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. 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.