Thursday, February 11, 2016

Usual Suspects Vying For Coca Cola Property

Indy Square rendering
Indy Square rendering proposed by Strategic Capital Partners
Indianapolis Public Schools has received six bids for the purchase and redevelopment of the highly-sought Coca-Cola property in the 800 block of the Mass Ave business district. Their proposals haven't been made public yet, but the Indianapolis Star was able to obtain some information from a couple of the bidders. The list of bidders includes the following:

  • Milhaus Development (2 separate bids)/High Alpha (i.e., Exact Target's Scott Dorsey)
  • Strategic Capital Partners (i.e., Gene Zink)/Schmidt Associates/J.C. Hart
  • The Hagerman Group
  • Browning Investments
  • Hendricks Commercial Properties
According to The Star, the bid led by Strategic Capital Partners is proposing a $220 mixed use development, including a boutique hotel, retail, office, YMCA day care center, 75,000 square foot park and 1,100 parking space garage. The housing component includes 500 market rate apartment (more of what we don't need), 75 affordable units and 30 townhouses. The retail would be 140,000 square feet of open retail space. Zink's group is offering IPS $17.5 million to acquire the property.

Strategic Capital Partners' Schmidt & Associates and J.C. Hart are already developing the heavily-subsidized Montage on Mass, a mixed use of more cheaply-built apartments and retail space at the site of the former IFD headquarters, fire station and firefighters credit union. I'm interested to know what other general contractors and subcontractors are partnering with these bidders. I would be shocked if IPS board president Mary Ann Sullivan's husband's firm, Shiel-Sexton, isn't hiding behind one of these bidders. 

Milhaus wants to have 825,000 square feet of development, including retail, office space, apartments and condos. It's unclear how much their project would cost to develop. Milhaus is offering IPS $18 million for the property. Isn't it curious how two supposedly secret multi-million dollar bids would come within $500,000 of each other? Before you conclude they're offering a fair price for the land, keep in mind that each of these bidders are looking to Mayor Joe Hogsett to dip into the downtown TIF slush fund and provide them a subsidy at least equal to the acquisition cost of the land, if not some extra money to pay for parking and infrastructure improvements. 


Anonymous said...

What's the office vacancy rate downtown? How many downtown firms have left Marion County for Hamilton County? How many boutique hotels does a city like Indianapolis really need? How many Hoosier millennials will opt for a $1500 loft downtown when Mommy's basement in Carmel is underutilized? So many questions. So few answers. There are lots of really good solid people in Indy and it hacks me off that these criminals and mental midgets with names like Ballard and Hogsett are going to leave them holding the bag. Fortunately, we live in an ordered universe and Karma is a female St. Bernard.

Anonymous said...

800,000+ sft and 220M$, that's over 260/square foot, that cost estimate is very far out of line with even high end construction. I'm su it's just another game of inflate the numbers to get a bigger subsidy out of the city.

I don't see the demand for so much retail that far northeast on mass av.

Anonymous said...

Gary, don't forget that Schmidt associates has been in bed with IPS for YEARS.

I've read several articles recently that suggest the millennial generation is starting to shift towards home ownership, they are sick of rising rents and overpriced apartments. Ibj even reported slowing demand for apartments downtown and a few well connected local developers putting the brakes on new pursuits, concerned that the massive glut of supply has yet to hit the market as demand is softening. This sounds like a risky endeavor

Anonymous said...

Finding parking spaces on or near Mass Ave has forever been a problem and, with all the new construction, I can imagine the situation now is much worse. Sorry YATS but we haven't been a patron since Ballard littered the area with high priced parking meters.
However, the Chatham Arch Neighborhood Association has scored somewhat of a victory to preserve residential parking spaces by halting expansion of BlueIndy in the Mass Ave area. The Indianapolis Historical Commission unanimously denied a petition for a variance sought by BlueIndy to erect a utility pole that they stated was necessary to install charging stations for five vehicles. The tone of the commissioners and the remonstrators was more than the placing of a pole but the method by which BlueIndy was awarded public space. Members of the neighborhood association noted that requests for discussions with BlueIndy had been ignored yet the BlueIndy representative said that they had been working with the association and would even have more discussions with neighborhoods in the future. The BlueIndy representative pinned their method of acquiring locations on Mayor Ballard's way of doing business which, of course, bypassed the City-County Council and any discussions with affected residents. He also brought up the canard of BlueIndy being a public utility. The Commission also denied a second request for a variance to construct a nearby registration kiosk. At this meeting Representative Miller brought up the idea that some present locations like Meridian/Washington Streets may be undone.
While denial of this BlueIndy location hinged on obtaining a variance, it is hopefully a sign Ballard's unilateral decisions have now been put into the hands of council members. Both requests for variances were denied by the full CCC without comment.