KB Home has pulled out of the Anson Development.The national homebuilder was slated to build the first wave of single-family residential houses in the multiuse development at I-65 and Ind. 334 in Eagle Township. Construction on the first of more than 100 new homes was slated to begin in April.
KB Home pulled out of Anson because of the national slumping housing market, not because of any local concerns, said Joel Reuter, Duke Realty vice president of public relations and communications.
Jason Lindaman, spokesman for the homebuilder, confirmed the company pulled out of the Anson project, but said it was in discussions with Duke to possibly return at a later date.
Reuter said Duke is negotiating with approximately a half dozen local and regional builders to construct the homes in The Neighborhoods at Anson development and anticipated at least a 90-day delay. Reuter didn't know when a new builder would be named.
"It allows us an opportunity to find somebody that knows the region and what the site attributes are on a local basis instead of a headquarters making a decision somewhere else in North America," he said, adding that he didn't expect changes to the project.
Local Realtor Craig Bartels said home sales in the area had dropped off but seemed to be gaining momentum in the last several months. He didn't think the KB Home pullout should scare homebuyers.
"This is one of the last areas I'd choose to pull out of," he said. "I think we're 10 years away from being what Plainfield or Avon is now. This is going to be one of the highest growth areas in the Indianapolis area."
The home-building delay shouldn't have an effect on luring retailers to the development, Reuter said.
"With it only being 114 of 680 overall units (planned homes), it's not a significant factor for Anson's development," he said.
The Boone County Redevelopment Commission also is unconcerned about the delay. Through tax increment financing bonds, the RDC has invested at least $36 million for the project's infrastructure and could spend up to as much as $80 million in the future.
Tom Lingafelter, RDC president, wasn't aware of the KB Home pullout, but said he was satisfied with Anson's progress so far.
"Everybody thought it'd go quicker," he said, "but things never go as quickly as planned. There always seems to be things that seem to take longer."
Although a Target store was indicated on a map of Anson's retail portion on its Web site, Reuter said Target was not on the short list of possible tenants. Many people expected a Super Target or a grocery store to occupy the space where Duke is currently building the Lowe's store. Bartels called it a bait-and-switch situation.
"I don't think it's (Lowe's) nearly as appealing as a Kroger or something," he said. "I think it'd been much harder to pass zoning . . . if they said originally they wanted a Lowe's instead of a grocery-anchored development."
Reuter said Anson general manager Tom Dickey was in negotiations with several big-box retailers, but none that he could name.
"I don't think any retailer would say a three-month delay would give them pause for concern," he said.
Call Star reporter Robert Annis at (317) 444-5572.
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