McCORDSVILLE – Officials of the public and private sectors didn’t seem to mind making their way through the dusty field in their business attire.
“I love getting my shoes dirty, I’ve done it for a living,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers as the beeps of heavy vehicles sounded in the distance. “…This is progress, and progress is what we live for.”
He joined dozens of others Monday night in the field at the southeast corner of Broadway and Mt. Comfort Road in McCordsville to celebrate the commencement of construction on a future town center district.
Estimated at $50 million, the first phase of that endeavor includes infrastructure for the 48-acre McCord Square Downtown District as well as McCord Square Apartments – two four-story buildings with a total of 205 apartments, including one- and two-bedroom units. Six 1,000-square-foot commercial studios are planned for the buildings’ first floors. Community amenities will include a courtyard, indoor/outdoor café, pool with cabanas and workstations, rooftop co-working lounge, pet park and spa, wellness studio, indoor bike storage and clubhouse. A Civic Green will run between the two buildings.
McCord Square is a partnership between the town of McCordsville, Fishers-based Rebar Development and Greenfield-based Pride Investment Partners. McCordsville is investing $5 million to create roadways and trails with lighting, landscaping and water features, 15 acres of open park space, and irrigation and stormwater facilities. The project is also getting $3.5 million from a portion of the award to a region the town is a part of through the Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative, or READI.
The buildings will be named The Lucas and The Jackson after Rebar Development President Shelby Bowen’s sons. After Monday’s ground-breaking ceremony, Bowen recalled being part of the development and growth of nearby Hamilton County over the past 15 years, and said he quickly recognized similar indications in McCordsville.
“And there was really no new inventory, no new mixed use, no new apartments that are what I see people are being attracted to,” he told the Daily Reporter. “…Communities that are growing and investing in themselves, really, they have a choice – either be a part of it or it’s going to happen anyways. McCordsville was really eager to be part of it and find the right partner, so for us you can’t beat the location, and there’s high growth, high jobs and lack of quality rental housing.”
Construction on the McCord Square Apartments is slated for completion in spring 2024.
Tim Gropp, McCordsville town manager, pointed to the years of planning that went into the town center during his remarks at the event.
“A project like this doesn’t happen overnight,” he said. “It takes years of planning, buy-in from the community, willing land sellers, trustworthy partners … A little bit of luck goes into these, and then a whole lot of patience to pull everything together.”
Larry Longman is a McCordsville Town Council member and the council’s liaison to the town’s redevelopment commission, which he noted has been contemplating the town center site for nearly 20 years.
“The prime intersection, the limited number of land owners and most importantly the rapid growth in our town’s population generated a desire to encourage developers to take an interest in our town,” he said.
Wade Etheredge, chief investment officer and private wealth advisor for Pride Investment Partners, said part of the firm’s mission is to invest in communities it works in.
“So to be here in our community and see this come to fruition – because it’s been a lot to get to this point – we’re excited to work with the town of McCordsville as well as Rebar to bring this together,” he said.
The long-term vision for the town center also includes a community gathering space, new McCordsville Town Hall, a Civic Commons outdoor amphitheater, connectivity throughout downtown and to existing neighborhoods, and a new park. Townhomes, restaurants, office space and neighborhood services are also envisioned in the future.