Owners look to add residential space, hotels to Carmel’s Clay Terrace

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — The owners of Clay Terrace in Carmel are looking to make changes to the retail space. They want apartments and hotels to join the many retail stores and restaurants that line the boulevard.

According to city officials, having Clay Terrace as a mixed-use area was always the plan. But it wasn’t until 15 years after it was built, during a pandemic, that the owners decided it’s time to move forward with that plan.

Clay Terrace is one of Carmel’s top places to shop.

“Retail is being pummeled,” Carmel Department of Community Services Director Michael Hollibaugh said. “Now is probably a great time to look afresh at how services are delivered and the environment where that is occurring.”

That’s exactly what Washington Prime Group, who owns Clay Terrace, says they plan to do. They want to rezone the area to include more than just retail, which should be fairly easy considering it was part of the plan before Clay Terrace was even built.

“So when the original plan was adopted and approved in 2001/2002 there were multiple phases that included in fill, mixed use, additional residential and what this is is kind of a phase one of that,” Hollibaugh said.

City officials say the area has been passed through several different owners, which may be why they haven’t rezoned the area to include these types of spaces in 15 years. But they’re happy it’s finally happening.

“It certainly is consistent with the direction that the city’s trying to promote,” Hollibaugh said. “Which is more mixed-use — a more vibrant center that’s not just 9 to 9.”

In early renders of this proposal, Washington Prime Group shows off the possible inclusion of apartments above retail stores, a lifestyle hotel, as well as brand new retail and office spaces. The group says the plan is still in it’s early stages, so not everything is set in stone.

“In a challenging environment where nobody really knows the future of office, nobody really knows what the future of retail, hospitality (is),” Hollibaugh said. “All those industries are being challenged right now. So we’re going to help them set the table with a good concept or plan of attack and then we’ll let them fill it up.”

The next step for this project is to have the redevelopment proposal go before the Carmel Plan Commission on September 15.