News Column

$11.5M tax loan to aid Carmel development

August 19, 2014

By Brian Eason, The Indianapolis Star



Aug. 19--CARMEL -- A Michigan-based developer will receive a future tax break to help finance an $80 million multi-use project near U.S. 31.

The Carmel City Council on Monday voted 6-0 to provide Edward Rose and Sons an $11.5 million tax-increment financing (TIF) loan to pay for the project's infrastructure, clearing the way for construction to begin early next year.

The plans call for a retirement community, 422 luxury apartments and townhomes. There also will be retail space and a spot for a future hotel. The loan will pay for a parking garage, an extension of Grand Boulevard and some interior roads.

Council members described the site, a largely undeveloped area at the corner of Main and Old Meridian streets, as "blighted" today, qualifying it for tax incentives for redevelopment.

"I have to say, it meets all of the criteria I usually have for this sort of thing," said Councilwoman Luci Snyder, who chairs the city Finance Committee. "In all the 38 years that I've lived here, that area just has not been able to do much."

Council members have described the structure of the deal as more attractive than some past arrangements. For one thing, Edward Rose will buy the bonds, leaving the developer -- not city taxpayers -- on the hook if the TIF revenues don't mature as expected. And, 25 percent of the TIF money generated by the project will be set aside to help the Carmel Redevelopment Commission retire its existing debt.

This may become a model of sorts for TIF deals in Carmel's current political climate, with a majority of council members concerned about the CRC's ability to pay off its debt.

Moments after the Edward Rose deal earned unanimous approval with Councilman Rick Sharp absent, another developer petitioned the council for a similarly structured deal.

The request from Keystone Group for a $3.8 million TIF for its Olivia on Main project was sent to committee. The developer wants to build 204 apartments and retail space next to the Edward Rose project, and wants tax assistance to pay for demolition and site work.

Call Star reporter Brian Eason at (317) 444-6129. Follow him on Twitter: @brianeason.

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(c)2014 The Indianapolis Star

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Source: Indianapolis Star (IN)


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