CRC approves purchase of PNC Bank lot for $2.5 million

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For years Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard has hoped to transform the northeast corner of Range Line Road and Main Street from a bank building with an expansive parking lot to a multi-story mixed-use development.

On Dec. 19 the vision became one step closer to reality when the Carmel Redevelopment Commission voted to approve the purchase of 1.2 acres from PNC Bank for approximately $2.5 million, the average of two appraisals on the land.

As part of the agreement, the city will ensure that PNC Bank is a tenant in future redevelopment.

“The Main Street we now have in Carmel is the result of the successful public private partnerships we have had for years. These partnerships, where government and the private sector work together, have been the most important tool we’ve used to redevelop the Arts & Design District,” Mayor Jim Brainard stated in a press release. “The opportunity to redevelop a parking lot on one of our main corners of the city into a beautiful landmark building is important to the continued vitality and success of the district.”

Studio M Architecture & Planning created architectural drawings for the site in 2016, and the city began purchasing other parcels near the bank. Negotiations with PNC stalled, however, after the bank listed a selling price of more than six times the property’s appraised value. As a result, Carmel filed a complaint for condemnation against PNC Bank National Association earlier this year to use eminent domain to acquire the property.

The CRC handled negotiations with PNC and was not involved in the condemnation lawsuit, which the city plans to withdraw.

PNC Bank will remain in its building on Range Line Road until redevelopment begins. Then it is expected to relocate nearby to a temporary facility until the new branch is complete.

“We’re excited to be part of this historic transformation in one of Indiana’s most celebrated, family-friendly cities. This new look will expand opportunities for tourism and generate buzz for our local artisans and small businesses that line Main street,” stated Connie Bond Stuart, PNC regional president for central and southern Indiana, in a press release.

The city plans to combine the newly-purchased 1.2 acres with another half acre of adjacent land already owned by the CRC to work with a private developer to reimagine the site. The city will seek a request for proposal from developers interested in partnering on a project likely to include a mix of residential, business and retail opportunities and public parking space. The final project may not be complete for several years.

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