Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Development: More SODO Renderings

The website for the ambitious $480M Legends District-SODO project on the southside of downtown Indy was recently updated. It features a promotional video containing several fly-through clips with various parties talking about the proposal. There's also an information packet in pdf format with some diagrams and a siteplan. For convenience, I've pulled the visuals out of the information packet so you can take a look (the full document can be viewed here). As always, click on any of the pictures for a larger version.

Couple quick observations, mostly based on the siteplan:
  • The project will be built in multiple phases, presumably based on demand.
  • They're proposing 200 condos. Seems a bit ambitious, particularly when you look closely at the numbers and see that they're planning 1600 sq.ft. and 2800 sq.ft floor plans. Those are big condos. A majority of the condos are in the second phase, with 70 in the first phase.
  • Where's the little guy in this plan? Why not take half the condo units, split each of them in half and market them as apartments? With so many different buildings with condo elements -- I count six buildings with condos -- it would be quite easy to maintain them as separate entities.
  • Parking is very well hidden, with all of it either underground or backed up to the train tracks. And there certainly is a lot of it, with 1500 planned for phase 1 and 700 in the second phase.
  • Copious ground floor-retail. Even the theater building has a retail element. Three of the retail units are labeled "x2", presumably double-floor units for the proposed big-box stores.
  • On the southern end of the siteplan, it shows Merrill St. with an arrow "TO LILLY" pointing East. I haven't been by there in a while, but isn't Merrill St. fenced-off under the railroad tracks? Interesting, if they're proposing to reopen that.


Jason said...

I believe pedestrians can still go through.

Weren't they going to include Big Box retailers in this development? The break up of retail doesn't seem to support it.

CorrND said...

Yes, the original announcement mentioned they were interested in Dick's, Best Buy and Target. There appear to be three 2-story retail components that I'd guess are earmarked for the big box stores. Multiplying their square footages, the total floor space for each looks like this:

24,000 sq.ft.
33,600 sq.ft.
40,000 sq.ft.

I just did a quick search to see just how big the big boxes are (I couldn't have even guessed), and here's what I came up with for Best Buy (from an investment information site):

How big are Best Buy stores?

We are currently building Best Buy stores in the United States in three sizes -- 45,000 square feet, 30,000 square feet, and 20,000 square feet - depending on the size of the market. However, in the past we have built stores as big as 58,000 square feet. In Canada, Future Shop stores average 27,000 square feet`and Canadian Best Buy stores are 30,000 or 36,000 square feet.

Looks like they're prepared to support the small and medium sized Best Buy stores, which I think makes sense in an urban environment. I'd guess the largest space would be reserved for Target.

Jim said...

Two thoughts-

- I like the idea, but do we really need more condos downtown, especially with the housing market going downhill?

- I find the design to be pretty blah. I was hoping for something a little more architecturally daring, but then again, I'm always hoping for that in this city.

Anonymous said...

I actually don't think this is supposed to be architectural renderings. These look more like renderings to give a sense of mass and the flow of the plan, as well as a general idea of height. I would assume that renderings of the individual structures will show the architectural details.

CorrND said...

Absolutely. I don't think anyone would assume the buildings would be purple and yellow, but I probably shouldn't have used the word rendering.

In my opinion, the siteplan is the only truly interesting item. I put the others up to help give a better feel for people that have never seen anything about this project.