INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Monday night, city county council members voted 14-8 to approve a project for development in the Northeast End of Mass Ave.
The old Coke plant, currently owned by IPS, will be sold for $12million. The project developer, Hendricks Commercial Properties, is hoping to turn the space into apartments, restaurants, shops, a hotel and even a movie theater.
The project has been met with much criticism among city county council members, many raising their concerns in the Monday night meeting before the vote to push the project forward. As part of the deal, if IPS and the developer don't reach an agreement on project details within one year, the city would be on the hook for $12 million.
Council member Marilyn Pfisterer (R- District 15) voted no. She said she is more than a little bit hesitant about the deal.
“I think the market should work. I think the city has lots of other problems to take care of that are much more important than getting in the weeds on a development like this," Pfisterer said.
Pfisterer added, she doesn't believe the city should get involved in real estate developments, but hopes the developer will live up to their promises now that the project is moving forward.
Council member Jeff Miller (R-District 16) was initially against the project, but said after learning more about what it could mean for the community, he said, it was worth the risk.
“The city has a major seat at the table on a huge piece of property, one of the biggest pieces left downtown and they’ll be able to connect it to the neighborhoods appropriately," Miller said.
Miller added he's not concerned about the developer not coming through since many other offers have been put on the table in the past for the same land.
“Most likely, the current bidder will succeed and that’s what we’re hoping for," Miller said.
IPS board members have already voted to push the project forward as well. The developer is required to meet historical preservation guidelines.