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City Way Update

Less than one year ago, I posted an article featuring some photos of City Way, a large new development that basically creates a neighborhood from a former parking lot.  The project is nearing completion, and I happened to have a bit of time last week to walk around the facility for the first time since that post.   First off, a look at some of the recently completed work.  The first 2 pictures are of buildings that face Alabama Street:

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This project has also improved upon the north entrance for Eli Lilly, as well as the intersections along South Street:

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The centerpiece of the project is the Alexander Hotel, named in honor of Alexander Ralston. The corner of South and Delaware features both a fine dining restaurant Cerulean and a bar. The interior spaces are quite attractive, although I didn’t attempt to photograph them with my phone:
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I like the bicycle racks and lighting, shown here are 2 examples in the northern section of City Way.
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City Way has received some good publicity from urban planners for its site plan, which hides the garages in the middle of the project.

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And it’s a very good thing that they did, because these garages are behemoths:

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Much has been made of the commissioned graffiti artwork of the interior of these garages, which has even made The Huffington Post.  While I find that intriguing, I was taken aback by the sheer size and 1970’s style of them.  I suppose that no matter how nicely designed the project is, a project in Indianapolis will still need to be able to park a ton of cars, even in the middle of downtown.  This is yet another reason to support Indy Connect, which happens to be in hearing at the Indiana Senate at 1:30 today.

Overall, I enjoy this project quite a bit, as it brings new life to a part of downtown that has been mostly empty for years.  The design is solid, and when lit up at night, this new neighborhood feels like an urban experience.  I look forward to what may be yet to come along South Street.

15 Responses to “ “City Way Update”

  1. Joe Smoker says:

    Just to be clear up front…..I love the general layout of this project. I think the massing and street presence are great. The architecture is ok, a bit corporate, but with a branded name like CityWay, who is surporised with that?

    I do wonder what it would be like to live internal to the project and have a view of the garage and railroad tracks, but that is common to a number of urban buildings and most people who live here accept that.

    I do notice that on the site plan/graphic, it shows trees in the median along South St, in reality, DPW put in massive stamped concrete brick medians. I think that is an unfortunate miss in this situation.

    Great project though and I can’t wait for the Y and other pieces to get moving, hopefully next year.

    • Interesting observation about the median. I had missed that.

      • Kevin Osburn says:

        Above grade planters in median due to shallow steam lines directly below.

        • Joe Smoker says:

          That works for me if it holds true. It definitely needs something to break it up!

        • Idyllic Indy says:

          That certainly could be true here. Nonetheless, I stand by my comment about DPW’s opposition to all trees in the right-of-way. I wouldn’t have been surprised if a developer with Buckingham’s connections could override DPW. But overall, for the rest of the City, it’s an issue that needs to be addressed.

    • Idyllic Indy says:

      No surprise on the lack of trees in the median. DPW hates trees, in, along, or anywhere near streets.

  2. Eric says:

    This is a superblock development that’s urban on the surface. You have a few large buildings that form somewhat of a streetwall and poorly placed public spaces. If you had a grid with alleys or made a true square bounded by small streets instead of a plaza for one building, then you’d have the potential to create a new neighborhood.

    • Chris Barnett says:

      Look again. There is a grid of alleys and pedestrian allees serve as rear delivery and walk entrances.

      There’s a properly-aligned “ghosted Louisiana Street” walkway across the development. There are two intersecting interior vehicular alleys “behind” the Alexander, an east-west one that connects Delaware and Alabama and one that tees north from it past the Louisiana Street ghost to the parking garage by the RR.

  3. Anthony jackson says:

    Great project/development, I just wish the 3 story office building would had 5 to 7 stories instead and possibly a target or myer store in the mix anyhow/hoo its a great development. tony j. indpls.

  4. So, based on the site plan, the Virginia Avenue segment (with the Cultural Trail) is still going to run along an enormous parking lot? Or is that parking lot supposed to be filled in a later phase of the development?

    • Chris Barnett says:

      Plans I recall had the parking lot along Virginia as a possible future phase. Not sure of ownership there; Lilly used to own the part of the CityWay site south of Louisiana (former gravel lot).

  5. Micah says:

    Anthony J: Let’s face it, the best and only location for the Urban Target is the old MSA site. Once it’s developed with (and supported by) a mix of residential towers and commercial spaces. that’s probably going to be the most important development for downtown Indy in 50 years. Mainly because of it’s ideal location.

  6. T says:

    can we get an update on this project, the phase 2, I’d really like to know if they are going to demolish that little warehouse building that is the last vestige of what was once there. There are old photos of it, it was next to a watering hole that kids would swim in, it had slides and diving boards, very cool.

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