Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Broad Ripple Parking Garage Becomes Hot Mess

Once upon a time, the Powers-That-Be had decided that Broad Ripple needed a parking garage. And if you had talked to anyone from Mayor Greg Ballard's office, outgoing Council President Ryan Vaughn (Broad Ripple lies in the council district he represents), or the Broad Ripple Village Association, they were all singing the praises of how amazing and awesome this garage would be. It'll bring a much needed police sub-station to the community, a little more retail, and almost 300 new parking spaces. Sure, we're kicking in $6.3 million dollars for a garage that we get no revenue from, no ownership of, or really no control at all. And sure, similarly  sized parking garages (that look nice, if I may say so myself) contain more spaces and cost less than this $15 million proposal. And yes, the contract between Keystone Group and the city has never been made public.

But hey! New parking spaces! Electric car charger! Safe bike parking!

Man, how times change.

Now the Broad Ripple Village Association's Land Use Committee is refusing to support the proposed parking garage because it's changed drastically compared to the plans they first saw and used to convince BRVA members of how awesome it is. Two businesses near the proposed site, including a veterinarian clinic, are remonstrating against the garage and the several zoning variances they're hoping to avoid.

The vet's specific complaint is that the bank drive-thru exits directly into a small alley, which the vet's employees use to walk dogs. It's a very small alley that I doubt sees a lot of traffic and a bank drive-thru would greatly increase that.

And before anyone mentions the current Chase drive-thru located in the same area, it's designed so any cars exit onto College rather than the alley.

Retail space has expanded from 14,000 square feet to 25,000, so maybe Broad Ripple will get a Wal-Greens after all! At the same time, they want to make spaces much smaller, and aren't even trying to hit the promised 350 spaces.

It also looks like the structure is going to expand and overflow from the property so that some of it will be above the sidewalk. This just sounds like it's going to be a big, huge structure that will be an eyesore for what is considered the "entrance" to Broad Ripple.

Also, it looks like the electric car charger and internal bike parking have been completely removed from the re-designs way back in October.

If we're absolutely determined to blow $6 million on this, how about we start from scratch and make sure it isn't a boondoggle?

For more information:
Indy Star article
Advance Indiana
Had Enough Indy? (which has links to several other relevant posts)


  1. dunno, if you listened to the 'remonstrators,' there really wasn't much objection to the garage. MKNHN, which objects to anything that moves, and most things that don't took 30 seconds to say they didn't think a garage was necessary. Broad Ripple Animal Clinic likes the garage, but not the possibility of a bank drive through. BRVA, which spent most of its allotted time praising the garage thought one wall ought to be moved five feet, and didn't much care for the drive through idea either. If those are your enemies, who needs friends? Hot mess? Seemed pretty tepid to me.

  2. I've written about MKNHN before and have no respect for them.

    Broad Ripple residents were completely misled. 14k to 25k retail and no one bats an eye? No inner bike parking or electric car charging station (pretty standard in most of the garages downtown)? ANOTHER bank? No ownership or any type of control?

    Considering the generous gift we're giving to the construction, the city's "crack negotiators" should've hammered out a deal for some non-ridiculous rent rates so some small business can afford to start out there. But my guess? The rate will be so high that a bank, pizza, and maybe a Wal-Greens w/out a pharmacy is all that can afford to be there.

  3. This parking garage is a gift. The city is taking $6,300,000 ( or 3 million Starbuck venti-darks , one for every person in marion county) and giving it to the developer, who in turn is going to build another broad ripple strip mall and a few hundred undersized/over priced parking spaces set up in such a way that will ensure nightly accidents within and from the structure. And the city gets nothing for this expense other than the headache of processing the accident reports.


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