Urban Planning Today for the Benefit of Tomorrow

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October 2022

The Carmel Redevelopment Commission recently announced that it will again be partnering with Carmel-based Pedcor and made public their plans to redevelop the approximate 38 acres of vacant land at Pennsylvania and 111th Streets, releasing the proposed renderings of what this mixed-use development will look like after an estimated time frame of 15 years and upon the completion of its proposed four phases.

CRC Director Henry Mestetsky spoke about the proposed plans and tax benefits that will impact not only the residents within and surrounding the development but the Carmel Clay School district as well.

The Proposed Redevelopment Plan

“This is the largest remaining undeveloped piece of land [in Carmel],” Mestetsky said. “There were previous office parks proposed [for this land], and I think we are lucky to have a developer like Pedcor that is willing to take on this extensive of a project.”

Mestetsky added, “The project will have about 430,000 square feet of office space, mostly along Pennsylvania Street, though [the project] is going to be mostly multifamily with 12 ½ percent of that multifamily being workforce housing, which, frankly, is sorely needed everywhere throughout America.”

The mixed-used development will also include 58 for-sale townhouses, two public parking garages that will have solar components, 912 multi-family units and a large public plaza that will be surrounded by retail and restaurants.

Urban Planning Carmel Redevelopment

“It gives us a chance to set the trend for a more dense development along the US 31 corridor and will look less like the suburbia of the 90s and will look more like a walkable and welcoming city,” Mestetsky explained. “The plaza is actually fairly large and will have an amphitheater with seating and a stage that will have large screen as well. So, think Midtown Plaza but with better seating. And there will be a fountain with some steps and a place to rest on one side. It will be activated with retail all around it. How exciting for the neighborhoods and adjacent offices around it! Instead of this parcel being developed into a giant office park, they are going to get Midtown Plaza–like amenities that they can walk to, and that’s going to raise property values all around.”

When asked what specific architecture was planned for the for-sale town homes, Mestetsky replied, “The specific architecture hasn’t been set in stone, but I’m going to imagine it will look fairly traditional and will be exceptionally nice, as these will be for-sale units. From the picture, you can tell that they have garages on site but are detached. They are three-story townhomes with fourth-story elements on top. The boulevards are going to be lined in some cases with first-floor retail, and you can see all the parking is really hidden. The public garages can’t be seen from the streets. We don’t often get a chance to remake such a large parcel in such a properly urban planned out way.”

 The Tax Advantages

In addition to the housing and recreational amenities this mixed-use development will bring to the immediate area, Mestetsky also shared some of the financial stats that will have a direct impact on property values and on the Carmel Clay Schools who remain the second-lowest funded school district in the state of Indiana based on the existing school funding formula.

Progress Is Visible at Proscenium

“The entire site pays less than $10,000 a year in property taxes,” Mestetsky stated. “Once the redevelopment is completed, it’s going to pay $3.7 million a year in property taxes. In addition, CCS will get almost half a million dollars in additional taxes when this property is fully built out because of their referendum rate that’s attached to properties, whether it’s in a TIF district or not. And I have one more financial data point, which is that the set value per acre of the site jumps from $13,000 of assessed value per acre to $5.8 million of assessed value per acre.”

Giving credit to Pedcor for their ability to steward major redevelopment projects in Carmel’s core over the last couple of decades amid economic downturns and a global pandemic, Mestetsky stated, “I think it’s important to point out that this is a 15-year project, and Pedcor is the same developer that did City Center. Pedcor has proven to the taxpayers that they know how to do a multi-year project and do it well. It also required Brainard’s attention to detail to get these redevelopment projects right and his push for quality, and I think that’s important to continue as we move forward.”

Although the final plans are still under development, Mestetsky did state that he believes the developers will begin pushing dirt on the site in the later part of 2023.