Holy condos! Look at Meridian Arch

January 22, 2008
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Meridian ArchOne of the city's most unique condo projects, a reuse of the former Meridian Street Methodist Episcopal Church at 802 N. Meridian St., is almost done. The first new residents of the project, dubbed Meridian Arch, are scheduled to move in at the end of February. Developer Hearthview Residential also has plans for a second phase, which would add condos to the surface parking lot west of the old church. The entire project calls for 69 condos. So far, only two of the 27 units in the first phase are under contract, but many potential buyers have expressed interest and visited the model home, said sales guru Mollie McCoy. The units range from $173,000 to $1 million.
  • i love it! great re-use of the building and what a great central spot to live, being next to the library, meridian street, etc. hopefully this will inspire other development west of meridian along with hearthview's future plans, the cosmopolitan, paramount tower (god i hope the rendering i've seen from skyscrapercity was strictly preliminary!), stutz tower, gibson building, etc. now if we could do something about the gi-normous parking lot to the north of the scottish rite... :)
  • Do they have a website with pricing and floor plans?
  • Is it me or does this actually look pretty damn decent? :)
  • This seems like a good thread to ask this question:

    I've always wondered why so many old churches seem to have lost their steeples at some point in the urban renewal era. Was it simply that churches couldn't afford the maintenance or was it something else? Can anyone enlighten me?
  • Good news about the surface lot to the west.
  • About those steeples: It's a huge architectural feat to make an old church
    re-use project look, well, not like a reused church. I don't think they've
    succeeded in this case. Anyone have an idea of what they'll top the towers
    with, or are they planning to leave them as is?
  • Steeples were typically wood superstructures. They were also typically unconditioned space, or worse, open belfries.

    If you ever visited your country relatives' chicken coop, you'll know why an open belfry is a bad thing. Guano is not the friend of wood.
  • You can find all the information at www.hearthview.com.
  • they should rebuild the steeples on these churches as it is the only way to truely complete a restoration. This structure needs to have its steeples rebuilt as they were not that complex and it would be rather simple yet add alot of character.
  • $1 Million for a small piece of an old church?!
    What exactly are these developers and real estate agents smoking when they price these things?... because I want some, it obviously produces a powerful altered state of mind.
  • Cory, I'm curious about the second phase. Are they actually moving forward with that or are you just mentioning that they have an option for a second phase? You numbers indicate that phase 2 will be 42 condos. Seems a bit bold, particularly in this credit climate, to move on a second building with 50% more condos as phase 1 when they've only officially sold 2 out of 27 in phase 1.
  • They really need to move on to phase two... That surface lot (and every other one around town) is absolutely hideous!
  • Not to mention, Hearthview is clearly having problems with Lockerbie Park...
  • why not apartments? There seems to be a demand for them.
  • During the condo tour in October I visited this development. I loved some of the rooms and some of the views were breathtaking. However, I feel that Hearthview choose some of the weaker finishes that I have seen in modern condo projects. It was also telling that you could see some sloppy workmanship with some of the caulk and grout. I could see myself buying one and completely gutting the place. However, I'm not in the market for a condo.

    All in all, I love the concept.
  • Good ol' fashioned sacrilege. I love it. They did this in Bloomington, but apartments instead of condos. Turned out very nice.
  • Freddy, Where in Bloomington did they do this to a Church. Wasn't aware of it?
  • @mark: I think Freddy is talking about the apartments around Grant and 10th. I had a roommate that moved into the Church apartments; they were well done for college living.
  • It's a shame that there isn't more apartments being built! I mean, isn't the vcancy rate at 3% or something? You would think that APARTMENTS would be going up everywhere. Is there something about that market I am not aware of?
  • The funny thing that never went to print that no one knows about is teh fact that they tried to tear down the church building. Luckily, someone at the permitting office caught the Nation Historic designation, and IHPC was able to step in and save most of the structure. However, they are now marketing the church structre as if they had intended all along to keep it.
  • ^^ what= rats. Tearing down a historic landmark like little mice.
    They should rebuild the steeples just for trying to tear it down! :0
  • My guess on the apartment thing is that most developers are looking for quick returns, rather than apartments which will take longer to get monetary returns with. Seems as though lately with the slow condo market it makes much more sense to go apartment anyway. That and many of these developers are pricing high - the Maxwell starting out in the lower $100,000s is where a lot of these projects might want to consider starting.
  • I looked at one of the units at Meridian Arch...270K for two bedroom, 2 bath unit. One of the bedrooms doesn't even have a window in it. Then they start nickel and diming you for every little upgrade that should be standard.

