Pittman family concerns delay development of The Farm in Zionsville

A rendering of the proposed development at The Farm. (Submitted rendering)
A rendering of the proposed development at The Farm. (Submitted rendering)

By Ann Marie Shambaugh

Last April, Kroger announced plans to build a Fresh Fare grocery store to anchor a development known as The Farm, a 62-acre mixed use development on the southwest corner of Michigan Road and Sycamore Street, but a family disagreement has delayed the project – at least for now.

Steve Pittman, owner of Pittman partners, had suggested that his company serve as the developer of the $90 million project. After some of his siblings, who own an equal share of the land, expressed concern about the arrangement, he decided not to involve Pittman Partners.

“My siblings decided that that was too messy and that it would be hard for me as a beneficiary, as an executor and as a developer to wear all of those different hats,” he said.

Instead, he believes that Pittman Investors, which is owned by all five siblings and owns the land, should serve as the developer.

“I am suggesting that our family entity called Pittman Investors be the developer and that we develop that property as a family entity the way that we have planned it from the beginning,” he said.

Not all of his siblings agree, however. Steve Pittman said two of them – Mark Pittman and Anne Kelton – have reached out to other developers to gauge interest in purchasing their 20 percent shares. Steve Pittman hasn’t ruled out purchasing them himself, but whenever ownership is determined, he hopes that the project will go forward as planned.

“My brother Chad and I, who were responsible for rezoning the property, are committed to making sure this development occurs based upon all the commitments and promises we made,” Steve Pittman said. The Zionsville Town Council approved rezoning for the project in August 2013, and the Zionsville Plan Commission approved the development plan in September 2015.

John Elliott, a spokesman for Kroger, said that he did not believe the grocer’s plan to move to Zionsville had changed.

The land has been part of the Pittman family since the 1980s and once served as a working farm.