The Terry Lee Crossing project at the undeveloped southeast corner of Ind. 37 and Ind. 32 took a step forward as the proposal passed the Noblesville Plan Commission at its Aug. 19.
The project, which will consist of a Terry Lee Hyundai dealership and commercial area with seven other lots for retail, has a long history of being problematic and still faces state and FEMA approval to be rezoned from Flood Hazard to Planned Business.
“It’s a very challenging site. It’s 58 acres with 33 acres of developable ground. It has horrible, horrible soils,” Mike Howard, city attorney, said. “Since 1974, every four or five years someone looks at the site but sooner or later they all leave. If ever this site is going to get developed, it’s not going to be developed traditionally.”
Senior Planner Joyceann Yelton said the project has several aspects to the development including fill, re-aligning/relocating previously established fill, mass grading and installation of infrastructure to make the site “dirt-ready” to begin construction.
Lee explained that the process for the development began on Christmas Eve 2011 when he met with Mayor John Ditslear and Howard.
“It’s been 18 months and a learning experience, but we have a plan that works,” Lee said. “I like the desirability of the location. We looked at the land and know it’s going to have to be developed differently. We’ll work around that issue. We’ll work with the land, not against it.”
Lee described the project as a win-win for him and the city.
“It’s going to bring a lot of jobs and business. I think it’s going to be terrific,” he said.
The Hyundai dealership, which will be 8.071 acres, will be right on the corner of Ind. 37 and 32. Like the Kahlo car dealership at 9900 Pleasant St., Lee has been granted several reductions in landscaping and the use of its parking lot. The plan commission did have two problems with the proposal: an off-site sign and the electronic message portion of two signs. Lee said the electronic sign was a gesture of community service and would only run community events and not advertisements or sale announcements.
He was willing to remove that portion from two development signs.
Lee announced that one lot will be home to Noble Industries, Inc.
What else happened?
■ The commission favored a request to replat two parcels of land at 535 Sheridan Rd. The “panhandle” portion of this lot will be deeded to Riveredge Professional Center, which is located directly to the south. The bulk of the lot will then be combined with the existing unplatted parcel at the southwest corner of Ind. 38 and River Road. The intent is to develop the lot as an optometrist office. The property encompasses 1.849 acres.
■ In the past five years, three to four attempts have been made by Noblesville Business Park property owners to address the lack of signage in the 100-acre park northwest of the intersection of Cumberland Road and 146th Street. However, a consensus was never made.
“It’s difficult to find a couple of businesses within the park,” Yelton said. “This attempts to solve a problem.”
Robert Jackson, M.D., of Hamilton Surgical Arts Center in Noblesville Business Park, said he struggles to get customers to his business.
“At least once per day we get a call from a patient who can’t find us,” he told the commission. “If I can’t get signage pretty soon, I’m going to move somewhere else.”
The proposed amendment, which was favored unanimously by the commission, provides two types of ground signs for single- and multi-tenant buildings. Both will be constructed of similar materials, lettering and lighting, but the multi-tenant signs will be larger.