Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tombstone War Memorial Visits Lawrence Village at the Fort

The Knights of Columbus will be installing a memorial of approximately 176 tombstones for fallen soldiers in honor of Veterans Day on Thursday, November 11. The memorial, which will be located at Civic Plaza at Lawrence Village at the Fort, will remain until Sunday, November 13. Civic Plaza is located at the intersection of Wheeler Road and Otis Avenue at the heart of the Village.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Rezoning for Micro-Brewery Approved at Lawrence Village at the Fort

The City of Lawrence Common Council approved a petition by the Fort Harrison Reuse Authority for a modification to the PUD for Triton Brewing Company on Monday, November 1, 2010. The PUD prohibited a manufacturing use at the site, but it was determined that the addition of a microbrewery within the Village would be a public benefit and economic enhancement to the community.

Triton Brewing Company will produce and distribute five signature beers -- Four Barrel Brown, Deadeye Stout, Rail Splitter IPA, Fieldhouse Wheat, and Magnificent Amber. From their tasting room also located at this location, they will sell their own root beer product making this a family-friendly store. Partner Mike DeWeese, David Waldman, and Jon Lang have started this company based on strong demand in the state for microbrewed beer products.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fort Benjamin Harrison: Around the Village . . .

It is an absolutely gorgeous fall day with a temperature high of 88 degrees ... the kind of day you want to play hooky and hang out at a park or on a lake. As I was driving through Lawrence Village at the Fort today, I noticed several people who had chosen to do just that ... only here at Fort Benjamin Harrison.

Going west on Otis, I saw a father and his son who was riding a tricycle around the quarter mile asphalt path that encircles the pond. When I looked over, the child was just getting off his trike to point at the swimming geese. In the next two days, Gibraltar Construction will begin building the new overlook deck structure at the pond, which will provide yet another place for walkers, runners, and tricyclers to rest and relax.

At least 3 walkers and 1 runner were enjoying the sidewalks and bike lanes, and two cars were parked beneath shade trees in the [new] parallel parking lanes. The owners of these cars were taking a moment to eat lunch and read.

Turning the corner, I saw The Pumpkin Patch in full swing at the center of the Village. The farmer who is selling the pumpkins, gourds, squash, corn stalks and straw bales here told me last week that this is such an ideal location that he plans to relocate his farmer's market here next year.

I drove west on Hawkins toward the Ravine Park and saw Ski Landscape digging up the grasses which are located in the center between Hawkins and Merritt Streets. These grasses will be transplanted near the pond to make way for the new art installation by the Herron School of Art later this month. Herron's contractor will begin pouring the foundations this week.

With all of the dry weather we've had, Poindexter Excavating is making good time on the Hawkins Road Extension project having finished all underground sewers and water lines and now beginning to grade the new road and stake out the curbs. They hope to have curbs poured and the first layer of asphalt installed by the end of October. This project is expected to finish in April 2011.

Just north of this road I saw Ivy Tech students parking their cars and walking to class, again on the new sidewalks we created earlier this year. The walk isn't a long one and the parking is convenient. Wouldn't it be cool to have a sidewalk cafe or outdoor pub along the way?

For me, it is awesome to watch all of this activity in an area that's not really that big. It shows that the community is appreciative of the work that's been done to date, is already here and waiting for more!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Triton Brewing Company Comes to Lawrence Village at the Fort

Triton Brewing Company plans to locate their production facility and tasting room in the heart of Lawrence Village at the Fort. Located at 5764 Wheeler Road, Triton Brewing Company is a start-up production brewery aiming to produce high quality craft beer for distribution in Indiana. In addition to the production facility, Triton will feature a small retail space and 40 seat smoke free family friendly tasting room and a beer garden. Plans are underway now to begin construction.

...Yet another reason why everyone should consider Lawrence Village at the Fort at Historic Fort Benjamin Harrison a great destination!

Triton Brewing

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Pumpkin Patch Comes to Lawrence Village at the Fort at Fort Harrison

Tell your friends and neighbors! On Friday, October 1 Lawrence Village at the Fort will have yet another close-by amenity ... a pumpkin patch! The patch will be located at Civic Plaza beneath the shade tree at the intersection of Wheeler Road and Otis Avenue. Just come into the Village off of 56th Street, and you'll see it. The Pumpkin Patch will offer pumpkins of all sizes, mums, cornstalks, gourds, and different sizes of straw bales. The patch will be open on Friday and Saturday with a self serve option on Tuesday through Thursday. Free parallel parking is available surrounding the plaza.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Project Update and Stuff

We reopened the roads throughout the Village development just days before Christmas and right before the first snow fall. Unfortunately, the asphalt plants closed before we could get that final surface coat on so the construction crew tried to blend the road surface with the manholes as much as possible. Unfortunately, that didn't prevent snow plows from knocking them open the first time they passed through . . . hence, the current orange pylons over manholes. Still, the roads are passable and provide traffic relief to busy 56th and 59th streets.

IPL and AT&T are trenching and working to get utilities buried. We expect to see the first light poles go up in the next month or so once pull boxes are installed. Light poles will really change the face of the development (just like the completion of the monuments -- people will start to take note yet again.) Once spring hits and trees start to leaf up again, I'm sure residents and visitors will get a flavor for what we've done to ready the property for vertical development.

If you've passed by the Ravine area off of Post Road, you've seen the construction of a boardwalk that's taken a long time to complete. Rest assured, this boardwalk is here to stay -- it's pretty solid. We have some railings yet to install in the Ravine and final landscaping when weather permits.

As for project marketing, we've been busy. We have a sale pending for 1.61 acres for a senior housing development. The building will be 3 stories and will sit at the corner of Hawkins and Birtz, which is an awesome location for independent senior living next to the park we've created. We're working with another apartment developer for slightly over 6 acres and hope to receive a letter of intent soon. We have increased interest from other residential and commercial builders, but unfortunately no bites. I expect all of this to change once we see the first development happen.

I am currently working on the "Sunset Plan" that will be the blueprint for the Reuse Authority to finish up our work here at the Fort and eventually go away . . . or fade into the sunset. Did you know that when I'm successful with this stuff, I no longer have a job? I say that slightly tongue in cheek; however, there is truth to this statement. Once the FHRA is done selling property, overseeing vertical development and assuring architectual standards/PUD requirements are met, the only thing left is repayment of tax revenue bonds. At some point, we will have to create some type of property management or neighborhood association to look after the landscaping and other infrastructure improvements we've put into place. However, I'm sure this will be a tight partnership with the City of Lawrence.

In the meantime, we are cleaning up records by conveying parcels and assisting with infrastructure improvements to private property in an effort to achieve this goal. My aim is to have all of this detail stuff done by year end so we can truly focus on the final 56 acres and get them developed.

There are lots of changes and all of them good. Stay with us as we journey toward the sunset.