Wednesday, February 3, 2010

This N' That

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. While there has been noticable progress in the last few months on projects already underway, we're seeing the effects of the economic downturn in that the pipeline for downtown Indianapolis projects is essentially empty. Government-backed and institutional construction continue while private development is nearly non-existent downtown.

Marriott Place
-- The Fairfield Inn (occupying the completely renovated 8-story building that formerly housed a Courtyard by Marriott) officially opened its doors today. The Courtyard by Marriott and SpringHill Suites, housed in a separate 14-story tower, are slated to open later this month. The 1005 room, 34-story JW Marriott hotel tower is topped out and the curtain wall is very nearly complete (as always, you can watch the construction progress on the project webcam). Keep in mind that a year's worth of internal work remains to be completed before the cornerstone of this project opens in 2011.

IUPUI -- While the previous two-to-three years featured a significant round of construction projects at IUPUI -- including IU/Clarian Fairbanks Hall, Walther Hall (aka Research III), the Simon Cancer Center, and the Riley Hospital Tower expansion -- those projects were largely wrapped up (or delayed in the case of Riley Hospital) by the beginning of 2009. This left IUPUI in a rare period of zero construction for the better part of the year. IUPUI kicks off 2010 with a brand new round of projects, with the Glick Eye Institute and new Wishard Hospital under construction on the west end of campus and the California St. Parking Garage under construction on the east end of campus. After 11 months of delay, Clarian recently announced that they will resume construction on the Riley Hospital Tower expansion.

A rendering of the Glick Eye Institute.

A rendering of the California St. Parking Garage.

Cultural Trail -- North Corridor construction progressed through the end of the year, though cold weather has brought work to a halt and left the project in an odd state. The segment from Blackford and Indiana over to St. Clair and DMLK Jr. is largely complete though it remains blockaded due to the fact that utility poles on St. Clair are still located directly in the path of the trail. It's unclear why these poles were not relocated prior to construction. The segment from St. Clair and DMLK Jr. east to the junction with the Central Canal is likewise largely complete, though St. Clair as well as the Walnut St. pedestrian bridge remain closed across the canal. This dual bridge closure provides no pedestrian crossing of the canal from Michigan St. north to 10th St., a span of 0.5 miles. I attempted to contact the Cultural Trail about a construction update but have not received a response (which is also odd, as they are normally quick to respond and eager to provide information).

Sarojo Commons -- This project was very recently approved by the Metropolitan Development Commission and represents a rare start in this sour economy. A relatively modest 5-story, 30 unit building at the southeast corner of St. Clair and Capitol, Sarojo Commons is geared toward student renters. The fact that student rentals are relatively recession-proof, coupled with consistently high demand for downtown apartments from IUPUI students likely made this a safe bet for the bank issuing the project loan. Initial project renderings appear to show a small amount of retail space at the corner of Capitol and St. Clair. Site clearing and preparation have been observed in the last couple of days.

A rendering of Sarojo Commons, submitted to the Metropolitan Development Commission.

As time and weather permit, I hope to get out and about and capture some photos of construction projects in the near future.


ahow628 said...

The parking garage reminds me of the building at the northwest corner of Yale and John in Seattle.

Yale and John in Seattle.

CorrND said...

I'd be pretty ecstatic if the garage ends up looking even remotely as good as that building in Seattle. Then again, the garage is sited so that a building can be built on the corner of Blackford and Michigan that will obscure the garage from view, so maybe it doesn't matter what the garage looks like.

cdc guy said...

Let's face it: it's pretty hard to make any parking garage look nice without spending a lot of money. And typically there isn't money in budgets for making parking look nice.

Curt said...

Hey nice to see you posting again. I agree about the garage. But as I said, I couldnt get anyone to own up to what would go in the possible future building spot. It is however, dense and a lot of the garage will still be visible so its not a total loss. Better that it at least looks good.

JG said...

Is IUPUI adopting a new architectural character? I'm not an architect, but see a lot of similarity in much of the new construction.