IBJ reported this morning that Flaherty & Collins broke ground today on their new $30M residential project at Lugar Tower along Ft. Wayne Ave. This project involves a renovation of the existing tower building and new construction around the base of the tower. The new construction phase will take underutilized green space and an existing ~50 space parking lot along Ft. Wayne Ave. and build 74 apartments units with 110 total parking spaces. The parking is a mixture of types, with 20 parallel parking spaces along a new entrance road, 34 tuck under spaces (ground floor garages accessed from the interior of the site) and 56 spaces in interior surface lots around the site.
The Regional Center Hearing Examiner (RCHE) — a regulatory body charged with ensuring that projects built within the Regional Center adhere to the Regional Center Design Guidelines — approved the project on May 26th. This project was to be given the final green light by the Metropolitan Development Commission on June 15th, though it doesn’t appear on the hearing docket. It’s unclear where that stands. The next MDC hearing is July 6th and it’s likely to be heard then. EDIT 7/1: the case is on the recently released July 6th docket.
Flaherty & Collins is no stranger to proper urban design, so RCHE approval was almost a foregone conclusion. The one area that is disappointing is the treatment of the ground level along Ft. Wayne. Retail buildings periodically dot the street front along most of Ft. Wayne’s short four-block run and it would seem fitting for commercial space to have been included in their plan. Unfortunately, Flaherty & Collins has included no leasable space in the ground floor. The Regional Center Design Guidelines recommend “highly active grade level uses” but the RCHE stated that this was “Satisfied with amenity space, leasing office and club house.” Though that particular aspect is not very satisfying, overall this is a well-designed urban infill project.
What do you think of this new project?