CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) - The corner of Rangeline and Carmel Drive is old Carmel. At the northwest corner of that intersection, down in a hole, is an old factory. Mayor Jim Brainard said "they used to make bolts and screws at this site." More recently, it was Party Time Rentals. But, the party is over now. The building is empty and Mayor Brainard told 24-Hour News 8 its time is over.
The old factory sits on land south of new Carmel. It's within sight of Carmel's City Hall, at the south end of an area that features the Arts and Design District, the Palladium and, at the north end, the Clay Terrace shopping center.
"Rangeline is really one of the main connecting streets," Brainard said, "along with the Monon Trail -- that ties all these areas together."
And, since he sees the intersection as a "gateway site into Carmel's downtown," Brainard would like to see something new on the corner.
For several years, Brainard and the Carmel Redevelopment Commission have imagined new options for the Party Time land. Only recently did the City Council approve a re-zoning that would allow developers to come in with proposals.
"What we envision is retail on the ground floor with living units above," Brainard said. "And the way the ground falls off there, it would be natural for underground parking."
The terrain that makes it appealing for something new is another reason Brainard hopes the warehouse can be torn down. From Rangeline Road, "you're basically looking at the roofline."
Brainard said re-development of land is more difficult than working with a site that has never been developed. So, "it usually takes a little extra help from the city to make these old industrial sites economically-viable for a developer." If it's tax increment financing, that would need council approval. But, Brainard said such help would be a wise investment, since a new building will raise the property values of the surrounding property.
The "anemic economy" has been "the biggest roadblock" for such a project on the land, Brainard said. "But now that's getting better and there's a tremendous amount of interest."
If the timing stays on his side, he'd like to see new construction -- "of a really beautiful landmark building" -- begin this fall or next spring.
A winter weather advisory was issued for Wayne, Union, Switzerland, Ripley, Ohio, Franklin, Fayette and Dearborn counties on Saturday night.
IMPD officials say a 3-year-old boy has died after he was shot in the head Saturday evening.
Lawrence Police are investigating an overnight shooting in the 8800 block of Pendleton Pike. Police say the shooting happened around 3 a.m. Sunday morning.