Old IFD headquarters to face wrecking ball Friday

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Rendering of the new residential/retail development.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– For decades the former headquarters of the Indianapolis Fire Department at the corner of New Jersey Street and Massachusetts Avenue dispatched firefighters to save lives.

Now the site will take on a new life of its own as home to a $60 million residential/retail development with a parking garage.

“We’ve got anywhere from studios up to two bedroom even townhome type of style apartments,” said Mark Juleen of J.C Hart Company, the Carmel developer of the project. “We’ve got some really cool corner type of units that’ll have skyline views or two story loft type style units as well as studio flats anywhere from about 500 square feet to 1500 square feet.”

Juleen said Penrose on Mass will have 236 luxury apartments and 40,000 square feet of retail space on the street level.

“We’re looking for some restaurants, also maybe some professionals, fitness, those are people we’ve been talking to and even have some letters of intent from.”

The living space will include a swimming pool and interior courtyard as well as a fitness center.

Across the street at Nine Irish Brothers the pub’s owner can’t wait for his new neighbors.

“We’ve been really excited about getting the process going and see what’s going to come of it,” said Jason Mugt. “We saw the specs earlier and it’s really exciting to have that many people coming into this area.”

Mugt said Penrose’s 379 parking spaces will be a benefit to the entire Mass Ave corridor.

“I think Mass Ave has become an area where once you find parking on either side really you just start to walk the street. It’s really a good pub crawl area where you might stay at one place for an hour but go down to another place and enjoy the drinks there.”

The first tenants are expected by the end of 2018.

Mugt said his patrons will lift a glass in toast to the old fire department headquarters as they watch the walls come down Friday morning.

“You know we’ll be sitting over here with whiskey all excited about it so anybody who wants to join, we’ll definitely have cheers to its finally getting going.”

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