The Carmel Redevelopment Commission has approved some contracts and agreements to move forward with development in Carmel’s urban core.
On March 23, the redevelopment commission held a public meeting and approved the bond lease agreement for the Midtown area. Nobody showed up to comment on the bonds.
The Carmel City Council and the CRC separately approved $20 million in bonds to build two parking garages for the proposed Midtown development, to be located between the Carmel Arts & Design District and the Carmel City Center. Construction should include both a 308-space and 580-space parking garage.
The CRC has also approved a $170,200 contract with Gehl Studio Inc., a branch of a Denmark-based firm, that aims to study the Midtown area and look at possibly widening the multi-use Monon Trail to accommodate more users at a time.
A contract of more than $13 million was also approved for Wilhelm’s Design Build, which designed the five-deck garage for City Center Phase 2. The garage will have at least 725 parking spaces with about 28,000 square feet of commercial retail/office space. Construction should begin on the garage in May and will last 12 months. The city is financing the project with tax increment financing to repay municipally backed bonds used to fund the Pedcor project. The bonds are backed up with a special benefits tax, which Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard has said is in place to get a lower interest rate and would likely never go into effect. Pedcor could reserve up to 25 percent of the spaces for residents.
The CRC opened bids for the Sophia Square courtyard plaza, which covers almost all of the construction. Some items such as design or buying furniture for outdoors might not be included in the bid. One bid was received from Smock Fansler for $485,000. A technical review committee was created to facilitate the design build process for the completion of the plaza.
The CRC also reinstated an older program that allows for exterior improvements to buildings in the Carmel Arts & Design District. Grants for improvements are not to exceed $7,000. Details on how to apply will be available at a later date.