Large $150 Million Development Planned Near Downtown

Parking Lot Near Eli Lilly To Be Transformed

A hotel, conference center, retailers, restaurants and apartments are in the works for a piece of land that Eli Lilly owns at its headquarters downtown.

Mayor Greg Ballard on Monday announced the more than $150 million "North of South" project will sit on land currently occupied by a parking lot between Delaware Street and Virginia Avenue.

Several partners are involved in the project, including Eli Lilly, Buckingham Companies, the city and the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis, which will occupy a new 75,000-square foot facility there.

"North of South is truly an innovative project that will enhance our downtown while raising our international profile," Ballard said via Twitter.

Ballard said that the development will help Eli Lilly and other companies in the area by providing housing and meeting space.

"It will mean 2,200 temporary jobs, construction-type jobs, 200 permanent jobs … $1.7 million in annual revenues for Marion County, which is really nice," Ballard said.

Officials said the target completion date is before Indianapolis hosts the Super Bowl in 2012.

"North of South has the potential to transform this area of downtown, bridging the neighborhoods and employers of the near-south side to the central business district," said Brad Chambers, CEO of the Buckingham Companies.

Dolce Hotels and Resorts plans to build on a portion of the property. The plans also call for the construction of 320 high-end apartments.

Restaurants and retail space are projected to occupy 40,000 square feet.

"Lilly owns the land, and we will be contributing that to the project," said John Lechleiter, Eli Lilly's president and CEO. "There's some other elements of the financing that we are minimally involved in."

Ballard said the city would use tax increment financing, or TIF funding, pending approval by the City-County Council.

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