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New Downtown Plazas in Need of Connection

New Downtown Plazas in Need of Connection
I’m a big fan of the new Transit Center downtown. It’s attractive and functional. And the connected public plaza is relatively attractive. Now, the city has finalized the second round of plans for another public plaza, across the street at the City County Building. The first time around, the winning proposal was going to bust the budget, so this one is more subdued: In essence, this means that a plaza will be across the street from another plaza. This could have some decent potential, with one major exception: The aforementioned street. Washington Street is a 4 lane wide, one way street,...
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The Chatham Arch Question, Part II: What Are the Consequences of Low Density Just a Mile from the Heart of Downtown?

The Chatham Arch Question, Part II: What Are the Consequences of Low Density Just a Mile from the Heart of Downtown?
In the first half of this two-part series I looked at the prevailing mentality articulated by some of the most influential members of the Chatham Arch neighborhood, evidenced by the Chatham Arch Neighborhood Association (CANA) and its near-unanimous opposition to the redevelopment of a long-vacant charter school site at 9th and East Streets, into a mix of townhomes, single-family, and apartments with retail. Essentially, CANA argued that this proposal’s density was out of synch with the character of the nationally-registered Chatham Arch historic neighborhood, which largely consists of modest...
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New Proposal for Long-Delayed Hotel near Banker’s Life Fieldhouse

New Proposal for Long-Delayed Hotel near Banker’s Life Fieldhouse
There’s been a hotel proposed for this property for at least a decade. Seriously. It popped back up again 2 years ago. Still, nothing has been built on this valuable surface lot at the corner of Georgia and Pennsylvania Streets. However, it’s a significant enough of a proposal that the latest iteration deserved a post all its own. The Indy Historic Preservation Committee has posted the renderings and site plan, which can be seen below: I’m happy that most of the garage will not front the main streets, and that it will at least include street-level retail. Kinda sad that they...
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The Chatham Arch Question, Part I: Why, in Older, Formerly Crowded Districts, Is Density Still a Dirty Word?

The Chatham Arch Question, Part I: Why, in Older, Formerly Crowded Districts, Is Density Still a Dirty Word?
It almost goes without saying: in some Indy neighborhoods, when a developer proposes a new project, a certain contingent immediately assembles to oppose it. We probably all know which neighborhoods these are. While an article that calls these opponents to the carpet will seem unfair (and, at least on an urban advocacy blog like this, all too commonplace), I hope I can at least offer a little bit of nuance and balance to the investigation, while still making the fundamental claim that the proposal in question is a good one—which, in turn, means that opposing it is, in my opinion, not a very good idea...
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The Marietta Progresses and Raises New Questions About Mass Ave Infill.

The Marietta Progresses and Raises New Questions About Mass Ave Infill.
A few years ago, I reported on what might at the time have seen like a pretty run-of-the-mill transaction: the Marott Center downtown getting sold by its law-firm owners to a company known as Gershman Partners. It was a long-established, smartly preserved building along Massachusetts Avenue that survived from its heyday. And at the end of 2013, it changed hands.   No big deal, right? The crux of the matter is that a the law partners who had refurbished and then owned Marott Center for years turned the property over to real estate interests. At that point in time, Marott was just an office building...
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