INDIANAPOLIS — A zoning change, requested by Landmark Properties, was approved Monday by the Indianapolis City-County Council.
This means the property company's plan for a mixed-use development near 96th Street and North Meridian Street can move forward. Apartments, retail and office space, along with a hotel, are planned.
"It's a $150 million investment in District 2 in an area that needs to see development," Councillor Keith Potts, D-District 2, said at the meeting. "I was grateful for my colleague's unanimous and bipartisan support."
Support for the project is not unanimous in the community. In December, WRTV was at the Nora Northside Community Council meeting where dozens of people showed up to voice their opposition. Many of them specifically pointed to the planned location of the seven-story apartment building.
"We are not against development. What we're against is this behemoth of a structure that doesn't fit in this neighborhood at all," Carol Ganza, who lives in the area, said in December. People living in that area are also against it because of the increased traffic it'll bring to an already busy area.
"It kind of hit me like a ton of bricks when I found out that was even on the radar," Jim Thompson, owner of Daddy Jack's and its connecting restaurants, said.
Thompson has owned businesses in the strip mall in what's known as Meridian North Shopping Center since 1990. Over the years, he's expanded several times. The future of his restaurants is up in the air because as it stands now, the strip mall would be demolished in the current plans.
Despite the pushback, Potts believes it'll be good for the area.
"I'm grateful to the developers for incorporating some of that community feedback. I understand not everybody is 100% thrilled with everything going on but I think they made some great changes to the project and it's going to be great for our neighborhood," he said. "This is a $150 million investment in District 2 that is not asking for any city incentives or tax abatements "
As of now, business tenants in the Meridian North Shopping Center will be able to finish out their leases. Some, like Daddy Jack's, tell WRTV they have years left. Landmark Properties say they're inviting all the businesses to reopen in their newly constructed buildings once that work is completed. There's no timetable, yet, on when the project will get started.
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