For more then 10 years I have made it one of my niche’ products at WKRP Indy Real Estate to be the go to real estate person in Westfield Indiana. Early on I was just hoping to get some listings close to home and to stand out in a busy crowd of Realtors all saying they specialize in Marion and the surrounding 72 counties. Had I known where it would take me I probably would not have believed it and had I thought it would not have been this fun I probably wouldn’t have chased it. But in over ten years of showing and selling as many properties in our great new city I have been able to be a small part in some pretty exciting things. I thought I would share.
Grand Junction Properties – In 2010 or so I met with Annie Poynter who at the time was the director of the Downtown Westfield Association and we hit it off. One of her problems was that we had a large number of vacancies in our downtown and businesses where not knocking on the door to open here so she put me to work. We created Grand Junction Properties as a marketing tool to attract new and existing businesses to the small downtown we had. I would say it was a success at the time. During our work we saw Erika’s move in first and several to follow like Union Baking Company, Grand Junction Brewing, Building Bridges Counseling Center, the beginning of Park St and buyers for the corner of SR 32 and Cherry St. It was a lot of fun and we talked to just about everyone about the coming Grand Junction Plaza we are finally building and a SR 32 that was coming sooner then later. We were adamant to fill every space that came available and I think with or without us we neared 100% occupied and new space brought to market. I will always appreciate that friendship and effort with Annie and the DWA and think during early times in a project, a well paired collaboration can make a huge difference.
Grand Park Properties – Early into my work in Westfield I caught wind of the Grand Park Sports Complex being considered in Westfield and that they were looking at 3 locations and options to finalize plans. As Henke Development was chosen and their location and design announced I immediately saw the same need surrounding the park as the Grand Junction Properties project. We began to work on a similar marketing plan to attract developers and users to take advantage of what the Grand Park Sports Complex had to offer as the areas largest new amateur sports complex. Boy was that a whole other animal and what I learned and experienced was far beyond what I expected. It was like being the ugly guy with no personality on a dating show! Just one “NO” after another and not even a soft one. National retails laughed at us as we shared the grounds and schedules, especially during the week when it was a ghost town but us promising more to come. They told us the ground was too expensive to build and develop but also make money, which looking back was terribly true. They also pointed out a billion better locations that were lower risk and better everything to locate first so we spent a lot of time having doors shut behind us without any progress and to this day I still think its at the bottom of the list for realistic businesses to move and grow but hopeful someday it will be a home run.
Monon Marketplace – Not all things negative came from our stint inside the park trying to drum up interest in an island. Since SR 32 and US 31 intersected the new interchange was coming along nicely and even though businesses didn’t see any value inside the park they did see value in being at a beautiful new easily accessible regional exit. I had been working with Greenwalt Development on the Grand Park Village project and they still had interest in doing something in Westfield. I had been talking with a man named Larry House who with his partner Roger Hall they owned a very nice property at the corner of Wheeler Rd and SR 32, on the south side which they had intended to build on down the road to expand their lumber yard. But now they had become more interested in tinkering on old cars and hanging out with grandkids then selling lumber so they decided to sell. The Greenwalt’s were excited to have a shot at it and had recently found out that Ricker’s fuel was closing on the corner making the rest of the property a perfect fit for local and nation retailers. After several months of negotiations, rezoning and working around the most unfortunate gas line a city could ask for they closed and began building the new Monon Marketplace. Monon Marketplace became the home to a Stacked Pickle, Orto Indy, Titus Bakery and Donuts, Spa 32, Jimmy Johns and Noble Romans flagship new franchise model. I would say with the amount of land and parking and exposure, this will forever be a top retail location and investment in Westfield Indiana.
Park St – While I have had some great experiences and made some really neat new colleagues over the years, Park St may be the most rewarding. One of Annie Poynter’s charges was to maintain the Grand Junction Task Group and its efforts to plan and design the plaza and a downtown vision. We would meet bi-weekly and monthly to go over updates of design and hear from many many many over paid engineers during a time of dreaming up what a community gathering space should look like. One of the best introductions personally and professionally she made was to Bob and Michelle Beauchamp who owned a nice antique store in Westfield and were very engaged in what was going on. After meeting with the Beauchamp’s on a couple of occasion’s they decided to buy a property on Park St and convert the house into a business location. Satisfying a need for more space but also starting what they saw as a maker space and restaurant row. Over the past several years they have let me be involved in the development of 9 downtown properties that have become some of the best restaurants and shops in Hamilton County like The Italian House, Cone and Crumb, Greek’s Pizzeria and Root 31. At this time we are working on one new restaurant and the soon to open Rivet Coffee shop on the corner of Jersey and Poplar St. It was the perfect timing as someone that wanted something to sell in our downtown and lots of energy and investors looking to do something special and create something very special for the community and visitors. The Beauchamp’s and our families have become very close from this and really thats the best part of that introduction by Annie several years ago. They are even our business partners in Greek’s Pizzeria and at times share a card game or two with us.
Union Row – A few years back the idea of infill custom housing became an option in Westfield as places like Carmel Indiana had already seen a boom in tear down and build up residential developments. The problem was that we couldn’t get any of the larger residential developers to look at it as it was too small a project and expecting individual buyers to pluck up a lot and figure it out was unrealistic. So in comes Patch Development, a newer nimble development company that wanted to do a few projects in their hometown and make a positive impact on the community. The team at Patch saw the potential and need for some nice new homes to be built in our downtown and with the plaza under construction, the restaurants opening up and the new theatre being built, what better time. So Patch created Union Row a 7 homesite development on 1/3rd acre lots meant for anyone looking to affordably move into the downtown. Empty nesters, new families and single professionals all considered the project and in just under a year we had enough interest that all 7 lots were sold out. The first to build, with BBG Construction was a young married couple that wanted to cruise around on their scooter, head down to Park St for dinner and be right in the guts of whats happening. The second was a family that lived in a large neighborhood but the parent felt it was a cooler place to live as the kids left home and she spent more time enjoying the local activities. The third is a family that worked in big cities for years and always dreamed of living within walking distance of a coffee shop or cool parks and when they discovered this development immediately knew it was for them. The list goes on and currently 2 spec homes are being built that will surely be a quick sale and bring more excited families into our downtown looking to take advantage of a very walkable and safe downtown. Thanks to companies like Patch Development what was previously seen as small useless projects or lofty ideas, we are seeing some really nice infill developments including the Cottages at Sanders Glen both Phase 1 and Phase 2.
So as you have read the last 10 years have been exciting and we have seen some pretty neat activity growing up with Westfield. WKRP Indy Real Estate was started as Westfield real estate company and over the years its been more rewarding then money to be a small part of seeing Westfield develop into a top suburb and destination for people all over the country. Yes so many other families and businesses have moved into Westfield and its too many to name but I am just as proud of each of those too. One of the greatest pleasures I get as a broker in a small town is driving new developers through the community and reminiscing about what was there and what is there now or the story behind a new restaurant on any corner. I enjoy being able to tell part of the story that so many have been involved and worked tirelessly for and watching a great idea become reality. Hopefully most see the progress as a positive thing and are excited about the next stories and ideas to come. #bestfield
Curt has been in the Indianapolis Real Estate business for over 10 years and spent his first years learning all aspects of commercial management and brokerage. He has had great success in managing existing commercial projects and new retail and office developments. Curt specializes in building owner representation and purchases in the Westfield Indiana market as well throughout the Indianapolis Metro area. Curt is passionate about growing the local Westfield community and in his free time volunteers with Westfield Youth Assistance, Student Impact and raising 2 children with his wife Jennifer.