A new retail center planned for west Carmel might feel slightly reminiscent of The Yard, a culinary and entertainment development in Fishers.
The Avenue at Bennett Farm is set to welcome Tropical Smoothie Cafe and Rise’n Roll Bakery, two tenants at The Yard that have already signed leases to expand their presence in the Indianapolis area. Two other Yard tenants have signed letters of intent, according to Joe Farr, founder of Carmel-based JDF Development, which is developing the project.
Farr declined to name a third coffee-related business that has signed a letter of intent, but he described it as a “very exciting Carmel-based brand that’s on the verge of a big expansion.”
The Carmel Plan Commission on Jan. 19 reviewed plans for the Avenue at Bennett Farm and sent the matter to its commercial committee, which will have final voting authority on the project. The committee next meets on Feb. 2.
The Avenue at Bennett Farm is proposed to have an 11,000-square-foot building with six tenants and a single-tenant 2,000-square-foot building on 2 acres on the southwest corner of Michigan Road and Bennett Parkway.
Farr said the tenants planning to move into the site are a good mix of internet- and COVID-19-resistant food and service businesses. He said it’s not a coincidence that so many of them have locations at The Yard, as they have proven to be a good fit operating near each other.
“It is absolutely the case where several of the tenants at The Yard saw a need to be in Zionsville, west Carmel in addition to The Yard because of similar demographics and a good distance between them geographically,” Farr said. “It made sense for future locations for them in the Indianapolis area.”
Pending approvals from Carmel’s plan commission and board of zoning appeals, construction on the buildings is expected to begin this spring and be complete by fall. Farr said some tenants could open this year but expects most of them to begin operations in early 2022.
JDF Development, which also developed the Shoppes of Bennett Farm to the south of the proposed site for the Avenue at Bennett Farms and the nearby Shoppes at Weston Pointe, is seeking waivers for increased building heights and a reduced number of parking spaces.