I’m a huge fan of the new building to house a Chipotle on Washington Street downtown. So much so that I’ve taken photos of it in various stages of completion. Â Here it was last September:
Here it is as of Friday, March 28th:
A major advantage that this site has over the larger projects around town is its location in between two long-standing buildings. The architects of Chipotle building didn’t have to worry about the appearance 2 of the 4 facades. Â This shows the importance of preserving old buildings around town that make use of the entire parcel. Â
Another unique aspect of this particular lot was that it was never used as a public parking lot, which can be seen in this post from last year. Â There were cars parked there occasionally, but for the most part it was land-banked until a new building could be constructed. Â Once a public parking lot appears downtown, removing it for a structure tends to bring a bit more resistance from store and building owners. Â There are a lot of these parking lot slivers on South Meridian Street that are still awaiting to be developed, as was planned before the economic collapse of 2008. Â This building could serve as a positive example of what can could be done on those lots.
Finally, this new building has no on-site parking, meaning that a larger percentage can be human-oriented. Â This helps this project appear urban in orientation, and shows that a modern structure in between 2 historic ones do not have to be bizarre or jarring.Â Â In fact, I can’t think of any other new parcel-sized buildings that contain no parking, even downtown. Â Please let me know of other exceptions. Â
I’d love to see more of these infill buildings in the future as our city continues to evolve. Â It may too much to ask for our mega-projects to have the same style as this one, but at least there are still plenty of places around where this example can be used as a new standard for development in Indy.