Cosmopolitan a total loss?

March 13, 2009
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The remains of the Cosmopolitan on the Canal project continued to smolder today as a small crew of firefighters worked to put out remaining hot spots. They were using a crane to demolish a portion of the building's remaining facade so they could reach some of the smoking remains of the $33-million apartment and retail development, said Mark Conover, a spokesman for developer Flaherty & Collins Properties. He said company officials, insurance adjusters and structural engineers are waiting for the fire department to clear the site before determining whether any of the building is salvageable. (IBJ Photos/Cory Schouten)
Cosmopolitan fire
Cosmopolitan fire
Cosmopolitan fire
  • My guess is that every piece of wood is done for, either burned or soaked (mold magnet?). The real question is probably about reuse of the concrete: the garage, the pedestal for the retail section at Senate/Michigan and the canal-level foundation. If they can reuse any or all of the concrete structures, they'll have a several month head start on rebuilding.

    It certainly appears that all the fire damage to the main building was on the upper floors so it seems hard to believe that they couldn't at least reuse the concrete pedestal.
  • Is there any way they can salvage the street facades?
    They seem to be almost untouched by the flames.
  • At this time the investigation is not complete - but I cannot help but think this is arson. Perhaps a contractor - or the developer itself.
    Can anyone give any info on the financial state of Flaherty and Collins?
  • I think you're barking up the wrong tree. Apartment occupancy in Downtown is incredibly high. This project was long-awaited, and went ahead a year ago at the beginning of the financial meltdown...probably because its pro forma was strong.

    I'm betting the culprit will be some worker who left a heater running so that paint or drywall mud would dry overnight, or a homeless person who started a wood-scrap fire to stay warm on a cold night.
  • dps dood: completely inapprorpriate. C'mon, you really think these people would do this?!

    My assumption is that it isa a total loss. Feel bad for all involved, and again, thank God no one was hurt.
  • The bright side is that most contractors that just finished up working on this project get to do it again. Well except the one who left the heater burning. Seriously, at least F&C will rebuild and the economy does get the benefit of the rebuild. It may even help in leasing because of the publicity and the fact that the economy may be in better shape in a year or so.
  • THIS WAS NOT ARSON. And if so, I am confident that F&C had nothing to do with it...Come On People. Is this site now directly linked to the IndyStar boards???
  • Not to pile on but… Some of the first posts concerning this fire suggested criminal intent surrounding this fire, and that is really disturbing. It is one thing to stand around at the water cooler and gossip about things that you do not understand. It is a totally different thing to take that type of speculation and post it on a blog, especially one that is driven by reader comments like “Property Lines”. Unless you have real, first hand, knowledge of a crime being committed it is immoral to speculate about it. This fire is going to have a huge influence on our community in the coming months, and I would rather not have the public believe what would normally be confined to rumor and innuendo because they saw it in print associated with the IBJ.
  • Give me a break... immoral to speculate. Yes, people and companies are innocent until proven guilty... but without speculation, there would be a lot more crime than we have now (i.e., without any speculation, no cause for thorough investigations). No one is saying it was arson, but it hasn't been ruled out yet either. So, let the investigation take place and then we'll find out one way or the other. But, people can still wonder one way or the other.

    This is a blog... a place to continue discussion! Not stifle it! If you don't like the opinions, don't read them... or provide facts to dispell them... just saying, I know it's not arson isn't convincing... did you investigate the site and are you trained to do so? Unless they posts are offending (vulgar language, blatant slander, etc.), people should be able to post what they want. And the IBJ just hosts the discussion, they don't endorse what everyone says on this thread.
  • F&C is a solid company - but, they have had some restructuring of sorts lately and that def could have pissed some people off !!!
  • Umm.. The AFT says it was arson.

    Sorry, that was my first thought. I read all the explanations here last week (and bought into them), but fires do not burn that quickly without assistance.

    Additionally, an experienced arson investigator says that there will be civil lawsuits which will delay the re-building, and that the stigma of arson will taint the project. Oh well. For old timers like me, we can take comfort in recalling the delays of Circle City Mall and the years of driving by blocks of craters, on main street, no less! Trust me, that was worse.
  • The investigators have ruled out all accidental causes and have determined, based on their review of evidence at the scene and through their investigation, that the fire was intentionally set

    A quote from the feds above... so, if we didn't speculate, no investigation? My point above, proven. If we all had just been guilted into speculating that it wasn't arson (and that everyone is an angel) and not investigated it, we would have never known one way or the other.

    So, for everyone that thought it was just an accident, and in no way could believe it was arson... I say HA!. Now the question that remains, is who did it?
  • Well Andrew, you like to speculate, WHO DID IT? Start naming some names, so the authorities can start investigating the scum bags.
  • I'm not the investigator... so, I'm not going to do that. My point, SE Guy, was from an earlier post... no one was saying it was arson, people were saying that they couldn't help but think it was arson. Then someone else said it was immoral to speculate. That's when I posted the first time.

    But, here's one way to speculate... it's probably either a mad employee/contractor (that was fired, laid off, etc.), a mad neighbor (that didn't want the project near them) or F&C. I highly doubt it was a random act of arson. So there's my speculation SE Guy.
  • Surprised nobody is on this but local TV media was saying its Arson, but not likely anyone associated with the developer.

    Sad indeed when somebody has to torch what could have been (and i hope will still be) such an asset to downtown.

    Maggots who did it will get theirs. Karma's a bitch, as they say. :(

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  1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

  2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

  3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

  5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim