Work continues on several Old Town Design Group projects
Old Town Design Group is proceeding with several new projects around Carmel, including a nursing home, houses, apartments and two buildings that are part of the Midtown project.
Justin Moffett of Old Town Design Group said he’s already received calls from people interested in the Green House Cottages nursing home facility on East 126th Street, which is centered around central shared kitchens to create a comfortable feel for residents.
He also held an early event for Sunrise on the Monon, which features homes built where the old Sunrise Golf Course used to be along Range Line Road. His company sold 15 of the 38 “woodland” lots in one day, which are the larger home lots with more space. Sunrise on the Monon apartments should be under construction beginning in November with move-in dates in the spring.
Moffett said he feels good about the progress of both projects but admits his crews could only work on about 40 percent of the work days the last three months because of rainy weather.
Meanwhile, the Midtown project is on an accelerated schedule because of a spring 2017 move-in date for the corporate headquarters of Merchants Bank. The $130 million development will include multiple office, retail and residential mixed-used buildings along the Monon Trail between the Carmel City Center and the Carmel Arts & Design District. Right now the focus is on the first few buildings, Moffett said.
“Nothing is going to be delayed years, but we have so much going on at once that we wanted to focus on getting Merchants off the ground,” he said. “We think there’s enough interest that we can pace it out.”
Moffett wants to start on construction for the Merchants Bank building by January, but before he can do that he needs to begin work on a parking garage. The land where the parking garage will be built is currently home to Miller Auto Care, which agreed to sell its land on the condition that they will be relocated first. So a free-standing building is making its way through the approval process to be built across from Cancun Mexican Restaurant along Range Line Road.
“Those are the two pieces in the domino stack that needed to fall first,” Moffett said.
The parking garage will be “a beast,” Moffett said, with 1,050 spaces in a multi-story parking structure. Moffett has said he intends to use tax increment financing to help pay for the project, but proposals haven’t made their way to the Carmel City Council yet.
Down the road, he said there might be around three garages to serve the entire Midtown project, if not more. He said one could be twice the size of Sophia Square to serve a group of buildings. Some could be freestanding or underneath other proposed buildings.
“We are trying to walk this fine line to make sure we have enough parking but not too much parking,” he said. “There’s no bigger waste than building an expensive parking garage and two floors are empty.”
Months ago, Moffett was excited to begin announcing several new tenants for each building of the Midtown project but has since decided to hold off on some announcements until his first few buildings are off the ground. One possible deal involves an anchor tenant for an office building on Range Line Road.
“We have some potential tenants that we are in talks with that would be huge wins for Carmel, but these businesses are very strategic,” he said. “I want to announce some of these but some businesses want to wait until they are almost open because it affects other parts of their business strategy.”