Another hotel tower proposed

July 24, 2007
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West Merrill TowerA development team including locally based Prince/Alexander Architects has filed plans to build a 24-story tower between Eli Lilly & Co.'s Faris Campus and Lucas Oil Stadium. The $47-million project calls for 200 full-service hotel rooms and 48 luxury condos. West Merrill Tower is one of several proposals that would add hotel rooms downtown. For more information, check out the full story here. Do you like the look? Do you think they can pull it off?
  • Good height, good location for a new tower (i.e. it will stand out).

    Bad design (what the hell is going on with the base?), too many hotel rooms already flooding the market.

    I doubt they pull it off.
  • the height, the area. but the design - should i even be surprised? i've said it before (and unfortunately will surely be saying it again) that i honestly could draw up a more engaging design. it looks like a suburban office park star at best; a late-eighties middle-market casino accomodation at worst. exciting to see that area gaining momentum, but not with this kind of architecture. who are all these average archies pushing the pencils on the draft boards in this city!?? i guess it has a curved top and not the typical harsh angles as of late (read: simon headquarters; state library addition; several branch libraries; etc.). hey - what's up with a fuzzy proposal for the land including shapiro's et al - a homebuilder (typically in suburban areas) was going to take a big leap into the d'town market? hopefully they won't be bulldozing nice historic buildings like the fletcher bank branch and other rows of buildings?? sorry for the babble....
  • Ya know the design wouldnt be sooo horrid if they just put those panes of glass on the base of the building too... Just a thought?
  • Personally, I like the design, especially the height. What I like most about the proposal is the area that it is in. Its about time that we started to see more development, especially of the high-rise type, outside the typical core of the downtown business district. I would love to see more vertical, en-masse development for all parts of downtown.
  • The Indy Star, for maybe the first time in its history, actually published this story before I heard about it here--with a much better design. Cory, do we have an updated version? It looked like it might have outdoor balconies all the way around on a redesign.
  • J, I'm hoping to get a new version of the rendering this week. If I get one, I'll post it. To your other point, this was a story we chose to break in print, and the paper landed in newsstands Friday afternoon.
  • What's to like? It's Frankenstein. Looks like they took the 3 ugliest building ever designed and glued them together.

    All the renderings have been horrid, including the Star's.

    I hope this version never sees the light of day. This city is becoming architecturally embarrassing to live in.

    Design leadership? Anyone?
  • Do i like the look? No, but it's what i've come to expect from proposals in Indy.

    Do i think they can pull it off? With the number of hotel proposals being pitched to the City, i think this project will have a difficult time getting off the ground.
  • I personally don't think it's all that bad. Not architecturally great, but not the worst that I have seen either. I think it will compliment the new stadium alright and I like how someone is now looking to build verticle outside the core of downtown. The southside of downtown should be interesting here in another 5-10 years as developers consider more high density, verticle projects. This hotel looks better than the standard design of hotels we currently have near the convention center. You know.., that totally suburban type.
  • It's not a horrible design... too much glass though... I like the height...
  • Not architecturally great, but not the worst that I have seen either

    ...Its so sad that this is the state of architecture in Indianapolis.
  • I think this building is WAY better than some of the buildings that have been proposed and built downtown as of late (e.g. the JW Marriott, the Simon building, the Library expansion). At least it takes into account some of the surrounding architecture, such as the new stadium. Besides, since they're only looking for a tax abatement and not a massive sum of money from the city (as with the JW Marriott or the stadium), I think they can build whatever they want. However, I do agree that they may be going WAY overboard with new hotel rooms downtown, but we definitely don't need offices! (I'm also not implying I'm keen on tax abatements, but that's for another thread...)
  • Here is a link to another rendering on the proposal from the Architect's (Prince-Alexander) website. If you take a moment to look at some of the other projects that this firm has done, you can understand why the design of this hotel near the stadium is, in my opinion, less that inspired.

    Also, I really question where financing for this project will be attained with 3 other hotel complexes already in the works.
  • I agree with J, that the Inpls. Star's rendering of the plans for this multiuse tower were much better in design. The design in the paper on Saturday, with balconies, an interesting portico, and the green roof activity going on at different levels of the tower. By all means the paper's redering was much nicer looking. This would also be a big plus for the DT southside.
  • I think it will eventually get built, just not as soon as the developers are expecting.

    I can't really comment on the design until they have better renderings. What's with all these projects lately coming out with terrible low quality renderings?
  • I've posted the other rendering here.
  • I have seen better, but I have also seen worse (JW Marriott for example). I too an thrilled that development seems to be creeping south and I fully expect more development in the area, just not real tall. However, I have to think that all of these hotel proposals are competing for the same few people and that half of them will not get built. This one may because of the Lilly factor, but the City seems hell-bent on suburbanizing everything south of South Street.
  • I think some of what drives tower design in Indy is the relatively high water table in Center Township. We can't go down more than one or two levels with parking (at least not without getting into expensive drainage and pumping), so we have to go up.

    BUT, this thing needs something to disguise the parking ramps better. Why can't tenant space wrap around a garage on two or three sides? The street level looks as if it will be about as active and welcoming as the Conseco Fieldhouse parking garage that sits over Virginia Ave.--ick.

    Maybe these guys need to call the architects who did Flaherty and Collins' Cosmopolitan on the Canal to figure out how to put street-level life into their development.
  • Will never see the light of day. Just as in the 80s, lots of towers were planned that never materialized. Lots of towers currently being proposed again, but few will happen. Would love to see a better Indy skyline, but odds are against it...
  • The height is boring. The Bank One building is much taller, and even it is boring. Indy is a boring, small town that will never have tall buildings and interesting architecture. It's a boring town --- always has been, is, and it will always be.

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  1. why oh why does this state continue to elect these you wonder how much was graft out of the 3.8 billion?

  2. i too think this is a great idea. I think the vision and need is there as well. But also agree with Wendy that there may be better location in our city to fulfill this vision and help grow the sports of hockey and figure skating in Indy. Also to help further develop other parts of the city that seem often forgotten. Any of the other 6 townships out side of the three northernmost could benefit greatly from a facility and a vision like this. For a vision that sounds philanthropic, the location is appears more about the money. Would really like to see it elsewhere, but still wish the development the best of luck, as we can always use more ice in the city. As for the Ice growth when they return, if schedules can be coordinated with the Fuel, what could be better than to have high level hockey available to go see every weekend of the season? Good luck with the development and the return of the Ice.

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