Downtown Project Update

It has been quite a while since I have posted a downtown project update. Almost two years, in fact.  With the beautiful day we had yesterday,  I figured it was a good time to walk around and post some pictures of some newer developments in the city.

First up is the first new building to be constructed within a block of Indy’s “Main and Main” streets since the Conrad was built, a 2-and-a-half story structure that will house a Chipotle:


On Illinois and Washington Streets, Circle Center Mall added Granite City Brewery, which did not make the same mistake as previous restaurants and actually connected with Illinois Street. The result looks better than a set of blank windows:

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Further north on Illinois, I had to get a photos of what has to be one of the worst parking garages being constructed in the country. Not only is it almost 100 percent single use, but it fronts an entire block of Illinois Street. Now the city will have a blank wall of bare concrete for decades to come, and no room for flexibility or public interaction. Let it be known that the writers of Urban Indy did what we could to make this better for everyone involved, but I suppose it was too little, too late:


The best that can be said about that parking garage is that it did free up some land for Flaherty and Collins to construct Axis, a mixed-use project to house a Marsh and apartments at Senate and Michigan. Of course, there is plenty of on-site parking to be contained here as well:




Further north along Capitol, a few new remodels are under construction. First, Rowland Design is adding a second floor to a building along the Cultural Trail:


Next, a long-vacant large building is being converted into apartments. This is a huge win for the near northside of downtown:



Closer to the downtown core, another impressive apartment conversion is underway. 333 N Pennsylvania will 72 apartments adjacent to the north side of the Star Building. After the Star leaves, and the project to remodel the rest of the block is underway, this part of downtown should be much more lively:



East of the former Market Square Arena lot, construction crews have been at work to convert a former eyesore into a mixed-use apartment complex known as Artistry:


A somewhat sad tale is underway north of downtown at College at North Streets, where a former church’s conversion into an architectural firm’s headquarters has been halted. At least the structure appears to be in better shape now.


Across the street, Cunningham Restaurant Group has moved their headquarters downtown:


And finally, work is underway at Milhaus’ Circa Project, where the non-contributing buildings have been demolished and the historic structure has been gutted.



Unfortunately, I was not able to get photos of the Barton Tower wrap building or Canal Tower, and I’m hoping to be able to post them here soon.

It’s great to see so many reuses and apartments going up in the downtown area. In the future, I hope to make this downtown project update a yearly post, instead of a bi-annual one. Let’s keep up the momentum for even more people who wish to live downtown.

Comments 10

  • On Twitter, Ben McGhee (of Pennsy pocket park fame) called the One America garage “big ugly.” That’s about right.

    The near northside of downtown is going to continue to be a ghost(ish?) town despite 333, the Star development, 800 Block, and Rowland if the city won’t man up and convert Capitol, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Delaware to two way streets. I has to be done and the sooner the better. Lots of support for it on a recent IBJ Property Lines article.

  • Thanks for the updates, Kevin! Makes me happy to see so much development in my hometown, especially the rehabs of the beautiful old buildings.

    Question: is there some kind of explicit financial or legal incentive for property owners to build a parking garage? I’m asking in the general sense rather than specifically about the One America garage. The downside of the current building boom is the parking-garage building boom.

    • Not explicit. But it’s pretty tough to lease big chunks of professional office space without assigned/dedicated parking for the partners’ Benzes and Beemers.

      Those towers downtown are competing with the mid-rises on the Meridian Corridor in Carmel and Keystone Crossing/Parkwood Crossing, where there is plenty of “free” parking.

  • I work across the street from the Big Ugly. It’s hideous. CSO can and has done better work. Don’t like the idea to match the tower. But watching the tower crane was good.

  • I thought that the parking garage was supposed to include some, though VERY limited, commercial space. I walk by this project daily and can’t seem to make out where it would be located. It definitely is a VERY ugly garage (though I do like the canyon effect that Illinois Street is starting to develop north of Ohio St.).

    • I believe that it’s supposed to be about 1000 sq feet of retail near the corner of Vermont and Illinois. But it’s also supposed to be flexible enough to include 6000 sq feet eventually. As the Chase Tower garage proves, though, I doubt if they will ever be anything but art display windows.

      • This is true except that it’s the corner of Illinois and New York that will include a small retail space. The Illinois frontage north to the mid-block entrance of the garage is supposed to be constructed with the infrastructure necessary to convert to retail should the market change to support it. This is very unlikely in the short term and is the type of detail easily forgotten in the long term.

  • According to IBJ, they shortened the Canal Tower by 16 floors :O Thats just awful.

  • Could someone please get a picture of the new apartments going up on the canal!I am dying to see the beginning phases.

  • I think the new parking garage in the 300 block of north Illinois street is pretty nice looking. Granted, it is longer & more narrow than any other parking garage I know of. It’s better looking than the one across Illinois street. I especially like the tinted glass windows where the stairways aree on the corners, & the new sidewalks.

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