Ross assembled a team of engineering and legal professionals to tackle the valuation issues. Paul I. Cripe, Inc., was retained to redesign the floodway and obtain a letter of map revision from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. This increased the usable acreage from 20 acres to approximately 35 acres. Meridian conducted a highest and best use analysis of the remaining acreage and recommended the creation of an auto park, an assemblage of multiple car dealers located in a single setting.
Purchase contracts were negotiated with two competing local dealers, Tom Wood Lexus and Tom O’Brien Chrysler, to occupy the two parcels fronting on 96th Street. A remainder parcel located behind the two dealers was also designated for auto dealerships. It would be accessed by a central boulevard separating the two front dealers. A building setback and line of site easement was also created to protect the value of the remaining parcel. Meridian assisted the legal team of Nelson & Frankenberger in representing the interests of the buyers and sellers to the adjacent neighborhood association and in the municipal approvals with the City of Carmel. A sale closing late in 2000 resulted in sale proceeds to DYC in excess of $5,500,000 for approximately 3/4 of the original parcel’s acreage.