Another article from Dave Bangert, Family Express’ ‘iconic’ plan for old Smitty’s.
Meanwhile, Mayor John Dennis has been fending off comments aimed at whether City Hall was doing enough to coordinate development along Northwestern Avenue.
Despite the disappointment dripping from his explanation about how a more intricate development — an urban mixed-use plan that would have included higher-end apartments and a restaurant — quietly fell apart sometime after the neighborhood met in July, Dennis couldn’t help but agree with Olympidis’ take.
“The presumption is that local government has a significant amount of control on what goes where,” Dennis said. “And the fact of the matter is, in some sense, development is no different than house sales. … You have an open parcel out there on the market. Government can’t say, ‘You can only sell it to this group or these groups.’ If zoning applies to someone who comes in, there’s nothing really you can do.”
Family Express still has a few hoops to get through. The first includes getting Area Plan Commission approval on Jan. 21 to erase existing subdivision lines on that lot. Sallie Fahey, APC executive director, said the project can’t be built across the platted lot lines as they’re drawn now. But she said that request is largely administrative. Stopping one, Fahey said, is “a nearly impossible task.”
“The mayor’s comments in (Sunday’s J&C) article were on point,” Fahey said. “We, too, hoped that the more interesting, urban mixed-use proposal would have been built.”
You can, however, rezone areas of the City. Much like what is happening in New Chauncey and Centennial Neighborhood. Instead of this site lying vulnerable to lowest common denominator construction, an inspiring rezone plan could have assured better development in this area of the City.
It appears that the Lor Corporation’s plan has fallen through. When I called them, they stated that an agreement could not be made on a few points. Who could not agree was not said. I have a public records request in with the Department of Development to get any documentation and communication regarding the Lor Corporation’s plan. More as I get it.
Dave Bangert, at the J&C, wrote a nice article about the new Family Express that is now planned for the site, A Change of Plans for the Old Smitty’s Site.
From the article:
“So that amazing mixed-use product that was presented to us last year kind of got the after-midnight Cinderella treatment and turned into a Family Express — and we don’t have the glass slipper,” Dennis said. “But that’s how these things go. … Sometimes we go out and try to recruit the strongest and the best looking, and then another developer comes in, sees what can be done and chooses us.”
Now the question becomes, how do we have better control over the tone and tenor of our development in and around West Lafayette? Surely other municipalities are able to accomplish this in their downtown areas.
The Lor Corporation is planning on developing the site and will petition for a PDMX rezone.
The first community meeting was held on July 29th, 2014 at Faith West.
In particular, Lor mentioned a recent development in Broad Ripple (a village in Indianapolis) on 1002 Broad Ripple Avenue called Monon Pointe.
References regarding the Broad Ripple development, Monon Pointe:
- Client Spotlight: LOR Corporation to Construct Mixed-Use Building in Broad Ripple
- Developer plans mixed-use project for Broad Ripple
- BGD Client LOR Corporation to Construct Mixed-Use Building in Broad Ripple
- Monon Pointe Brochure
Minutes from Broad Ripple Village Association Land Use and Development Committee concerning Monon Pointe:
We will continue to update this page as new information comes to our attention. Feel free to contact me if you have any interesting pictures, audio, video, or links about the Smitty’s Site Redevelopment or the Lor Corporation.