17 Feb Developer Pitches $28M Project for Fishers Train Station Site
Indianapolis Business Journal | February 17, 2014 | Andrea Muirragui Davis
Fishers officials are expected to vote Monday night on a proposed $28 million redevelopment of the Fishers Train Station site, the final piece of an ambitious plan to transform the town’s municipal complex into a hub of commercial and residential activity.
Economic development leaders have been working with principals at Indianapolis-based Loftus Robinson Development to hammer out a deal for the property along 116th Street just west of the Nickel Plate railroad tracks. The Town of Fishers would kick in up to $9.5 million for the project under the proposal from Loftus Robinson. Plans call for a three-story, 33,000-square-foot retail/office building and a four-story, 120-unit apartment building wrapped around a 400-space parking garage.
Under the terms of the project agreement up for consideration Monday, the town would contribute three acres of land and up to $9.5 million for the parking garage. Fishers also would master-lease the office building—which already has a top-floor tenant—lending its credit rating to Loftus Robinson to finance the project. The developer would contribute at least $750,000 to the office building and work with private partners to finance and construct the upscale apartments—mostly studios and one-bedroom units, with a few two-bedroom options. First-floor retail also is a possibility.
Built in 1996, the existing brick train station building would be demolished to make way for the new construction. The concrete track-side platform is expected to remain in place and accessible via a public plaza. Existing tenants will be displaced: Fishers’ space-crunched Town Court will to move into the town-owned building that now houses a Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch that is relocating in May; and the town’s employee health clinic will move to the building that construction firm Meyer Najem is erecting nearby to house its headquarters and other offices. The Fishers Chamber of Commerce is still seeking an alternative location.
Indianapolis-based Flaherty & Collins Properties already is working on another mixed-use project on town-owned land just west of the train station site. The $42 million Depot at Nickel Plate, which kicked off the downtown redevelopment initiative, will include 242 luxury apartments, 15,000 square feet of retail space and a 430-space parking garage. An oversized median between the projects will be transformed into the Central Green, a tree-lined park equipped with granite benches and a water feature. Municipal Drive will be redesigned to add on-street parking.
They’re creating an environment that fosters business growth and entrepreneurship, and we’re excited to be a part of that.
“Town leadership has a great vision for downtown,” Loftus Robinson principal Drew Loftus told IBJ. “They’re creating an environment that fosters business growth and entrepreneurship, and we’re excited to be a part of that.” The project is still in the “proposal stage,” he said, and details such as construction timing are still being determined. Town Manager Scott Fadness expects work to begin in June and be complete by fall 2015.
That’s when digital marketing firm BLAST media is slated to move its offices from Forum Credit Union’s headquarters to the new office building. An economic development deal approved last year calls for the growing firm to pay reduced rent on third-floor space there. Redeveloping the train station site is part of a downtown master plan approved more than a year ago, Fadness said. Although officials thought the project might be a second phase of The Depot, the proposal from Loftus Robinson asked for a smaller public contribution than others that were considered.
“It’s a better economic deal for the town,” Fadness said.