Cadavers, Pan Am Plaza & more

July 14, 2008
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Bodies the ExhibitionI missed a few days last week for a wedding in Wisconsin, so it's time to catch up on real estate news ...

Cadavers at Circle Centre
UPDATE: The exhibition is going to Claypool Court below Weber Grill and will open July 30.
The infamous "Bodies ... the Exhibition" by Atlanta-based Premier Exhibitions Inc. is eying a show in Indianapolis, apparently at Circle Centre. Details on an Indianapolis exhibit are foggy, but the company posted a job advertisement on Craigslist in late June, saying it would be hiring staff for an exhibition of "up to eight months" at the mall. The mall's vacant fourth floor would be a natural spot for the exhibit, which features cadavers that have been plasticized, dissected and posed. Full story.

The saga of Square 88
Pan Am Plaza served a major role in the evolution of Indianapolis into a sports town worthy of hosting a Super Bowl. But it also came up short over the years in other ways for both taxpayers and the developer, the Indiana Sports Corp. The city gave the Sports Corp. the properties known as Square 88 in 1986, in exchange for a 30-year agreement restricting development on the plaza. The agreement said the requirement to maintain a "first class urban plaza" could be waived after 20 years if the owner paid a $3 million, inflation-adjusted fee to the city (now about $6 million). But late last year, the city quietly agreed to reduce the protected portion of Pan Am Plaza from 88,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet without any payment. Full story.

Oesterle orchestrates opera deal
Angie’s List CEO Bill Oesterle paid nearly $1.5 million to buy Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in the Meridian-Kessler neighborhood and is renting it to the Indianapolis Opera to use as a multi-function center. The opera has been eyeing the property for more than a year, but its plans to buy the church at Pennsylvania and 40th Street fell through when a major donor backed out of the project. Enter Oesterle, who has never attended one of the local group’s productions but thought an opera center made sense for the largely residential area. He lives directly north of the church parking lot. Good fit? Full story.

Leaky Lucas Oil Stadium
The Indiana Stadium and Convention Building Authority announced yesterday that a Saturday morning thunderstorm sent more rainwater into two areas of Lucas Oil Stadium that had already been affected by a storm earlier last week. Three of the 20 primary drainpipes atop Lucas Oil Stadium fractured and sent rainwater into three areas on July 8. Then the temporary fixes failed Saturday morning. Do they just not build drainpipes for $675-million stadiums like they used to? Or do you expect more problems? Full story.
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  • It's ridiculous that no one is demanding an explanation for what happened at the stadium. Was it a mechanical failure or a design flaw? Is this going to happen every time it rains? Did we get a $700 million lemon? These questions need answering.
  • I think using the top floor of Circle Centre as an exhibition hall is a great idea.......hopefully this is the first of many traveling exhibits to visit!
  • Yes to think we spent 700 million on a defective stadium when half of that could have fixed the public transportation system.

    Circle Center two words for the fourth floor.... Cheesecake Factory
    Not dead people factory.
  • I'm extremely excited about the Bodies exhibit, I hope it comes through Indy!
    Interesting about the 20/20 investigation about the bodies they used. There's a German horror flick that works that in it's plot. (Anatomie - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0187696/)
  • The mall's fourth floor needs help maybe expand the retail. What about a casino. Unique type retail may work. Its such a waste. Maybe a Crate & Barrel or Room & Board. The first level next to Nordstrom & Harry & Izzies is also a waste. Who would want to be down there. Whose idea was it to close off that entrance. It also would be nice to create window displays along Washington St. between Champs & Carson's to liven up the streetscape.
  • This show is a hit in Cincinnati. But not without controversy. Who were the bodies, why were they displayed, and the logic of it all. But - people flocked to see it - and learn from it. It is a great learning tool - and perhaps we will learn to be more health concious as a result....?
  • Roberth is dead on. The decision to close off an entrance to the mall, especially the one closest to the Dome and the new stadium seems ridiculous. Does a person at that corner even realize there's a mall there, let alone know how to get into it? And with all the facades they kept along Washington and Meridian, you'd think they would make better use of them; perhaps signs and display windows instead of appearing to be vacant storefronts.
  • Did DMD's acquiescence to reducing the size of Pan Am Plaza by 89 percent come within an agreement that that public gathering space would be maintained for more than the eight remaining years on the original deal? And who will be responsible for ongoing maintenance?

