SR 37 to Bluff Road and there is already an interchange with I-65.

I didn't realize that work on the NE leg of the beltway had already commenced. In reality, the most important segment of this road is in Hendricks and Hamilton counties. I wish that it was being built as a four-lane road to begin, but two lanes are better than none. Eventually it will be widened, when is anyone's guess.
 

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Call me crazy, but I don't see any 25 story towers in this rendering.

First off, thanks for creating this thread and posting all those articles.

How much of the project will be cut if the zoning variance is not granted? Will it affect the 25 storey towers? That could be really great for the area. If they aren't built I'm at least glad developers are thinking about high density; it's what the northside really needs.

I seem to remember reading an article awhile ago about a project in Carmel called Gramercy. If memory serves me correctly, it was supposed to be mid-rise apartments and condos off of Keystone somewhere in Carmel. What's the updated scoop on this project?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
cityfan, the site of the proposed River Place development is currently zoned C-3, which allows big box retail. The zoning change would be to allow for the mixed use development, which the developer claims will generate less traffic.

If the zoning change is denied, the landowner will probably come back with a retail-only strip mall proposal that can be built as of right.

Gramercy is a proposed new urbanist development in central Carmel off 126th St. between Range Line and Keystone. It will replace the Mohawk Apartments and golf course. It is consist of 2000 residential units, plus integrated commercial. This will be a significant density increase over the current 500 units. It has already received approval, but appears to be on a slow burn. I'm guessing it is a decade or more from full buildout.

Here are a couple of Gramercy renderings. But I believe these should be considered purely conceptual





By the way, my intent was to continue maintaining Carmel as a separate thread, because of the quantity and the uniqueness of the development there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It contains on additional conceptual rendering of the project, albeit not a great one:



The developer has a huge ace in the hole with this project, which is that the land is already zoned for big box retail. If the town council shoots them down, they can just throw up a generic strip mall and there's nothing the city can do about it.
 

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Indy's burbs are growing at a very fast pace! It isn't just limited to Hamilton County either. The Indianapolis Metro area is such an attractive place to do business and raise a family that I see no signs of a slow-down anytime soon. If all of these developments go up, there will be a number of great opportunities through out the region!

I went past the River Park Place site this weekend on my way to the Bob Evans at 96th & Keystone (I love me some Bob Evans) and they have all kinds of equipment on site. It seems that they already have their approvals
 

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I like this development Riverplace. A couple of 25-story towers would be AWESOME for the Indy metro area.

I hope the developer widens 96th and Allisonville though to accomodate increased traffic.
 

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I like this development Riverplace. A couple of 25-story towers would be AWESOME for the Indy metro area.
Although I'd prefer high rises downtown anyday, it is nice to have some on the outlying area. It creates a cool effect when driving on I-465, makes it feel like a really large city, where high rises aren't contained to one area.
 
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