Developer trying to replace north side eyesore faces opposition

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A developer is working to replace a long time eyesore near the Fashion Mall, with a large, mixed-use apartment complex, but not everyone is on board.

On Thursday, Hendricks Commercial Properties will ask an Indianapolis Metropolitan Development Commission Hearing Examiner to endorse its plan to build the new complex, which will also feature restaurant and retail space on the southwest corner of 86th Street and Keystone Avenue.

The space was formerly home to the Woodfield Centre strip mall, but for the past decade, plans for changes at the site have failed.

When Todd Degroff, a board member with the Nora Community Council, first heard about redevelopment plans for Woodfield Centre, he was encouraged.

“We’re excited to see somebody is interested in redeveloping that property,” Degroff said.

But when Degroff and other members of the Nora Community Council saw the plans for the proposed Ironworks at Keystone Village, their excitement didn’t last.

“It’s really an urban development that’s been plopped down in a suburban area,” Degroff said.

Hendricks is asking the city to rezone the property into a mixed-use development designed to attract restaurants, high-end retail shops and loft style apartment living. According to the proposal submitted to the city, “the intent is to create a project that respects the nearby neighborhood” but people from the neighborhood disapproved and shared their thoughts with Degroff and other members of the council.

“They were unanimous in opposing the project and their concerns were traffic first of all,” Degroff said. “There is a lot of congestion along 86th Street. Sometimes traffic is backed up all the way up from Keystone to North Central High School.”

Degroff said they are also concerned with the size of the building. He said it is much closer to 86th Street and claims the five story building could also pave the way for other large commercial projects near his neighborhood west of Keystone on 86th Street.

“It’s really, partly trying to preserve our way of life here,” Degroff said.

Though the Nora Community Council opposes the project in the current form, Degroff said they still hope to work with the city and the developer on a solution that still makes use of the underused property.

“It’s not making any jobs or contributing to the tax base the way it is now,” he said. “But it has to be right for the area.”

The Ironworks proposal will go before the hearing examiner on Thursday.

2 comments

  • Beny

    Degross is a tree huger who could care less about Nora. This project wil created jobs and wil be a lot better than that nightmare that is just sitting there. Would she rather the place be kept looking like it does now. Its a disaster.Here we ahem a company wiling to bring money and jobs to our city and yu have nut jobs like her that stop progress.Like Nora is a big deal anyway. Nora has never been and never will be a significant area.Shame on Degross.

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