Consolidated Building revamp set to begin soon

October 3, 2013
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consolidated building rendering 225pxA long-awaited redevelopment of the downtown Consolidated Building at 115 N. Pennsylvania St. should start next month.

TWG Development LLC, formerly known as The Whitsett Group, and Ambrose Property Group plan to invest $16 million to transform the century-old, brick and terra-cotta building into 98 market-rate apartments, with first-floor retail or restaurant space.

The new name for the building is Penn Street Tower and the architect is Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf Architects.

TWG Principal Joe Whitsett said his firm should close on construction financing with BMO Harris in November, with construction beginning later the same month. A construction filing shows that the developers plan to renovate about 126,000 square feet of the 15-story, 213,000-square-foot structure.

The local developers bought the building late last year from an affiliate of New York-based Crown Properties, marking the first time the building has had local owners in at least 25 years.

The Consolidated was built in 1910 as an annex to the adjacent Lemcke Building, now home to The National Bank of Indianapolis. The building was designed by R.P. Daggett & Co., one of the longest-running architectural firms in city history.

The building’s downfall began in 1992, when anchor tenant Indiana Insurance vacated 10 floors and moved to the suburbs. Its last tenants, Downtown Comics and The Cozy restaurant, left in 2000.

November is shaping up to be a busy month for TWG, as it also plans to start construction on the first phase of its redevelopment of the Indianapolis Star headquarters property.

TWG is asking for a variance to allow for a drugstore drive-through, at the corner of Delaware and New York streets, which is not permitted downtown.  A city zoning board is slated to hear the request Oct. 8.

As expected, the Star reported Monday that it has finalized a lease with Simon Property Group Inc. to take 100,000 square feet of the space formerly occupied by Nordstrom at Circle Centre mall. The newspaper plans to move sometime next summer.

  • Drive Thru
    I surely hope the city doesn't allow for the drive-thru drug store on their IndyStar project. That would just be asinine.
  • No to the drugstore drive thru
    Anyone who needs to drive thru a drugstore that badly has options just up the road at Meridian and 16th. It does not belong at that location.
  • Whitsett is bush league
    Whitsett Group has a knack for announcing projects and then not actually building them. What the heck is going on at College and Michigan? Nothing!
  • drive-thru
    It is absurd that they are asking for a drive-thru at that location. TWG should be ashamed of themselves. Hopefully the city zoning board laughs in their faces.
  • So far so good.
    Love the other Whitsett/Ambrose project currently under construction designed by Blackline. Those windows and that masonry look phenomenal. So what's wrong with a drive through on the alley/service side of a downtown building? I assume that's the plan? Will it impact the alley/public ROW? Does anyone know? So many questions!
    • RE: So many questions...
      What project are you referring to. The phenomenal restoration project under construction at 800 N. Capitol was designed by DkGr...unless you are referring to a different project.
    • Remainder??
      If they're renovating 126,000 SF, what is to become of the remaining 87.000 SF?
    • Good stuff here
      Great news for a cool old building. Whitsett Group always does a great job, and, as others have noted, their project on Capitol is looking great. Hope this turns out as cool as that.
    • Update
      Any update on this project; it doesn't look like any work has begun. Thx.

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    1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

    2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

    3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

    4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

    5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.