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Controversial mixed-use development project in Broad Ripple withdrawn

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – It’s hard not to notice all the development happening now in Broad Ripple. Did you know more than $100 million worth of projects are currently under construction? But one controversial project has been withdrawn as of this week. The proposed mixed-use space was set to be located north of 62nd Street between College and Carrollton avenues.

For the past 50 years, Robert Lucas’s dentist office has been located at 6211 North College Avenue.

“I started here August 4, 1969 and I’ve been here the entire time,” said Lucas.

Lucas decided it was time to retire in October. That’s after he found out about the major development project. Since then, he's been busy packing up boxes, until this week, when he learned that plans were at a halt.

“I just got a notice (Thursday) that they withdrew the sale. There are eight buildings involved, I’m just one of the eight. So, there are other shockers,” said Lucas.

Now, he’s left wondering, what’s next? Lucas’s office will now sit empty.

“I didn’t sell it to anybody because I didn’t feel I had to."

Photo provided by Broad Ripple Village Association

The project included 160 apartments with office and retail space, along with two stories of parking.

“The two sides were just too far apart to make the project viable,” said Colleen Fanning, the Executive Director of Broad Ripple Village Association.

The project was withdrawn after two presentations in front of the Land Use & Development Committee (LUD). That means, it will no longer be on this month’s LUD agenda for this reason

Fanning added that neighbors in the area were strongly against the height of the building and changing the use of an alley.

“There was some strong opposition to those factors of the project and the developer was very responsive to that. But at the end of the day I just think it wasn’t quite the right project for the parcel,” said Fanning.

“We’re trying to add density along college corridor, especially transit oriented and mixed-use development. It seemed like an appropriate use for the College side, but I think the Carrollton Avenue side is where we really struggled,” said Fanning.

As Broad Ripple adds more businesses, housing and the IndyGo Red Line, Fanning says it’s important to find the perfect addition to the village.

“I can’t imagine it will stay undeveloped. I imagine we will see more projects because it’s so many parcels linked together. It’s more complicated than many of these deals, so it might take a while, but as we’ve seen I can’t imagine it will stay undeveloped for too long.”

As Lucas continues to move out, his only hope is for new development options to move in.

“I hope they renegotiate with somebody and make the project work on a smaller scale,” said Lucas.

The Broad Ripple Village Association encourages the community to come out to the Land Use and Development Committee meetings to hear about proposed developments. The meetings happen the fourth Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. at Northminster Presbyterian Church.

The agendas are always posted about a week in advance online at BroadRippleIndy.org.

You can also attend the Broad Ripple Village Association meetings monthly as well as two major public meetings in April and October that is encouraged for Broad Ripple residents.

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