Long an east-side question mark

September 12, 2023 | Mickey Shuey

A California-based developer with ties to Indiana plans to redevelop the deteriorating Irvington Plaza shopping center, which has gone from the east-side neighborhood’s retail hub to a worrying eyesore.

Tallen Capital Partners LLC is in the early stages of revamping the aging shopping plaza and its parking lot, covering 15.75-acres in the 6200 block of East Washington Street. The firm has the property under contract for an undisclosed price from current owner Eric Becker, who lives in Florida.

CEO Terry Tallen, who studied business and played football at Indiana University from 1977 to 1982, said the San Diego firm sees “an opportunity to improve, enhance and reposition this antiquated shopping center.” He hopes to capitalize on its location along the future IndyGo Blue Line and within the Irvington/Brookville tax-increment financing district, which was established earlier this year.

“Our strategic objective is to repurpose and reposition the Irvington Plaza into an attractive amenity to the residents, employers, employees, and visitors of Irvington alike,” Tallen Capital CEO Terry Tallen told IBJ.

The 156,000-square-foot Irvington Plaza was built in 1952 and for years served as a primary retail hub for the neighborhood. However, it has been on the decline since the 1980s, and in May 2017 lost a 32,000-square-foot Marsh supermarket among other vacancies.

Tallen said his firm plans to work with residents and others in the area to determine what should be done with the property over the long-term. Becker declined to comment when contacted by IBJ.

Irvington Plaza has long been viewed as a redevelopment opportunity for the east side. In 2019, the Urban Land Institute conducted a panel that explored options for what could be done with the property. ULI’s suggestions for the site included a $110 million mixed-use development with a public green space, pavilion, community arts center, housing and commercial uses across 28 acres.

Tallen said he’s not yet in a position to share his firm’s plans for the site, largely because he still wants to work with neighbors to determine what uses they consider to be in their best interest.

“We plan to survey residents in the coming weeks to determine what the community would like to see in the Plaza,” he said. “We see several voids in the marketplace and will work to attract the types of businesses to the property that reduce retail sales leakage to other communities and increase the local sales tax base as applicable.”

Tallen said his company has performed revamps of several underperforming properties in California and will use successes there as a blueprint for what could be done with the east-side shopping center.

He also said the firm is looking for additional investment opportunities in Indiana, beyond its Irvington Plaza project and its ongoing development of a 17-acre residential community adjacent to the Pete Dye Golf Course in French Lick.

Read the full article on ibj.com