City set to unveil Market Square project plans

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City officials are set to unveil Tuesday the development they’ve chosen for a piece of the land where Market Square Arena once stood.

Mayor Greg Ballard is scheduled to make the announcement at 10 a.m. at the northeast corner of Market and Alabama streets.

The city in April received bids to redevelop the site from six teams, all proposing mixed-use projects. They ranged in size from eight to 52 stories.

Teams submitting bids were: Keystone Group and Cleveland-based Forest City Enterprises Inc.; Buckingham and Kite Realty Group; Browning Investments and The Whitsett Group; Flaherty & Collins Properties; Milhaus Development and REI Real Estate Services LLC; and Barrett & Stokely Inc. and Ryan Companies US Inc.

Forest City developed the 76-story New York by Gehry in New York City and is believed within the local commercial real estate community to have submitted along with Keystone the bid containing the 52-story proposal.

“We have flexibility; we can go short or mid-range,” Keystone CEO Ersal Ozdemir told IBJ in May, careful not to tip his hand.

If the 52-story proposal were to be selected, it would be the tallest tower in the city.

The renewed interest in the site, where previous attempts at redevelopment in 2004 and 2007 failed, comes after the mayor called for new proposals during his State of the City speech in March.

What’s different this time is the city is seeking redevelopment of about half the former arena site in hopes a smaller development might have a better chance of success.

The targeted property is the northern 1.96 acres directly east of the Indianapolis City Market at the northeast corner of Market and Alabama streets. The area is now segmented into parking lots from Washington Street north to Wabash Street. City officials hope a project on the northern half will help generate demand for future development on the southern half.

Local real estate experts say the city is wise to call for apartments rather than condominiums this time around, because securing financing for condo projects is still too dicey.

“It shows that there’s still a very high demand to live downtown,” city spokesman Marc Lotter said of the pending project. “It’s good to get this part of the process completed, and I know Mayor Ballad is excited to see the project get off the ground and get started.”

Lotter said one of the six teams submitting proposals pulled out of the running fairly early in the process.



  • Typical Indiana
    It didn't happen. Indianapolis is too small a town to have a true skyscraper, and Hoosiers are too cheap to pay for anything beyond a 28-story low rise, which was the winning proposal.
  • Todd's free lunch
    Todd lacks real understanding of a Banana Republic. Less government and lass spending (crony capitalism). Todd wake up and figure out WHO is on the hook for the failed Airport Debt Obligation which is looming as well as all the city subsidiary run by the CIB. Indianapolis is financially a BUST. The city cannot even maintain a police force and cannot fix its crumbling streets and curbs. Mayor Marine can scam money from Water Co Ratepayors and build a bogus Cricket Stadium, find dough to give Irsal for a private parking garage, build Irsal a Soccer Stadium and now give more for this crap. 25th floor has no focus on basic city functions. Perhaps putting 10% of the property bck on Tax Rolls and out of corrupt TIFS. The city could provide the legal os services taxpayers pay for.
  • Old Timers
    These old timers crack me up. Apartments are booming nation wide, the office space is what is empty, and almost every project gets some sort of assistance regardless of what city you live in. Move over "Old Indiana" and let progress happen. The new generation has ambition and vision of what a city should be. #Hoosier with vision
  • Orange jumpsuit tenants
    So if a 52 story development is happening it will only be because taxpayers are guaranteeing the debt! No LENDER will give money to a residential project which sits adjacent to the MARION COUNTY JAIL and the MARION COUNTY COURT SYSTEM WHOSE MAIN CUSTOMER IS CLAD IN LEAD HANDCUFFS AND ORANGE JUMPSUITS. This project needs to go on its own with NO PUBLIC FREE TAXPAYER MONEY because it will be a bust unless the Jails and courts are moved. Ballard has no credibility and objectivity because he is bought and paid for.
    • No Way
      No Way will it be the 52-story tower and proposal with Keystone. I think Ballards' office has been hearing it from all directions about the connection to keystone. He's gonna let some other people cash in on this one. Plus - I think 52 stories would be GREAT! But no way would it be 100% successful. I more than anyone want to see a transformed skyline. But we need to be realistic - can we support that size of a tower when some of the commercial towers aren't 100% and we have about 1500 apartments coming online in the next year in the urban core?
    • Keystone
      Um, we all know Keystone will win and get millions of dollars of taxpayer handouts. Its the Ballard way...
    • You read it here first
      The 52-story tower shall be revealed during tomorrow's announcement. It'll be a welcome change to the city's skyline and will hopefully get the momentum going for other projects in the Mile Square.
    • Imagination
      Where in this article is "low income" mentioned? Secondly, if a quality tower is built you can take it condo or coop later. Go for the building that makes the biggest impact. It's long overdue and will spark more development of those vacant lots east of the Circle.
    • 52 stories minimum
      I will be disappointed if this proposed low-income housing project is anything less than 52 stories tall. Frankly, if Indianapolis wants to be a serious contender for the 2020 Olympics, it should have at least two 100+ story buildings.
    • Choice
      52 stories = transformational

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