Industrial and home developers plan joint Indy neighborhood project – Inside Indiana Business

A conceptual site plan for Camby Village LLC’s industrial and residential project. (Image courtesy of the City of Indianapolis)

Two developers are teaming up to transform more than 120 acres along Kentucky Avenue in the far southwest corner of Indianapolis into a mix of residential and large industrial buildings, despite objections from nearby homeowners.

Atlanta-based Core5 Industrial Partners plans to build more than 800,000 square feet of dedicated industrial space in three buildings at 7725 Kentucky Ave. Just north of that, at 7305 N. Kentucky Ave., the Carmel company Pyatt Homes plans to build about 185 homes.

The development would encompass approximately 123.2 acres, all owned by Mann Properties of Indianapolis. The two developers have agreed to purchase the property from Mann, subject to the necessary project approvals from the city. The land would be split almost evenly between the respective Core 5 and Pyatt developments.

The industrial component would include approximately 817,000 square feet of speculative space on 56.7 acres, with two buildings of approximately 235,200 square feet and a third of 346,663 square feet. All buildings would be developed with only a few uses such as research and development, logistics or life sciences.

The buildings are to be designed to shield semi-trailer traffic from neighboring properties, with inward-facing loading docks. The industrial portion of the project is also expected to have separate entrances and exits from those used by the neighborhood, as well as a two meter high berm and tree line that will limit the visibility of the property.

The tallest structures on the industrial site could be about 45 feet tall, plus up to 25 feet of equipment attached to the roof.

Douglas Armbruster, senior vice president and managing director for Core5 Indiana operations, told IBJ that development costs for the industrial space are ongoing. He said the buildings have not yet been marketed to potential users either.

“We still don’t know for sure about the cost,” he said. “And it’s quite difficult to market a product that you may or may not be able to build.”

He said that if the project eventually gets the necessary approvals, Core5 hopes to break ground sometime in 2023 – but he noted that ongoing turmoil in the economy could hamper those plans.

Pyatt Homes, which has developed dozens of subdivisions in central Indiana, plans to build 133 single-family homes and another 52 homes in a pair-patio design, meaning two units will share a wall.

The single-family homes would be between 1,500 and 2,500 square feet and cost between $250,000 and $350,000. The attached homes, which would be geared towards people ages 55 and older, would be a similar size — 1,200 to 2,500 square feet — and would cost $275,000 to $325,000.

The homes would be overseen by a new homeowners’ association, with exterior maintenance of affiliated homes handled directly by the group.

Pyatt officials did not respond to a request for comment from IBJ.

Brian Tuohy, a real estate attorney at Tuohy Bailey & Moore who represents the development team, said during a November 10 Metropolitan Development Commission hearing reviewer meeting that the development is intended to allay concerns about previous efforts to develop the site purely as an industrial area.

The hearing reviewer was asked to consider a recommendation to redesignate the site – currently designated as a mix of C-4 and CS districts – to allow CS only while allowing certain industrial, residential and commercial uses (including a gas station) to be allowed in the country.

Property owner Mann made four pledges through his Camby Village LLC in hopes of obtaining approval. These include creating an 8- to 10-foot wide multi-use walkway in the residential portion of the project; Submission of industrial design views for full approval; the creation of the berm; and a promise to look after the property and keep it tidy.

Pat Andrews, chair of the Decatur Township Civic Council’s land use committee, told the hearings examiner the group voted 25-2 against the proposal at its October meeting because they didn’t want industrial development next to neighborhoods.

“We saw some daylight in the living quarters; there was nothing strictly wrong with that,” said Andrews. “But we kind of got this take-it-or-leave [proposal]. … So we cannot accept housing. We’ve certainly worked on it, but we can’t accept the residential if we have to take the industrial with us.”

In 2019, Core 5’s plans to construct four significantly larger industrial buildings across the property were rejected by the hearing examiner. These structures would have totaled about 1.5 million square feet. In 2020, the company received approval for a single 600,000-square-foot building on the south portion of the property, but never proceeded with the project due to restrictions during the pandemic.

In each case, the Civic Council’s Land Use Committee opposed the projects, fearing they might disrupt adjacent neighborhoods that lie to the east of the property.

Finally, on November 10, after Tuohy and Andrews had spent more than an hour of back-and-forth commenting, the hearing reviewer recommended the project be approved.

The Metropolitan Development Commission will hear the rezoning application on December 7th. If approved, the matter would be referred to City-County Council for a final hearing.