Redevelopment Focuses on Indy's 'Mid-Ground'

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(Image of Midtown Brasserie interior courtesy of Midtown Development Inc.) (Image of Midtown Brasserie interior courtesy of Midtown Development Inc.)
INDIANAPOLIS -

One of the key figures behind a planned historic bank-to-restaurant redevelopment says the goal is to transform a property from "a shame" into a vibrant part of the community. Ed Sherman is working with former Angie's List Inc. Chief Executive Officer Bill Oesterle on Midtown Brasserie, which will be run by highly-regarded chef and restaurateur Neal Brown. The art deco-style building was opened in 1947 by Indiana National Bank and closed two years ago as a Chase bank branch.

Sherman says it will continue the momentum building in the area. "We're a part of the investment that's taking place, but there's just so much that's happening, and really, it's the mid-ground of the entire city," he told Inside Indiana Business. "Whether it's Broad Ripple, we've go the art museum (Newfields) right down the street, you've got downtown, the (Indianapolis Motor) Speedway, it's just right in the middle of everything." Sherman wants the property and surrounding neighborhoods to become more than "a pass-through," but serve as a destination.

The property is surrounded by neighborhoods including Mapleton Fall Creek, Butler-Tarkington, Meridian Kessler, Meridian Foundation and Historic Watson Park. Other nearby developments in the works include a 140-unit apartment complex, grocery store, business incubator, renovation of an old United Way building and microbrewery.

The restaurant concept, Sherman said, kept coming up as the developers received input from neighbors. "One of the most enjoyable parts of this project was getting to know so many great people in the neighborhood associations around here. They had great ideas and are just as invested as we are in seeing this property put back to service in the neighborhood," Oesterle added. "There is a tremendous amount of investment going on in the 38th Street and Illinois area and this project just adds to the momentum." The three live nearby and Oesterle says they hope to help return the area "to its former glory."

Brown just announced the closing of Stella, a restaurant in the city's Mass Ave District. He is also currently involved in ventures including Ukiyo, the Libertine Liquor Bar and Pizzology in Carmel and Neal Brown Hospitality Group. The bank building has potential meeting and office space in the basement that could eventually house an additional tenant, Oesterle said in a news release. Midtown Brasserie is expected to open in September.

Midtown Development Inc. Partner Ed Sherman says it will continue the momentum building in the area.
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