Fun with renderings

April 27, 2007
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Browning/Dora proposalThis is one of four proposed projects for an acre of state-owned land along the canal between Ohio and New York streets. What do you think? Property Lines has been asking for the other renderings but so far to no avail. This proposal, from Browning Investments and Dora Brothers Hospitality, calls for more than 250 hotel rooms and retail space, including along the canal.
  • That's a lo-res rendering, time to try lightwave...
  • Are they going to do anything about the algea in the canal now that the city is trying to attract more attention to it
  • That rendering is pretty blah if you ask me. Good density but other than that, it does nothing for me. A lord knows we really don't need another hotel in that area. There's already one right on the canal and many others in the area. Canal-front land should be saved for much better uses. Let's hope the other proposals are better.

    As for the algae, I don't particularly care about the plant form growing on the bottom, but I understand other people not liking it. What needs to be dealt with NOW is all the crap floating on the surface. It's really disgusting in the corner by the state museum right now. And if you look closely, there seems to be a film across the entire surface in some areas. I know removing the plants is a much more complex task, but it would take a park service worker with a bucket and a skimmer less than a day to clean the majority of that stuff off the surface of the water. Or use some people punished with community-service like they did last year!
  • There is better architecture going up in Carmel. Why oh why does everything in Indy have to be soooo bland? It makes me sick to see some of the great and daring architecture in cities like Kansas City, Louisville & Cincy, while Indy piddles away in mediocrity.
  • I agree with everyone's statements that it is blah. It looks like an annex to the state government center to me.
  • i completely agree with maria and jason266...i recently was in downtown louisville and atlanta, and their skylines are both much more impressive. it's not necessarily the need to build huge structures, just structures with more appeal than a box with windows. indy continues to miss great opportunities to amaze us - over and over and over. it seems like if you are a developer in indy, you can only think dollars and cents, and throw aesthetics out the window...can there ever be a balance?!
  • Hopefully the other proposal will look better than this. But it won't matter, the city always seems to choose the most architecturally boring and bland suburban buildings. The city loves to proclaim its building a world class city, but living in Indy my entire life, I really can't find anything that is world class except for our war memorials. Indy hasn't done anything world class since the early 1900s.
  • Ted -- I agree regarding the lack of modern world-class architecture in Indianapolis, but what about the Cultural Trail? Other cities have similar trails, but none are of the scale and quality of the one being built in Indy. This is really going to be a unique, world-class amenity for us.
  • I dislike this design, the city should demand so much better. Something that doesnt; look like a 1980's design would be best.
  • Downtown Louisville, an impressive skyline? I must have been away for quite a while because the last time I was there, except for the Humana Building designed by Indy's own Michael Graves, Louisville doesn't have any better skyline than Indy. Now what they are planning, with the 62-story Museum Plaza condo, retail and museum building - a modern architectural masterpiece, will be exciting and leap Louisville way past Indy.

    At the same time, I don't find this rendering all that bad. It's better than the original proposal for the JWMarriott Hotel. By the way, when will we see the revised proposal for that project? It seems to be taking a very long time to get that put together.
  • Jim -- I think you mean it's taking a VERY, VERY long time to put together. They're overdue on the financial deal between the city and the developers that was to be worked out by April 1st and they're also behind on the redesign that was due mid-April if I remember correctly.

    I only hope that the delay in seeing the redesign has something to do with Jonathan Hess -- the city's architect liason with the Whiteco architects -- fighting for a better design for the city.
  • I don't know who trained the architects that design the majority of the buildings in Indianapolis, but they need to be fired. What erroneous design ideology is spawning all of these architectural atrocities?

    I wonder, do the architects employed here ever travel outside Indianapolis city limits? Do they even live in the city? Have they ever looked at commonplace design magazines, such as Wallpaper, Abitare, or Architectural Digest and seen what is being built elsewhere? Do they comprehend the power they have to impact a city? Do they care?

    It seems their only inspirations are the existing mediocre mix of buildings and their bottom line.

    I am a designer and it hurts my soul to look upon such ugliness on a daily basis. I have a growing inclination to leave the city soon and the aesthetic choices Indianapolis has made during the last 40 years have a lot to do with that desire.

    Rant over. ;-)
  • JimB and others re: the Louisville skyline: a lot of its drama is due to the river and the BRIDGES which is something Indy is missing. There is no big natural physical thing here that anchors the man-made elements of the skyline.

    And I agree: the rendering shown is awfully bland.
  • I agree Ablerock, it hurts me to see subpar after subpar after subpar project being built in Indy. Its a state of mind in Indy, just settling for good enough, not going above and beyond. Not being daring. Not taking risks. Its this state of mind that drive the creative class like yourself out of Indy. Its what leads to the massive brain drain of the college educated out of Indy. Its a vicious cycle that unfortunately won't be ending anytime soon.
  • We will not see quality urban design until we start to expect/demand quality urban design. There is definitely a mindset in this City that any development is good development and design becomes an afterthought.

    Take the MSA redevelopment proposals for example, everyone is so caught up with the Target factor and/or the any development it good development mindset and forget that this particular site deserves better development (ie. increased density, good URBAN design).

    For partial taxpayer-subsidized development (ie. hotel mundane, convention center), the City should set a precedent and require the developers to spend the time/money necessary to create structures worthy of being built in downtown Indianapolis. We have a great opportunity to build upon the progress that has been made over the past few years and it is time to take the next step and raise the bar when it comes to quality urban design.
  • Speaking of hotel mundane...are we ever going to get new renderings?

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  1. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

  2. Shouldn't this be a museum

  3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

  4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

  5. Build the resevoir. If built this will provide jobs and a reason to visit Anderson. The city needs to do something to differentiate itself from other cities in the area. Kudos to people with vision that are backing this project.