Saxony Development Wants Downtown Feel

Saxony Development Wants Downtown Feel

Saxony Development Wants Downtown Feel

October 29, 2004 - Noblesville Ledger

By: Diana Lamirand

NOBLESVILLE – Downtown Noblesville is a place where people meet to shop, dine and have fun. Rick Arnos, Republic Development president, hopes to follow that example and take it to a higher level with his 700-plus-acre Saxony development on the city’s eastern border.

“We miss having congregation points,” Arnos said, pointing to developers’ recent trends of creating huge shopping centers that foster urban sprawl and discourage pedestrian traffic. “That need is not being met. We want to bring back that element that’s been forsaken.”

People who live, work and play in the Saxony development that straddles the north and south sides of Interstate 69 at Exit 10 will feel comfortable to stroll along the shops, restaurants and entertainment venues without the threat of high-speed highway traffic, he said.

“Pedestrians will rule in Saxony. Cars are gong to take a secondary place,” Arnos said, explaining that his urbanism-style development will feature street-front buildings and curbs and sidewalks with parking behind the buildings. “We expect people will be doing a lot of walking.”

The mixed-use development includes the Saxony Corporate Campus – 500,000 square feet of retail, industrial and office space on 280 acres on the north side of I-69 – and Saxony Village – a residential and business community with retail and entertainment offerings and a 55-acre planned park and recreational area on the south side of the interstate. The city of Noblesville governs the north side, while the town of Fishers governs the south.

“We want to create an environment where people can go out and mix,” Arnos said, explaining how the building project, an investment of more than $500 million by Ohio-based Republic, is being designed to appeal to all ages. “It’s synergistically linked, all of the components work together to strengthen the other components.’

People who work during the day in the business, retail, and industrial and office areas will create demand for services, restaurants and hotels in a highly visible, easily accessible and conveniently located area. At night, residents and visitors will enjoy the same amenities, as well as various entertainment venues.

“There will be a constant flow as one feeds off the other,” Arnos said.

While many homes have popped up on the Fishers side of the Saxony development, building construction on the Noblesville side has yet to begin. Republic partnered with the city on $24 million in road and other infrastructure work, including an extension of 146th Street, and that work is nearing completion.

The roads are in, said Amy Penman, marketing coordinator for Republic Development, and the company is actively seeking prospects to fill the eastern end of what will become part of the city’s 3,600-acre corporate campus. Noblesville city officials have hinted that an announcement could be made by the end of this year that a large biotechnology company will build in Saxony. Arnos expects an announcement will be made by early next year.

“We’re talking to a lot of different people, but nothing specific, Penman said. “We’re hopeful that we’ll get a lot of those life sciences users locating in this corridor because it’s easy to access others that they might be doing business with whether it’s up in Warsaw (Ind.) or down in Bloomington or something of that nature.”

Indiana’s life sciences communities stretch along the Interstate 69 corridor from Indiana University in Bloomington to Zimmer Holdings, DePuy and Biomet in Warsaw and The Bayer Group in Elkhart, and further north to Neogen in Lansing, Mich.

Chris Hamm, Noblesville’s economic development director, said Noblesville’s long-term goal is to create thousands of jobs within the corporate campus and said Saxony will play a big part in that development.