The Carmel City Council on Nov. 20 introduced and tabled two ordinances authorizing the city to issue up to $76 million in developer-backed bonds for two new redevelopment projects that include more than 1,400 dwelling units, nearly 80,000 square feet of office or retail space, parking garages and other amenities.
Gramercy and Marketplace is a $300 million project set to be developed by Buckingham Companies between Carmel Drive and 126th Street primarily west of the existing Gramercy Apartments. Set to be built in four phases, it is planned to ultimately include 850 rental units, 191 for-sale units, 28,000 square feet of retail space, public plazas and a 650-space parking garage.
The project includes renovating four existing Gramercy Apartment buildings, extending Kinzer Avenue south to Carmel Drive and adding a roundabout at Carmel Drive. The Marketplace area at the south end of the project is proposed in an area currently home to the 502 East Event Centre and adjacent restaurants and other businesses.
“This a very thought-out product that isn’t all dense,” CRC Director Henry Mestetsky said. “It has characteristics of suburban and characteristics of urban and it creates new public spaces and new urban nodes for us.”
If the bonds and project is approved by the city, the first phase, which includes the Gramercy apartment renovation, garden apartments and a parking garage, is set to begin construction in the second quarter of 2025. Subsequent phases are expected to be under construction through roughly 2030.
Tax increment financing will be used to pay for the project, with the developer receiving 90 percent of TIF revenues and the city receiving 10 percent. TIF captures tax revenue generated as a result of improvements to an area to help pay for those improvements.
Mestetsky also introduced the Valentina redevelopment project, which is proposed to bring 380 multi-family dwelling units, 17 for-sale townhomes, 50,000 square feet of office/retail space and a 600-space parking garage north of Gradle Drive between the Monon Greenway and 3rd Ave. SW.
Keystone Group is set to develop the $150 million project, which also includes widening and improvements to the adjacent Monon Greenway. The city council is considering authorizing up to $23 million in developer-backed bonds for the project.
The project is near Carter Green, a public space that frequently hosts large events, such as the Carmel Christkindlmarkt. Mestetsky said the Valentina parking garage will provide additional parking space to accommodate the area’s many events.
“It is nice in a city like Carmel where the developers can build the project but then support the parking for other uses,” he said.
The site is currently home to two single-story buildings with multiple business tenants. Mestetsky said he doesn’t expect redevelopment to begin for at least a year.
The TIF split on the Valentina project is proposed at 95 percent of funds to the developer and 5 percent to the city.
Councilor Adam Aasen proposed tabling both ordinances for the incoming city council to review. Beginning Jan. 1, the city will have a new mayor and five new city councilors. The council voted to table both matters for the new council, which will meet for the first time Jan. 4.