‘Blighted’ Carmel area may see development

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — Watch for more new development in Carmel.

A big project is being planned for an area that has missed much of the investment seen elsewhere in the city. One member of Carmel’s City Council has even called the area “blighted.”

Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard doesn’t like that word for this property. But, he acknowledged “it’s an area that does need redevelopment.”

The land appears out of place when compared to what people see a few miles to the east in Carmel. That look will change with a project being designed by the Edward Rose and Sons real estate development company. Rose will build places to live and shop in a complex at Main Street and Old Meridian.

Brainard said, until now, the location restricted its potential.

“You couldn’t get to it from the west side.” Brainard said. “You couldn’t get to it very easily from (U.S.) 31. Now that we’re going to have that beautiful interchange there, this area should take off very quickly.”

The desire for improvement is being addressed through a financing plan recently approved by Carmel’s City Council. As taxes are collected on the development, the city will get 25 percent of the money. The developer gets 75 percent.

“But they have to spend that 75 percent,” Brainard said, “and here’s a point that people often miss — on publicly-used infrastructure.”

That means facilities such as streets, parking structures and the like.

The council approved the concept based on the feeling it poses no risk to Carmel taxpayers. One council member said the city would have needed to make the improvements some day. But, having the developer do it makes more sense, the council member said, because the company would be able to do the work for about 30 percent less than the city could.

The Edward Rose model is already being adopted for other developers. Another project is in the works now, using the same financing plan.

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