1) Old Marathon Gas Station site sold - A sales disclosure form is available on the State's DLGF website that shows the Marathon Gas Station site at 6280 N. College Avenue was sold to 6280, LLC, on August 29, 2011, for $1.8 million. Compare this price to the assessed value of $999,800. Marathon made out great in this deal. It always helps to have the government tossing money into a project like this. Free money leads to price inflation.
I could find no sales disclosure form for the old Marcos Pizza parcel at 6286 N. College. It appears to remain owned by 6286, LLC. Who is behind that LLC is a mystery, except that the bills are sent c/o Todd Morris. Morris is listed as the Parking Manager for Newport Parking - one of the players in Keystone Group, LLC, who submitted the winning proposal for the garage.
2) Significant site plan changes have been made - When the developer and City officials met with the Broad Ripple Village Association months ago, they pitched the garage using a specific site plan. They promised at the time, to return for approval of any significant changes to that site plan. Well, a new site plan was submitted as part of the new Variance request. This new plan is significantly different, yet no imput on the changes has been sought from the BRVA or other neighborhood groups representing residents in the area.
Here is the first site plan floated to the BRVA:
The owner and Veterinarian Dr. David Brunner has been critical of the garage in public meetings. He cited a study by his attorney, Steve Mears, which concludes that parking garages on non-rectangular lots have a typical price of $15,000 per space. This garage weighs in at a hefty $27,000 per space. Hmmm...
3) Traffic Impact Study under way - The City is undertaking a traffic impact study for the Westfield / College intersection, with a particular interest in alternative configurations that might optimize pedestrian safety. One possibility thrown out there is that the City is contemplating increasing the width of the sidewalk on the east side of the proposed garage, and a concomitant decrease in lane width of the vehicle lanes on College Avenue. More on this particular point once I get a copy of a vacation petition that an alert reader of this blog mentioned in the comments section of my last entry.
The City has already stated that it will cover all expenses related to street improvements around the garage site. It now sounds like significant changes to the streetscape are being envisioned. To what cost, we do not know. That puts into further doubt the statement that this garage proposal was the best submitted. The need to at least consider revamping the streetscape just adds to the fact that the garage as proposed does not legally fit on the lot, cannot accommodate any more than 305 spaces, and cannot adequately accommodate a bank drive-through teller lane without variances. (see my last blog entry "Broad Ripple Parking Garage - Someone Forgot To Which End Of The Horse The Cart Is Attached")
That's it for today. Expect more to come on this 'not-ready-for-prime-time' garage (with apologies to Saturday Night Live).