Saturday, August 29, 2009

Development: B.H. Gardner Co. "Available"

Sometime earlier this week, a sign was erected advertising "Available" in front of the B.H. Gardner Co. warehouse.

B.H. Gardner is a bakery supply distributor that has been in business in Indianapolis since 1924. Based on the above photo, this could be almost any warehouse in the city. What makes this particular one special is its location on the Central Canal in downtown, one of several generally nondescript warehouse structures lining the East bank of the Canal between St. Clair and 10th Sts.:

A guess for the whole site based on apparent property lines is outlined in green at the lower-right.

This site is just one piece of the largest strip of Canal frontage left to be developed:

Looking North from the St. Clair St. bridge over the Canal. The B.H. Gardner
warehouse is the first building on the right and ends roughly at that cluster of pine trees.

Looking East from the same location, St. Clair St. at right.

Is this building and site "Available" for sale or lease? It's a key difference but, as of the time of this writing, this property is not yet listed on Hokanson Co.'s website to provide us the answer. Hopefully it's for sale and this property can be used to continue the budding of retail on the canal. You may find this surprising, but the length of canal frontage for this site is almost exactly the same as the Cosmopolitan site (about 250 ft.).

Also see an excellent analysis of the history of canal development over on the relatively new blog American Dirt.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Photos: Indianapolis Cultural Trail, Photo 20

Looking West from the intersection of Walnut and Capitol (Zesco Restaurant Supply at left). The road bed here will be a shared vehicle and Cultural Trail space. An attempt will be made to discourage unnecessary vehicle traffic, but the businesses around this area require Walnut for truck access.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Photos: Indianapolis Cultural Trail, Photo 19

The median that will house the Glick Peace Walk, looking West on Walnut.

Stepping back and looking at the median from the intersection of Walnut and Capitol.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Skyscraper City Meetup and Tour, Summer 2009

Many of my readers are no doubt familiar with Skyscraper City, a collection of forums dedicated to the discussion of all things urban. There is a particularly active forum for Indianapolis and I've organized a meetup and tour for this Saturday. Anybody that regularly checks this blog but doesn't participate over on Skyscraper City is more than welcome to join us as well. We aren't scary and you don't have to be an expert. Just bring an interest in Indianapolis development and a desire to learn more. And, of course, your walkin' shoes.

If you're interested in joining us, here's the meetup info and a map of the tour route (please bring $1.75 exact change as we'll be using the IndyGo Red Line to move from the east side of downtown to the IUPUI campus).

Skyscraper City Indy Meetup and Tour

  • Saturday, August 22 at 9am
  • Meet at the outdoor tables at the downtown Dunkin' Donuts (NW corner of Washington and Pennsylvania)
  • Look for me, the guy wearing a kelly green t-shirt with the Hoosier Beer Geek logo on it

View SCS Meetup & Tour, Summer 2009 in a larger map

Photo: JW Marriott at Night


Matt Heidelberger is right -- night shots are hard (this link goes to an interview with Matt that is worth checking out). I tried capturing some shots of the JW Marriott at dusk and ended up with this one shot that seems worthy of posting. Note the reflection of the Capitol in the upper-left corner.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Photos: Cosmopolitan on the Canal Rebuilding

I also posted this set of photos back in April, immediately after the site had been cleared of the arson remnants. This time I added a fourth photo to the set, showing the beginning of the rebuilding process. Looks like a reset to last October, which confirms reports that the fire "set the $37 million project back about 10 months."

October 7, 2008

March 12, 2009

April 11, 2009

August 18, 2009

Also note how much more secure the left edge of the canal-front safety wall is than it was before the fire. I recall that you could essentially walk up, pull on the chain-link fencing and waltz right into the site if you were so inclined. Not any more. Flaherty & Collins isn't taking any chances with security this time around.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Photos: Indianapolis Cultural Trail Photo 18

Up to this point, the design of the Cultural Trail has been nearly flawless. However, some very bad decisions were made regarding the Walnut St. sidewalks outside of the Glick Peace Walk. Consider this sidewalk on the north side of Walnut between Illinois and Capitol:

I put my arm down on the sidewalk to get a rough measurement: wall to curb = fingertip to shoulder = about 28". Why even bother with a sidewalk that narrow? Apparently the designers decided they wouldn't and completely eliminated the sidewalk on this section between Meridian and Illinois:

What do you think about these decisions?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Development: Observations Around Town

I attended a wedding last weekend and left my camera in a friend's car. Unfortunately, that car went to South Carolina before I realized the camera was missing. For now, here are some things I've observed around town.

Cosmopolitan on the Canal: After the March fire wiped out a significant portion of the complex, workers spent several months salvaging and rebuilding the spared main building at Senate and Michigan. Now, they appear to have started the process of rebuilding the rest of the complex. Some new wood framing is present along Michigan and one of the two metal frames for the canal-front sections have reappeared (EDIT 8/15: just walked by and both frames are now up). Their website says "COMING FALL 2009 - NOW LEASING" so they must be fairly close to finishing the rebuild on the main building. Maybe the retail sections will open this fall as well? (EDIT 8/16: the Indy Star reports that they won't reopen any of the complex until early 2010. Maybe Flaherty & Collins should update their webpage?)

Indiana Convention Center Expansion: This project is moving along fast. It's obviously very visible as you drive south on Capitol but you can see a significant portion of the expansion rising above the train tracks while driving north on Missouri as well. It's BIG. The "diving board" for the new main entrance at Georgia and Capitol has been installed.

Indianapolis Cultural Trail: It seems like you can't go anywhere immediately north of downtown without seeing some aspect of the construction. Almost the entire North and Northeast Corridors of the trail are simultaneously under construction, a total of approximately 2 miles (for comparison, the completed section on Alabama is 0.5 miles).

Zing: We're just a couple weeks from the one year anniversary of their opening. Why do I note this? Because the owners indicated that they needed to wait one year for the galvanized steel of their wrap-around deck to cure before painting it. Here's how they envisioned the final product:

Elements: When they closed in April, owner Dennis Dunn indicated they would remain available for special events while attempting to secure funding to reopen. He was most likely blowing sunshine, but if not, that possibility is officially dead given that there is now a For Lease sign in the window. With a prime location on the Cultural Trail, next to a pocket park and very near Mass Ave, I can't imagine this space will stay empty for very long.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Photos: Indianapolis Cultural Trail, Photo 17

Looking west from St. Clair and Fayette Sts. (more utility relocations).