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Westfield Real Estate Development Lantern Commons Corner On Hold

For several years now, there has been considerable growth in the Westfield area as Indianapolis residents migrate northward and find Westfield homes for sale. This expansion has given rise to the commercial Indianapolis real estate opportunities for this suburban area.

Westfield real estate has gained in commercial value over the years ignited by the future expansion of Indiana‘s U.S. 31 corridor. Of particular interest is a corner of land located at the crossing of U.S. 31 and 161st Street called Lantern Commons.

Approved for development in late 2007, Lantern Commons is slated to be an upscale shopping and lifestyle experience nestled in a natural setting of trees and bodies of water. Expected to cost over $80 million, the project will house over 400,000 square feet in retail space on over 60 acres.

The developers are looking to promote a feel of Americana by including gazebos, fountains, street lamps, walking paths over natural streams, tree-lined streets, art displays, clock tower and brick & masonry accents.

Among the charming atmosphere, no fewer than three major department stores are expected to anchor the shopping area. These stores will likely be considered fashionable in nature and will consist of 100,000 square feet for each. Space will most likely allow for up to another four smaller-sized retail department stores and several other restaurants and businesses.Westfield may actually enjoy not only these extensive shopping opportunities but additional office space at Lantern Commons as well.

Needless to say, Westfield residents are excited to have the new lifestyle and shopping experience so close to them. While not all are happy about the retail development coming to the area, others, including Indianapolis REALTORS®, see the potential to raise the home values in the area in comparison to Indianapolis homes for sale elsewhere.

However, over a year following the approval of the site for development by Westfield, the corner scheduled to house Lantern Commons still sits empty.

On track to start moving dirt earlier this spring, the commercial realty firm, Pine Tree, has not begun any work as of yet. Westfield city officials are saying that the firm is waiting out our unstable economy to begin working on developing the corner.

Expectation is that Westfield could see shovels in the ground during 2010. Because many businesses will most likely need to relocate due to the expansion of U.S. 31, the corner is expected to be even more valuable. Already a strong corner for development, the changes to the highway make it even better.

Changes in our economy are causing other businesses to relocate as well which could provide tenants for the future shopping area.

As for a more specific time frame, Westfield officials are anticipating that work will definitely be initiated at Lantern Commons before the 2012’s construction on U.S. 31 between 151st and 146th Streets begins. The developers are expecting to draw in retailers who will be uprooted by the road widening and looking for new locations.

In addition, the developers for Lantern Commons have been in discussions with homes throughout Woodside Estates over this year to acquire more land for the future. Among the additional development being considered is an apartment complex.

Located north of the projected shopping and lifestyle area that is currently Lantern Commons, closings for the Woodside Estates have been postponed until early spring at this point.

Regardless of the timing, Lantern Commons will bring a lot of excitement and expansion of shopping opportunities to match the anticipated expansion of U.S. 31. Westfield residents are excited not only to have more access to shopping but to see what will happen to their home values because of the scenic development.