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City to choose developer within months for former MSA site

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INDIANAPOLIS – The development of a prime piece of real estate in Downtown Indianapolis is moving forward.

City officials received six proposals Monday from developers who are interested in the site where the Market Square Arena once sat.

The $5.6 million site that is currently up for grabs includes only half of the original arena site.

“It is what so many cities are doing downtown.  That is developing live, work, play mixed-use projects,” said Jim Crossin with Flaherty and Collins Properties.

The development company that built the Cosmopolitan downtown is currently building “Block 400,” an approximately $100 million project. Still, Crossin said they have been looking at the Market Square Arena site for a long time. The firm is one of the interested developers.

“We’re going to try to get as much density on that site. We’re going to go vertical,” Crossin said of the developer’s plans.

Among the possibilities are proposals for mixed-use developments that are fast becoming more popular downtown.

“We’ve had a lot of success in developing areas downtown with Artistry, City Way, Axis, and the ‘Block 400’ project with Marsh and One America,” said Marc Lotter, a spokesman for Mayor Greg Ballard.

Back in 2004 and 2007, the city tried and failed to get a project off the ground, but they had tried to develop the entire four-acre site.

“I think it’s important to make sure your core is healthy and strong and that helps growth not only downtown but community wide,” said Brian Gildea, executive director of Develop Indy.

The city will choose a developer within a few months.