City of Carmel may pursue eminent domain for PNC lot


For years, Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard has said he wants to see a mixed-use development built at the northeast corner of Range Line Road and Main Street in the Carmel Arts & Design District, which is currently a parking lot for PNC Bank.

Brainard moved plans forward in 2016 with architectural drawings drafted by Studio M Architecture & Planning. The Carmel Redevelopment Commission started  purchasing neighboring buildings and began negotiating with PNC Bank to buy its building, demolish it and construct a new public-private partnership.

But Brainard said the plans have stalled because PNC is asking for more than six times the property’s appraised value.

As a result, Brainard said the City of Carmel is considering eminent domain to seize the land.

“We’re beginning the taking process,” he said.

Brainard said negotiations are ongoing and he wants to reach a better price. He said eminent domain would be appropriate for a redevelopment site. He cited Indiana Code 36-7-14-20, which states, “if the legislative body of the unit that established the department of redevelopment considers it necessary to acquire real property in a redevelopment project area by the exercise of the power of eminent domain,” that the legislative body can instruct an attorney to file a petition for eminent domain.

Brainard previously said PNC would likely move into its new space before its current building is demolished but noted that it’s possible PNC would choose to work out of a different location during construction.

The new development would have space for a public plaza, according to the architectural sketches. Many of the city festivals that used to take place in the PNC parking lot have been moved to other spaces such as the Indiana Design Center because PNC has since denied usage.

PNC could not be reached for comment.