    Cory?
  • The city agreed to reduce the protected portion so Kite can build a strip mall? Only in Indianapolis...
  • Great question, idyllic. I don't have the documents in front of me now, but I'll get back to you. Anyone else know?
  • Personally, the Bodies exhibit gives me the creeps and grosses me out. Not too mention that this particular exhibit is mostly Chinese prisoners that have been executed. They had to post signs and refund some money to people at one point. I think if something like this actually interested me, I would wait for the legit version at the State Musuem.

    Pan Am Plaza: If I read the whole article correctly, it says that Kite would like to build something larger, but it depends on the garage owner. Is that correct?
  • I hear the bodies exhibit is so popular, people are just DIE-ing to get in!
  • I think that this is a great idea for the 4th floor...permanent space perhaps? I also think that converting the 4th floor to residential would be a great option. Simon is branching out with this in Boston, why not here?
  • Is it me, or does the idea of a bodies-cadaver exhibit next to the Weber Grill sound just a little gross and morose?

    Chunks of meat, slabs of ribs, sinew and bone....mmm, mmm, mmm! Which establishment are we talking about here?

    Maybe they could do tie-ins and cross-promotion.
  • Well since we are doing be so cautioned about what we say and about orur opinions at the Urbanophile I guess I will get my news from this site.

    I thing the Body Exhibit is great. I think it could turn out to be a cool idea to have it at the Centre. After all wasn't it Andy Warhol that said Department Stores are the new Museums. Should be interseting to see how they do.

    It is sad to see all the strange things that could happen to Pan Am Plaza.
    I mean it is such a great location; it would be a shame to have something less than great go in there.

    Ond doesn have to wonder about the expense that has been caused by the drainage problem at LOS. All the news stores have been concerned about meeting opening day. No one seems to mention the fact that there are taxpayer dollars involved in all this.
  • For all the worrywarts out there fretting about a leak at Lucas, take it from a 25 year construction verteran - no project is perfect. You could spend 5 years building a home and have puich list after punch list and there's always going to be soemthing not quite perfect. Usually a lot of stuff. Look around your own home - even the new(er) ones. Don't you have a long honey-do list?

    Now LOS is $700M and was built in a year and a half or whatever. Foolish to get worked up over a drainage problem. They'll fix it and that will be that. Then they can turn their attention to the other 500 things on a punch list. Ask any guy who maintains a large commercial structure how many things they need to do.

    And, yes, I know it's taxpayers dollars at work here. But didn't you read the paper that it's mostly covered by insurance? And guess who they'll stick with the remainder? The subcontractor who did the faulty installation, or the manufacturer of the defective pipe, or the engineering who under-designed it. Unlikely the public will take any meaningful hit on this.
  • I recently went to the Bodies Exhibit in the Claypool Court and it was awesome! I've never seen anything so revealing about the human body and learned more in 2 hours than I learned in college anatomy.

    Pan Am Plaza garage is the worst garage in the city. It leaks, has poor lighting, need a lot of structural repairs, take a long time to exit and is poorly managed. I just recently canceled my parking pass because of it. They need to knock it down, rebuild it and let Denison Parking manage it.

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  1. Really, taking someone managing the regulation of Alcohol and making himthe President of an IVY Tech regional campus. Does he have an education background?

  2. Jan, great rant. Now how about you review the report and offer rebuttal of the memo. This might be more conducive to civil discourse than a wild rant with no supporting facts. Perhaps some links to support your assertions would be helpful

  3. I've lived in Indianapolis my whole and been to the track 3 times. Once for a Brickyard, once last year on a practice day for Indy 500, and once when I was a high school student to pick up trash for community service. In the past 11 years, I would say while the IMS is a great venue, there are some upgrades that would show that it's changing with the times, just like the city is. First, take out the bleachers and put in individual seats. Kentucky Motor Speedway has individual seats and they look cool. Fix up the restrooms. Add wi-fi. Like others have suggested, look at bringing in concerts leading up to events. Don't just stick with the country music genre. Pop music would work well too I believe. This will attract more young celebrities to the Indy 500 like the kind that go to the Kentucky Derby. Work with Indy Go to increase the frequency of the bus route to the track during high end events. That way people have other options than worrying about where to park and paying for parking. Then after all of this, look at getting night lights. I think the aforementioned strategies are more necessary than night racing at this point in time.

  4. Talking about congestion ANYWHERE in Indianapolis is absolutely laughable. Sure you may have to wait in 5 minutes of traffic to travel down BR avenue during *peak* times. But that is absolutely nothing compared to actual big cities. Indy is way too suburban to have actual congestion problems. So please, never bring up "congestion" as an excuse to avoid development in Indianapolis. If anything, we could use a little more.

  5. Oh wait. Never mind.

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