Penn Centre wins approval

October 4, 2007
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Penn CentreThe Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission gave its unanimous approval last night for Penn Centre, a massive hotel, residential and restaurant development across from Conseco Fieldhouse. The next step is to add more detail to the plans and begin work on construction drawings, said John Cunningham, a project manager for developer J. Greg Allen. Plans call for towers of 25 and 16 stories, including a 240-room Le Meridien hotel, 150-room aloft hotel, 64 condos and up to six restaurants. Construction is slated to begin in January. STAY TUNED: I'll post a new rendering this evening.
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  • That is pretty awesome. I am still a little skeptical that the financing will stick and that the market can sustain a Conrad, JW Marriott, and Le Meridien, but I am happy to see this moving forward.

    I wonder if the prices in the Harness Factory Lofts will go down since their east view is now destroyed. :)
  • I think once the convention center opens and big name events are committed it should be enough to sustain profitability for all the new top-tier hotels proposed. Profitability during events and break-even operations during normal weekends.
  • Maybe a hotel across from Conceco Fieldhouse will just start the venues non-Pacers events.
  • What kind of experience does this builder have in this market segment? I noticed that the J. Greg Allen website lists only a handful of smaller residential projects. Anyone know more (is there a partner, etc.)? January seems ambitious.

    A lack of experience in this type of market segment may be a hurdle in attaining financing for this project. Even the best of business/project plans won't cut it without some level of expertise. Regardless, I would love to see this become a success for downtown, and let's hope J. Greg Allen has all of their ducks in a row.
  • Looks like a great project. That is such an underused parcel of land. Yeah I'm sure it makes a buck or two from parking revenue, but seriously, that is pretty prime real estate. I hope it includes a nice bar. Nice to have some drinks and stumble across to the Pacers game. Would be an amazing place to stay for local visitors here for Sporting or Conseco Events. I do agree that with all the emphasis on Downtown for Convention business, Racing Tourists, Sports Events, Pacers, Colts, Pedestrian Friendly Downtown, we could use a surge in Hotel space. Might have to hold off on any more major hotel projects and focus on Condos, but this will work. I approve.
  • Thank you, Chuck.
  • I believe the project was presented as 25 and 16 stories last night.
  • That's what I recall as well, ablerock.
  • Thanks for the information, guys. I neglected to update a sentence pulled from an old post.
  • You're welcome. I'm looking forward to the new rendering. :-)
  • Very exciting!
  • Although this project sounds promising and very exciting, yet at the same time... why why why why why why... do new buildings have to be less than 30 stories high? WHY??? This is a CITY. This is Indianapolis growing... to become a larger city than it was 10 years ago. I am not going to get into the mass transit problem because that's a separate issue... although I have strong opinions against the lack of it thereof. Anyhow... I strongly feel Indy needs to stop thinking inside of the box too much and start thinking outside of it. These new hotels, condos that have sprung up in the recent past and the new renditions are nothing but a f**king bore. I just can't understand why the Marquis Tower was overlooked. I understand there was an issue with parking, but HEY... that's where the mass transit falls into. ANYWAY. I hope... someday in the near future SOMEONE with enough balls and imagination will build an innovative, different, amazing, inspiring, and worldly skyscraper. Not another damn mediocre box.
  • Another thing... this is off topic of the Penn Centre, I know, but I was just thinking... How it would be SO nice that the American Mall park will be surrounded by new skyscrapers and buildings, just like Central Park. Wouldn't that be great? I hope live as long to see that day!
  • 64 Condos? That's like 22 more than 3 Mass! Quite impressive i must say... :)
  • This is good news, indeed.
  • A 25 story building is pretty big. We are still a growing city and I think you're crazy if you think huge Chase Tower size skyscrapers are going to start popping up. Give it time. We are not Chicago and these aren't 5 or 6 story buildings either. It will be a nice and welcome additions.
  • DRT, you're right, we're not Chicago. But its just not Chicago that has tall buildings. Look at Charlotte, Nashville, Austin, heck, even Louisville. I like this project, but Indy is sorely lacking in the height department.
  • Todd - the height is strictly a financial function. You hit a wall of expense at about 25 stories and until the land costs go up, you won't see anything over that height. Only two reasons skyscrapers get built: ego and necessity. Good or bad, neither is currently driving the downtown market.

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