The owner of a historic downtown building purchased in the midst of the recession will fill two thirds of its space with a high-profile tenant—The Hoosier Lottery, which is moving from the Pan American Plaza building it has occupied since the lottery was created in 1988.
The lottery signed a lease Sept. 14 and will move in January to the Buick, a 60,000-square-foot building at 13th and Meridian streets owned by principals of Shiel Sexton Construction. An $8.5 million renovation of the structure by Shiel Sexton began in the fourth quarter of last year.
Built in 1923 as a Buick dealership, the building previously housed a self-storage facility. The lottery will occupy the first and second floors of the three-story building.
The cost of the space over the initial 10-year term of the lease will save the government entity $105,000 a year, said Megan Wright, the lottery’s public relations manager.
The savings isn’t the only benefit of the move. Wright said free surface parking at The Buick will be more convenient for lottery customers, many of whom drive in from other parts of the state to claim their prizes and aren’t comfortable with parking meters or garage parking, which are the only two options around the Pan Am Plaza building.
The 136,000-square-foot Pan American Plaza building was built prior to the 1987 Pan American Games. It is owned by Sacramento-based Coastal Partners. Tom Ott, an employee of Coastal in charge of leasing the building, couldn’t be reached for comment about how much space is now available. Indiana Bank & Trust Co. recently agreed to lease a little more than 12,000 square feet in the building.
The Hoosier Lottery will share its new building with August Mack Environmental, which moved last December to the Buick’s top floor from the Lexington, a 45,000-square-foot building at 12th and Meridian streets that Shiel Sexton principals invested $12 million in after buying it in 2006. The entire building is now occupied by Brown Mackie college.
The Buick and Lexington buildings are among four historic downtown buildings Shiel Sexton principals have transformed into office space.
The other two are the company’s own 33,000-square-foot headquarters at 902 N. Capitol Ave and the 60,000-square-foot headquarters of Gregory & Appel Insurance at 1402 N. Capitol. Shiel Sexton’s building was purchased in 2000 and then retrofitted for $3 million. Gregory & Appel’s building got a $12 million makeover after its purchase in 2004.
Shiel Sexton Executive Vice President Buddy Hennessey said his company continues to pursue buildings in its neighborhood, an area the firm is committed to bringing back to life.
“You can’t just buy one property,” Hennessey said. “You have to buy some adjacencies.
"We were somewhat of a pioneer coming back in from Castleton. We want to be good neighbors.”
Shiel Sexton’s good-neighbor policy sometimes involves partnering with its neighbors. The company announced early this month it is partnering with Clarian Health on a $200 million, two-building project for the hospital system in the vicinity of 16th Street and Capitol Avenue.