Noblesville proposes downtown mixed-use building

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Noblesville city councilors on Tuesday evening will discuss developing a $24.3 million mixed-use project in downtown Noblesville called The Levinson. 

City officials explain The Levinson will include 73 market-rate and 10 affordable-rate apartments, a 337-space parking garage, retail space and a 2,000-square-foot Noblesville history exhibit. The building will have two basement floors and five above-ground floors. 

Deputy Mayor Steve Cooke said this downtown development project is in harmony with the city’s top 10 priority projects. 

“It’s been our objective to attract more residents to downtown,” said Cooke. “When you add residents into the mix, then you create a nighttime crowd.”

Cooke said parking is a major issue for Noblesville residents and visitors, and this project would create 167 public parking spots, more than doubling the current number. 

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Hundreds of residents took to social media following the announcement, opposing the city’s plan to “become more like Fishers and Carmel” and “lose Noblesville’s downtown charm.” 

Cooke explained the project is small enough to maintain Noblesville’s small town feel while still moving forward as a city. The public exhibit of Noblesville history will also mark the space as distinctly Noblesville, he said. 

“We have an authentic downtown culture already. We don’t want to mess that up with our project,” he said. “We also believe in the developer that we’re going to be working with is very sensitive to the fact that they need to design and build a project that complements our downtown, our historic charm.” 

Revar Development is working on the project, and the proposed site stands north of Maple Avenue, between 8th and 9th streets. The northern border is an alleyway just south of Connor Street and the backdoor of Mike Wilson’s All Local shop and eatery. 

“Overall it’s probably good. Especially for small business owners up here on the square to have more people living right off the square,” said Wilson. “As long as it’s not hideous, as long as it doesn’t overtake it.”

Wilson said most of his customers and fellow business owners see the need for more dense development in Noblesville and certainly better parking, but want it to be done properly. 

“People want to see the progress but they want to keep the legitimacy and authenticity of what the square has and what’s lured us all here to begin with,” he said. 

Around the corner at GB Davis Folk Art, Geoff Davis agreed the development would be great for business. He said it’s too early to form a strong opinion, but he’ll be watching carefully. 

“I’m a little concerned about gentrification and rent going up. As an artist, it’s difficult to find inexpensive studio space and I just did and I would hate to see my studio displaced in a year or two when all the good things are happening and I’d have to go somewhere else,” he said. 

Ayers Real Estate, Holt Legal Group and a public parking lot are currently on the site proposed for The Levinson.

Davis said those businesses are in a historical building. 

“I feel like the building needs to be preserved and feel strongly there are other places in town they can build some dense structures,” he said. 

The Noblesville City Council is scheduled to discuss The Levinson on Tuesday at 7 p.m. inside Noblesville City Hall. The public is invited. 

If approved, city leaders hope to begin construction in March of 2019 with parking garage completion in January 2020 and apartments following in fall of 2020.