The Noblesville Common Council approved the first step in bringing LA Fitness, a national chain of upscale fitness clubs, to the Stony Creek Marketplace shopping center, off Ind. 37. Under terms of a resolution approved by the council on May 29, the city will invest up to $900,000 to offset the costs of site work.
City Attorney Mike Howard said the new business could bring 10 full-time positions and 50 part-time jobs. The project would also generate a substantial number of customers into the area and the increased customer traffic should stimulate economic development within the area.
“We expect to generate 1,000 potential visitors a day,” Howard said.
Property owner Kite Retail Group, who has been looking at developing that site for the past 10 years, will build the 35,000-square-foot new facility on approximately three acres at the southwest corner of Stony Creek Marketplace, adjacent to the Office Depot and hhgregg retail stores. Howard said the site has remained undeveloped because of Stony Creek and sewer easement located on the property.
“It’s at the end of the road with not a lot of drive-by traffic,” said Howard. “We think it is creative because the site itself is distinguishable.”
Eric Strickland of Kite Retail Group said the building will be 10 percent smaller than other clubs because of its location, but added that it will have 1,200 to 1,500 members. Strickland estimated that one-third to one-half of the members will attend the facility daily.
The site is part of the “Stony Creek East Economic Development Area” – a tax increment finance zone. The new facility would result in an estimated $6 million increase in assessed value of real property with an anticipated investment of $500,000 in depreciable personal property.
According to the resolution, the city will issue a $900,000 bond to reimburse Kite for 85 percent of the authorized expense costs of infrastructure improvements to the site, which includes a retaining wall to support the building and the extension of utilities. The remaining 15 percent will be held in retainage by the city until Kite presents a certificate of occupancy.
Howard said part of the tax increment collected from Stony Creek East Economic Development Area would pay the principal and interest payments of the bond. The bond would then be repaid from the estimated $160,000 tax revenues the development will generate annually over the first six years.
In exchange for the $900,000 bond, Howard said Kite has agreed not to file an appeal on the assessed value of real property for at least six years. The city lost assessed value when a store in the Stony Creek area appealed and became retroactive six years with a discounted assessed value of $455,000.
The resolution was approved 5-2 with councilmen Brian Ayer and Steve Wood voting against the project, which still has to be approved by the Economic Development Commission, the Planning Commission, the Board of Zoning Appeals and the Architectural Review Board.
Currently there are three LA Fitness locations in Hamilton County – Westfield, Carmel and Fishers. Howard said, if approved, the building would open next summer.