consultants are sandburs

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Apartment developers converge on downtown Indianapolis like crows to road kill. Including a local favorite developer, favoring us in Ramsey.

Indiana Business Journal:

Developers unleash blitz of apartment projects
IBJ Staff - December 28, 2012

Optimism grew among developers of all types of real estate in 2012, but the undisputed sector leader continued to be apartments.

Construction began or was to begin soon on dozens of projects with thousands of units, most quite upscale and aimed at one of two growing segments of the population who increasingly see no stigma in renting: aging boomers and young families.

[Downtown Indianapolis ... ] was the king of new apartments, as the first phase of units in the $155 million CityWay leased up quickly and workers began constructing hundreds of additional units.

Among the notable downtown apartment projects under way or scheduled to launch soon:

Flaherty & Collins Properties plans to develop an $85 million mixed-use project at Capitol Avenue and Michigan Street called Block 400. The development plan, which incorporates a Marsh grocery store, calls for almost 500 apartments.

• Developers led by J.C. Hart Co. are planning a $43 million redevelopment of a Mass Ave parcel occupied by the Indianapolis Fire Department. The proposal calls for up to 235 market-rate apartments, along with 40,000 square feet of first-floor retail space.

Flaherty & Collins Properties and Insight Development Corp. have begun construction on a $23 million residential and retail development called Millikan on Mass Ave planned for the land surrounding the Barton Tower apartments. It calls for a mix of 144 affordable and market-rate apartments and retail/restaurant space along Mass Ave.

• Milhaus Development has begun construction on the $31 million 451 Market project on the site of the former Bank One operations center at East and Washington streets. The first phase calls for 256 apartments and 13,000 square feet of commercial space.

[...]Finally, a $33 million project by Indianapolis-based Flaherty & Collins Properties called for 203 apartments, 25,000 square feet of retail space, and a 406-space parking garage on 3.4 acres north of 116th Street and west of Municipal Drive, in front of Fishers Town Hall.

Luckily for Ramsey, we had hard-hitting negotiators Ryan Cronk [of Flaherty] and Darren Lazan [of Landform] negotiating a Ramsey deal as our fiduciaries, and they were able to achieve one with a gazillion new apartments, but without that cluttering retail shop and restaurant space, but for a token 3000 square feet. Clearly a better deal for which building Flaherty free parking and giving SAC and WAC discounts and banking-like credit were appropriate. Flaherty did not force all that retail stuff on Ramsey, thousands and thousands of square feet, doubtlessly because of the negotiating skills of our well paid negotiation fiduciaries.


UPDATE: Axis power, this link.

"We believe the market's strong enough to absorb all those units and more. Demand for apartments is very high," said Jim Crossin, vice president of development for Flaherty & Collins Properties.

The Indianapolis developer thinks the Downtown rental market is so strong it justifies rents topping $1,000 a month for studio apartments in its Axis @ Block 400 project. The 320-unit development, being built just north of the OneAmerica Tower, will sport perhaps the priciest rents in the Mile Square when it opens in the spring of 2014. (And not just the studios. Two-bedroom units will go for up to $2,700 a month.)

Multiply multifamily living options and you get a healthier Downtown, with 24-7 activity, says Sherry Seiwert, president of Indianapolis Downtown Inc.

"We certainly have a very vibrant Downtown. We need to continue that pace with more residential growth," she said.

Wow, now we can think of Town Center, vibrant 24/7 with a runaway residential pace ...

___________FURTHER UPDATE___________
This link. Is this back to square one Town Center thinking, and if so, is it right or wrong? Sound or not?

Is there vision beyond a burger outlet next door to a gas station? Is patience a factor? Below, groundbreaking for Flaherty's massive rental attached to the city's ramp (in background), with the two Flaherty decision makers, and four of Ramsey's.

With three of the Ramsey four departing the council a hope for the new people coming in is transparency, for example, read here and here, respectively a two page agenda, and a sixteen page meeting minutes doc. Note the two pager is the only online agenda item, referencing an updated thing to be provided (not published online to citizens) and the related minutes for the April 7, 2010 Ramsey HRA meeting refers to things not to be easily found online. Note the lack of any online updated agenda, and no online copies of the credential documents (see minutes p.2, third paragaph) handed out at the meeting; and that early in things note a word search shows p.7, "Vegas." So who are these people, and what is the document that is being referenced with Roman numeral parts, lettered subparts? It was not until the CORruption anonymous letter was circulated that I learned of Ryan Cronk being a Flaherty insider while being posed as a city fiduciary. Find that fact, in those minutes. From reading those minutes I presumed, as most citizens would, that Cronk and Greeby were Landform flunky-employees assisting Lazan, in billing time and such for Landform.

Now, moving into 2013, the only real estate closing that was delivered was the one on the table from the start, the highly subsidized rental thing with Cronk and his Flaherty ties; with that appearing to be the main consultant concern for much of the time during which the City was paying. Cronk's status simply was not adequately disclosed to the public. The public should not be required to ferret out what city officials are up to. Give us a score card identifying the players and positions and performance stats. City officials should be totally committed to informing the public suitably. Hopefully new council members will agree and act accordingly.

Things were handled poorly, in ways contrary to generating maximum trust in proceedings and procedures. A city, via its officials, can have an upward sloping learning curve.

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