Is it OK to have one developer work on so many Carmel projects?

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There was plenty of big news released about Pedcor this week.

The developer responsible for the Carmel City Center and the Indiana Design Center was approved to buy the former home of Shapiro’s Deli.

Pedcor is also possibly in line for new TIF districts to be created, which could mean a revenue stream to finance a new parking garage for City Center phase two. The garage would possibly be paid for through municipally backed bonds.

And it was previously reported that Pedcor will develop land west of the Monon Trail for the city’s Midtown Plan.

Certainly, it can be said that Pedcor has its hands in many important city projects. Much of these are “private-public partnerships” which means they have the support of the government.

Is it a good or bad thing for one developer to have so many projects?

One reader told me that they suspected that Pedcor “must be in cahoots with the city.” This person called said Pedcor was “Carmel’s version of Halliburton.” That’s an unfair comparison and I’m not sure exactly what that person meant by that. I’m just sharing what people are saying.

But I bring this up because I’ve actually asked Mayor Jim Brainard about the city’s relationship with Pedcor. The way I phrased the question was to ask if there were pros or cons to having so many projects with one developer.

For one, Brainard said he doesn’t feel that Pedcor gets every project. Look at Justin Moffett’s Old Town Design Group, which just announced its plans for the eastern portion of the Midtown Plan. Look at Ersal Ozdemir’s Keystone Construction Group, which built Sophia Square and is working on a sister project called The Olivia.

In addition, Brainard said there are many benefits to working with a developer who has already built in the area. The developer knows the market, the customers, the road layouts, the city departments, etc. The city knows what to expect. The learning curve is easy. Relationships are built which can make things more efficient. Plus, the developer has a stake in the community. There’s a willingness to contribute to public infrastructure. One building starts to help the business/customer base of the other building. The developer won’t duplicate what’s already being done.

Corrie Meyer, director of the Carmel Redevelopment Commission, said many people are impressed with Pedcor’s ability to fill its buildings with tenants, especially in the days of mall companies developing exclusive contracts with many nationwide chains.

Of course, any time there are long-time relationships, some people can have issues. I know that some city councilors had concerns about the previous deal that was set up between the city and Pedcor for the first parking garage for the Carmel City Center. Some city councilors brought this up to me when discussing future deals with Pedcor.

But this is where your opinions come in. Tell us what you think. Do you like Pedcor’s developments? Are you excited about their upcoming projects? Do you have any questions or concerns? Post below and let us know.


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