I’m a huge fan of the new building to house a Chipotle on Washington Street downtown. So much so that I’ve taken photos of it in various stages of completion. Here it was last September:
Here it is as of Friday, March 28th:
A major advantage that this site has over the larger projects around town is its location in between two long-standing buildings. The architects of Chipotle building didn’t have to worry about the appearance 2 of the 4 facades. This shows the importance of preserving old buildings around town that make use of the entire parcel.
Another unique aspect of this particular lot was that it was never used as a public parking lot, which can be seen in this post from last year. There were cars parked there occasionally, but for the most part it was land-banked until a new building could be constructed. Once a public parking lot appears downtown, removing it for a structure tends to bring a bit more resistance from store and building owners. There are a lot of these parking lot slivers on South Meridian Street that are still awaiting to be developed, as was planned before the economic collapse of 2008. This building could serve as a positive example of what can could be done on those lots.
Finally, this new building has no on-site parking, meaning that a larger percentage can be human-oriented. This helps this project appear urban in orientation, and shows that a modern structure in between 2 historic ones do not have to be bizarre or jarring. In fact, I can’t think of any other new parcel-sized buildings that contain no parking, even downtown. Please let me know of other exceptions.
I’d love to see more of these infill buildings in the future as our city continues to evolve. It may too much to ask for our mega-projects to have the same style as this one, but at least there are still plenty of places around where this example can be used as a new standard for development in Indy.