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Sears at Castleton Closes: How to Rethink the Space Amidst the Retail Apocalypse

Sears at Castleton Closes: How to Rethink the Space Amidst the Retail Apocalypse
We knew it was going to happen eventually.   Sears Holdings Company recently announced the latest wave of closures for its two flagship department stores—Sears and Kmart—and they did not spare metro Indy from the chopping block. This time around, the Sears is closing at Castleton Square Mall, the largest and, in most regards, the best-known mall in the region. Once Sears is gone, the chain will only have one location left in the entire metro of two million: down on the south side, at Greenwood Park Mall.   We could assert that Sears’ departure is a huge blow to Castleton, but the...
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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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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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When the Best Preservation Efforts Go Up in Smoke

When the Best Preservation Efforts Go Up in Smoke
One of our Urban Indy bloggers recently pointed out this lovingly restored double with Victorian touches, easily visible on Google Streetview as recently as the last camera run-through, waaaaay back in the summer of 2009. Even from the Google photo, it’s obvious that the restoration just took place; the paint is flawless, landscaping efforts haven’t yet begun, and a “for sale” sign stands in the tiny front garden. This address—105 and 111 9th Street—should be a solid investment: just a stone’s throw from the Indianapolis Public Library, only a twenty minute walk to the heart of downtown,...
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