County to get closer look at proposed McCord Square
By Derek R. Smith - Greenfield Daily Reporter
February 6, 2008
Michael Dale likes what he's seen so far of McCord Square, the mixed-use development expected to redefine McCordsville.
"It's a well-thought-out proposal that has already received some preliminary nods from the town of McCordsville," said Dale, executive director of Hancock County Area Plan Commission. "We've gone through this proposal with a fine toothed comb and think it's a good proposal."
Preliminary plans for McCord Square call for 538,000 square feet of civic, retail and commercial office buildings on an 80-acre site. The project will include a town square area and a merchant?s square area.
McCord Square's concept is similar to that of Clay Terrace in Carmel, where people can park their vehicles and walk around.
Kurt Mathewson, a broker for developer Tower Investments, expects McCord Square to be a $40 million project.
"We definitely look at it as a plus for the whole area in general, the town and the county," said Mathewson, senior vice president at Coldwell Banker Commercial Realty Services in Indianapolis.
At the end of this month, Tower will take preliminary plans for McCord Square to county zoning officials.
Tower will request a rezoning from r1.0 and Commercial Neighborhood to Commercial Regional at the county plan commission's meeting at 7 p.m. Feb. 26 in the courthouse annex.
Commercial Regional zoning permits nearly 100 different commercial uses, but that has been narrowed down for this project.
McCordsville officials performed the painstaking process of going through each item on the Commercial Regional list of uses to select what can be included in the site. Some uses are included in the project proposal, while other uses will require future approval from county officials.
"They're clear about what they want," Mathewson said of McCordsville officials. "They have a master plan for the future of the town. We tried not to put anything into it that doesn't fit with the master plan."
"We've taken some good, hard looks at it, and I think the county will do the same," McCordsville Town Manager Tonya Galbraith said.
The plan commission's vote will serve as a recommendation to McCordsville's council, which will have the final say on rezoning, Galbraith said.
"There's still a whole lot to go through," Galbraith said. "We haven't gotten to the nitty-gritty engineering issues, and that can change the whole look of the plan."
Tower has significant experience in large-scale development projects.
Founded in 1989, Tower is headquartered in northern California and has more than 100 active real estate projects, according to www.towerinv.com. The firm has properties in 17 states and in Canada, according to the site.
"They like Indiana," Mathewson said. "It's an important part of their real estate strategy."
Other Tower properties in Indiana are in Anderson and Pendleton, according to the Tower Web site.
Mathewson expects a three-to five-year build-out for McCord Square. He said he began talking with various national retailers and other businesses in May, but that's all under wraps at this point.
If there aren't any zoning delays, Mathewson expects infrastructure work to begin later this year, with construction of McCord Square starting in 2009.