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Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Center would spruce up Madison corridor
Cory Schouten   -  cschouten@ibj.com
IBJ staff
A local developer is planning a retail strip center along Madison Avenue just south of downtown in a neighborhood that's been begging for investment for years.

The plans by Keystone Construction Corp. call for a 25,000-square-foot retail center at 1400 Madison Ave., across the street from Sisters' Place Restaurant. The 2.8-acre site now is home to three vacant industrial buildings and one remaining wall from an old brick warehouse.

Keystone plans to seek LEED certification for the project, which also includes space for two outlot users. Demolition of the old structures is scheduled for later this month.

A rendering of the project suggests the project could include a pizzeria, cafe and other small shops. A state agency might also be interested in opening an office in the center, according to a letter of support from the Concord Community Development Corp.


The project will make a huge difference for the neighborhood, said Mark Flanary, the group's executive director. For starters, it will remove several graffiti-covered buildings and fix crumbling sidewalks. It also gives residents services they've gone without for years.

"We haven't had any essential goods and services in how many years? I can't count," Flanary said. "This kind of development is what we've wanted for a long time."

The project has won preliminary approval for a rezoning from heavy industrial classification to community regional commercial. It still must win final approval from the City-County Council.

It's not the first project along the Madison Avenue corridor for Keystone. The firm renovated an abandoned building just to the north, at 1200 Madison, into 180,000 square feet of office space now anchored by the city's Department of Metropolitan Development and MDWise.

Keystone also built a 37,000-square-foot retail center at the corner of Madison and Hannah avenues.




 


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