By James Feichtner
Keystone Realty Group has negotiated the terms of their 25-year bond agreement, worth no more than $3.8 million, for the Olivia on Main project with the city and can now move forward with the $30 million apartment complex site. This comes after Carmel City Council’s Oct. 20 meeting.
“I am buying the bonds and there is no risk or guarantee by the city and if the project is not built or if taxes come lower than expected, I get nothing in return,” stated Ersal Ozdemir, the owner and CEO of Keystone Realty Group.
The city will allow Keystone the use of tax incremented finance funds for preparing the land for development, but concern remains as to what exactly the TIF funds would be used for specifically. The TIF money used will be divided 75 percent to Keystone and 25 percent to the city to help pay for the bond.
“We, the council, were unhappy with what the developer listed as the projects in which it was going to invest the TIF money and we had said to them that we expect this to be invested in infrastructure,” said Carmel City councilor Luci Snyder. “Landscaping is never considered infrastructure.”
The topic was discussed at a finance and administration meeting on Oct. 16, when city officials met with Keystone planners to further outline the details of the project, which will consist of a four-story apartment complex, and its expenses. With the proposed property being a blighted piece of land, city officials were also concerned with Keystone requesting further funds from CRC down the road for site work.
“The site has several problems. One of them is the fact that the site falls away. It isn’t level,” Snyder said. “Another is that it’s swampy. Infrastructure for a site like that is exactly what we expect them to spend money on. I find City Center scarcely blighted, but I find that this piece of property is [blighted].”
Keystone has since finalized the specifics of the costs and agreed that the CRC will have no further duty, obligations or responsibilities either now or in the future to fulfill any costs for any site work on the project.