As groundbreaking nears, public still waiting to see what Carmel’s Lot One project will look like

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Demolition of the existing buildings on the northeast corner of Main Street and Range Line Road are expected this summer, but the public is still waiting to see details of what will replace them.

Carmel-based developer Lauth is spending nearly $40 million on the project, which will include a three-story office building along Main Street and 70 apartments in another building to the north wrapping a 325-space parking garage on 1.7 acres. The project also will include four condos and a small park near the existing Rotary clock.

Renderings of the building still haven’t been released, which is unusual for a project within months of its expected groundbreaking. Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said construction is still expected to begin this year and that nothing unusual is going on behind the scenes to cause a delay.

“The architecture takes a long time to get just right,” he said. “I don’t think the public always sees how much work goes into something like that.”

Carmel Redevelopment Commission Director Henry Mestetsky said the plans will be made public when Lauth has them ready for city review.

“The architecture on Lot One is still being worked on,” he said. “It’s a very complex project on a small site, so it just takes some time.”

Mestetsky told the Carmel City Council at its April 19 meeting that PNC Bank, which is in the largest building on the site, is moving out in July and that demolition can begin after that.

Lauth officials did not respond to a request for comment as of press time, although in November 2020 they said they expected renderings of the project to be released by the end of 2020.

Carmel city councilors approved $6.5 million in bonds last year to support the parking garage portion of the project. The bonds will be repaid through tax increment financing, which collects the increase in tax revenue generated by the project to help pay for it. At the time councilors approved the bonds, they were told construction was expected to begin in early 2021.

In the spring of 2019, the city released renderings of Lot One redevelopment projects submitted by eight developers. At the time, city officials expected the project to break ground in 2020. However, the city decided not to go with any of the submitted options and instead decided to partner with Lauth — one of the eight developers to submit a proposal — to move forward.


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