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PODCAST: What are we going to do about all these dead malls?

PODCAST: What are we going to do about all these dead malls?
This latest post–a podcast actually–is already over a week old, which would make it pretty stale by blogosphere terms, except that it’s particularly relevant for Urban Indy, in the wake of all the closures at the Circle Centre Mall (the most recent of which seems to be Abercrombie and Fitch, though I wouldn’t hold my breath for yet another closure before February). At any rate, this latest podcast has Aaron Renn of The Urbanophile interviewing me about my experience with this formerly ironclad retail typology.  No new malls have been built in a decade, and virtually all...
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Unfinished History: The 1988 Canal Extension

Unfinished History: The 1988 Canal Extension
This is the first post in what I hope will become a somewhat regular feature on Urban Indy. A few months ago, my coworker found this sketch of a proposed downtown canal extension, along with a Convention Center. In addition, there would be brick pavers all the way to the State Capital building from Monument Circle, and on through to the west. I’m unsure how far in the planning process this was. Google comes up empty on this one. Incidentally, I’ve heard that there used to be a requirement for all downtown proposals to submit 3-dimensional views similar to this one. It would be nice to...
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9 on Canal Phase II Renderings

9 on Canal Phase II Renderings
The second phase for the 9 on Canal project has been released to the Regional Center Hearing Examiner, and are shown below.  These are designed to be geared towards college students at IUPUI, and it does add another retail presence on the canal. This has been a tricky proposition in the past, and the canal is getting close to a full build-out. In addition to the proposed canal playscape, it does appear that at least the newer additions to the canal may help it start to be more than a mere office park amenity. The first image shows that the building is currently industrial, so adding more housing to...
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TWG Proposes Apartments for Former Gleaners’ Food Bank Site

TWG Proposes Apartments for Former Gleaners’ Food Bank Site
Good news for the East 16th Street Corridor, as a multi-use project has been proposed to the Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development  (page 56). The site plan calls for saving the southern portion with the cool brick Art Moderne look, and demolishing the rest of the less-historic structure. This ultimately means the removal of the Gleaners mural. But overall, this appears to be another win for the 16th Street corridor. ...
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West Clay: A Lesson Learned?

West Clay: A Lesson Learned?
Recently, the Indianapolis Business Journal’s Hamilton County Blog has posted about troubles for the Village of West Clay’s retail area. I’ve always been fascinated by this development, as it was the first greenfield development in Central Indiana that attempted to form a traditional town center under the guise of New Urbanism. Here’s the layout as seen on Google Maps: A google Street View capture of the development’s downtown area shows what has been derided by critics as a “fake town.” This is basically a case of getting some basics right (tree, sidewalk,...
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A Car-Free Guide to Indianapolis, New Years Eve addition

A Car-Free Guide to Indianapolis, New Years Eve addition
I last posted this article in 2012 for the Super Bowl. I was amazed at how much has changed since then. Most of the text will be the same, but I’ll update links and add new options as needed. I’ve also deleted out much of the information that applied to visitors, this edition of the guide is mainly intended for residents. Please mention any information that is incorrect, or other tips that you may have. Where to Stay A google or kayak search can find a boatload of chain hotels near the Convention Center, but the city features other locally-owned options.  This might be too-little,...
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City Market (Again): Maximizing the Tenant Potential.

City Market (Again): Maximizing the Tenant Potential.
I first featured the plight of the City Market on my personal blog, American Dirt, back in 2009, when it was in dire straits, just as it had been for many years. Decades, even. It was a pretty grim place: most of the perimeter simply offered unnecessary seating, the central vendor stalls were only-half full, and the ambiance of the market was cavernous and sterile, even during the peak lunch hour. I specifically interviewed local businesses for their opinions on City Market—successful operations like Moody’s Meats and Goose the Market—but neither one had much positive to say: the former business...
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360 Market and Cummins in Progress

360 Market and Cummins in Progress
Ok, I admit that I’m now a daily auto commuter. This has been true for a while. But this does give me the opportunity to see the progress of the 360 Market and Cummins buildings on an almost daily basis. Here are some gloomy photos of them as of this morning:   I then walk down the temporarily covered Market Street corridor to my office. Most construction projects in Indy force pedestrians to use the other side of the street, but this route was used so often that a request was made to keep it open. I wish it were more common to see barrier-protected temporary sidewalks in construction...
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Penn Street’s Protected Bike Lane

Penn Street’s Protected Bike Lane
Much has been made in the media recently about the new configuration of Pennsylvania Street between St. Clair and Washington. Some of it has been informative, and some hasn’t.  It’s a good idea at this time to take a step back and reflect on the main goal of the initiative: To increase safety for bicyclists. Partially because of the backlash, I decided to wait until they were closer to being finished to write a post on these lanes. There still may be a little bit of work left to do, but they are close enough now that the improvement is getting more obvious: Here are some pdfs that help...
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Guest Post: Indy’s Most Needed Pedestrian Walkways by Dr. Jill Saligoe-Simmel

Guest Post: Indy’s Most Needed Pedestrian Walkways by Dr. Jill Saligoe-Simmel
Walkable cities contribute to people’s overall health, safety, and quality of life. This study prioritizes missing pedestrian walkways to help identify where investment should be focused in Indianapolis. Although it has some very walkable areas of town, overall Indy ranks low in nationwide surveys of walkability (Walkscore.com). Recent efforts are underway in Indianapolis to enhance walkability, as demonstrated by its recently adopted Complete Streets Ordinance and the Health By Design et.al. Indy WalkWays initiative. A large land area and limited budget require the City find tools and...
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