New chef-inspired restaurant district coming to Fishers, displacing 21 families

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FISHERS, Ind. - Fishers city leaders recently announced plans for a $40 million culinary center coming to the heart of the city that the mayor says will provide much needed dining options for residents.

“I think the culinary scene is as important to the quality of life in a community as anything today," Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness said. "And that’s why we really want to take laser focus and try develop that just like we did around tech entrepreneurship."

Indianapolis-based Thompson Thrift Retail Group is the developer working on the project. To make room for the development, the company has negotiated a deal to buy the homes of 21 families currently living in the Springdale Estates neighborhood.

“It’s painful and we certainly would have preferred staying here, but we do understand that progress is something that comes no matter where you are," Springdale Estates resident Mike Bowers said. “The relationships I guess are the most difficult thing, because as this unfolded we will end up losing three or four of our best friends.”

While the homeowners did get 1.5 times their homes assessed value in the deal, Bowers said that isn't as good as it sounds when you consider lost income from the housing market and the increased property taxes wherever he moves to next.

"In a developing city such as this some of these things are going to happen," Bowers said.

The new culinary development, or what's being called "The Yard," will be located near 116 Street and I-69 just east of where IKEA is currently building. Topgolf is also scheduled to open up across the street from the development next year.

The Yard will consist of 10 to 12 chef-inspired restaurants similar to what you'd see on Mass Ave or in Fountain Square, according to Ashlee Boyd, a managing partner at Thompson Thrift.

The development will also include a culinary incubator, or a place for chefs to come up with new creations.

“Really the concept again is to create the most hospitable environment we can for people who have food products or restaurant concept they want to try," Fadness said.

There are several proposals currently in front of the Fishers City Council regarding this project. The council will have to approve an economic development agreement for the project to move forward, which could give the developer $7 to $9 million in incentives to build the center.

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