architectural drawing depicts one of 12 apartment buildings
planned for Center Ridge Road by Indianapolis-based developer
Flaherty & Collins. (Courtesy City of Westlake and Flaherty
crunch delays Center Ridge apartment project
By Kevin Kelley
Published Feb. 25, 2009
proposed 240-unit apartment complex set to be built on Center Ridge
Road just west of Westlake Porter Public Library is on hold due
to the nation’s financial crisis.
But Jim Crossin, vice president of development for
Indianapolis-based developer Flaherty
& Collins, told West Life that his company is still very
interested in the project.
“Because of the credit crunch, we have not yet lined
up financing for the project,” Crossin said. “We are still very
interested in developing the site like we planned with luxury apartments.”
Flaherty & Collins had an option to purchase the
30-acre property from Sears Holdings Corporation, but that option
has expired, Crossin said. Several weeks ago, a sign was posted
along Center Ridge Road advertising the land for sale.
Crossin said his company would consider working in
a joint venture with any party that may purchase the land.
Flaherty & Collins’s plans call for 12 apartment
buildings, each with 20 units. Half would be one-bedroom units and
half would be two-bedroom units with a loft. Units will range in
size from 800 to 1,350 square feet. The development plans, submitted
in December 2007 and approved by the city’s planning commission
in April 2008, also set aside about eight acres for future development.
Bob Parry, Westlake’s director of economic development,
said the city’s approval expires after one year, although the developer
could obtain an extension.
Parry, who described the project as being in limbo,
said even if the developer obtains financing and control of the
land, the project likely would not be built this year.
“I’d say it’s less than a 50-50 chance that the project
will go forward,” Parry told West Life. “But it’s not impossible.”
Crossin said that because the plans for the project
are so far along, his company would like to build the complex, which
would be known as The Residence at Westlake.
“We’re working actively to get financing for the project,”
he said. Crossin said the property is in a great location in an
economically vibrant community.
In November 2005, Westlake voters passed a referendum
to rezone the property from retail to residential. The measure passed
57 to 43 percent, or 5,579 votes to 4,237. The rezoning had been
recommended by the city’s planning commission in February 2004 and
was backed by the administration.
Kmart had plans in the late 1990s to build a large
Super Kmart on the site. Those plans faced stiff opposition from
angry area residents who held numerous community meetings to fight
the big box store. The city eventually won a lengthy legal battle
to stop the store from being built.
The land is designated as R-MF-24, which allows townhouses,
cluster homes, garden-style apartments or condominiums of no more
than three floors, two-family and single family homes.