Construction starts on new downtown retail, apartments called 'Block 400'

Development expected to bring 800 new residents

INDIANAPOLIS - The newest multi-million dollar downtown development project promises luxury, energy and a brand new tax base for the city.

An $85 million mixed-use project -- known as Block 400 -- will soon be at the corner of Senate and Vermont, which was previously a surface parking lot.

"What we are doing is a dynamic development," said David Flaherty, CEO of Flaherty and Collins Properties. "We're taking two and a half city blocks of prime real estate in downtown Indianapolis and we're turning it into a very vibrant downtown development."

That development will include 60,000 square feet of retail space, including a new Marsh grocery store that will be tailored to urban shoppers.

"There's going to be a lot more grab-and-go type meals, a lot of more fresh foods," said Tom O'Boyle, CEO of Marsh Supermarkets.

There will also be a parking garage and nearly 500 luxury apartments featuring amenities like a salt water pool.

"The mixed use concept brings a lot of people down at different times of the day," said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. "Then you've got a very vibrant area, an area that tends to stay very safe. And then brings the kind of people that will continue to make it energetic, and that's really what we're trying to do here."

The city is contributing $14 million in tax money for the project. Developers are putting up the rest, a good investment, they said, for a project that will draw an estimated 800 new residents to downtown.

"These are people with good disposable incomes, and based on our experience with Cosmopolitan on the Canal, those people will be coming from outside of Marion County into our city," Flaherty said. "So they'll be coming downtown, generating revenue to help support the existing businesses downtown and help drive the demand for new retail."

The taxes that will be generated by the new development will be almost 10 times what's being paid for that area now.
   
The development will create more than 800 new jobs.

Block 400 is scheduled to be complete by the spring of 2014. 

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