The $80 million Carmel Performing Art Center, which would open in 2008, would include a 1,600-seat concert hall. The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra has expressed strong interest in performing regularly at the new facility.
Other interested arts groups include the Carmel Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis International Violin Competition, and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra.
Ron Carter, the commission's president, said, "This is the culmination of what has been a decade's worth of fulfilling visions and dreams for what this community can have. We make this kind of investment because we want to make Carmel the best place to live, work, and raise a family anywhere in the state of Indiana and anywhere in the Midwest."
The center would be the most expensive project in the city's history, and some city council members are concerned about the price. Council president Kevin Kirby called it "absurd," and predicted that mayor Jim Brainard would have a hard time persuading the council to approve such a project.
Brainard told attendees at a City Hall meeting that the project would be financed through tax increment financing, meaning that business tax revenue in the development area—in this case, in City Center, a new downtown growing out of an old strip center—would pay off the bonds necessary to pay for the center.
The city council will vote on the center in April.