    For the best condo deal in town, the Spring street condos just east of College,next to the building at 707 college at perfect. 1300 square feet with stainless steel appliances, granit counters, bamboo hardwoods,etc can't be beat for 235K.
  • Penn Arts at 16th and Penn will be re-done as market-rate apartments. Cosmopolitan on the Canal is rental. There has been extensive discussion about Paramount Towers on the blogs. So there is downtown rental housing coming in the near future.
  • Plus the 164 unit Waverley apartment complex on East St.

    I've said in the past that if all these new complexes come online, there will be MANY more new apartment units than condos in downtown. The Cosmo, Paramount Tower and Waverley are all much larger than your average condo project.
  • it is my understanding, about the steeples, that when the church became no longer a church many years ago, that part of the de-sanctifying was the removal of the steeples. Part of the church rules.

    I think it is a great project. Would love to see more go in on that quad of the city as I work in that area.
  • I looked at one of the Meridian Arch condos. 270K for a 2 bedroom 2 bath unit and one of the bedrooms didn't even have a window. Then when you start pricing them, they nickel and dime you for everything. An extra 3k for a storage space?

    Spring street condos are a much better deal and have more amenities for a lower price.
  • ^^ like a poster from another forum said, that they don't have to have crosses, but they need to be capped.
  • Maybe they could put some of those wonderful security cameras with blue flashing lights up on the top to keep an eye on the Mall. Is that the kind of cap you mean, Helen?
  • Many steeples are lost to fire, often after being struck by lightning. In the case of this church, the steeples were removed when the building was purchased by the Indiana Business College.
  • yeah cameras would look great! JK.
    Nah, just cap them with the steeples. I understand they don't want to make it a very religouse structure, but its an old church! In the restoration they should restore the steeples(without the crosses of course).
  • The steeple on the old Fletcher Place church at Fletcher, East and South Streets was lost in a collapse. It went straight through the roof. This occured while it was still used as a church. They capped it off and never rebuilt. The Bass Photo Collection at the State Historical Society has some pics of this. http://images.indianahistory.org/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/dc012&CISOPTR=3118&CISOBOX=1&REC=13

    Old St. Joes on College had its removed to get the bell out when they moved the parish to the southside.

    Roberts Park never had towers. They were planned, but never funded. I would bet this is typical of many churches. http://images.indianahistory.org/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/dc012&CISOPTR=3958&CISOBOX=1&REC=12

    Here is a shot of Meridian St. Methodist with towers. They were not that impressive. http://images.indianahistory.org/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/dc012&CISOPTR=2816&CISOBOX=1&REC=4
  • I think it looks great capped in the copper roofing.

    Keeps it simple and modern. If you want frilly steeples and more ornamentation, go to Carmel
  • its not about creating old architecture again its about restoring it properly.
  • But this isn't a restoration project, it's a RENOVATIONn project. Big difference.

    IMO, since it is no longer a church building, it shouldn't look so much like one, and re-inventing steeples would be a mis-use of resources. Would rather see that money go to good landscaping and great maintenance over the years of said landscaping. In this project at this location, street-level is more important than distant vista.
  • This building is bold and beautiful. I know most of us are skyrise junkies, but the sad truth is that we just aren't seeing a market for all these fantasies. However, if we focus on unique condo-projects like Spring Street and DeSoto with a heavy emphasis on rental, an instra-city market can be given time to develop and Bart Peterson's vision of a bustling downtown population will result in larger scale and better design of building. Look on the bright side, there is a lot of open service lots downtown, so the lack of acquistion hazards will attract appropriate bidding. Praise the gov't for not pushing to hard on the MSA, and the city for long negotiations with the Colts and the impact of the convention center expansion on the economy. So patience is the virtue and you bloggers are my inspiration for your impact of the Marriott redesign. The listened to you!!

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  1. Apologies for the wall of text. I promise I had this nicely formatted in paragraphs in Notepad before pasting here.

  2. I believe that is incorrect Sir, the people's tax-dollars are NOT paying for the companies investment. Without the tax-break the company would be paying an ADDITIONAL $11.1 million in taxes ON TOP of their $22.5 Million investment (Building + IT), for a total of $33.6M or a 50% tax rate. Also, the article does not specify what the total taxes were BEFORE the break. Usually such a corporate tax-break is a 'discount' not a 100% wavier of tax obligations. For sake of example lets say the original taxes added up to $30M over 10 years. $12.5M, New Building $10.0M, IT infrastructure $30.0M, Total Taxes (Example Number) == $52.5M ININ's Cost - $1.8M /10 years, Tax Break (Building) - $0.75M /10 years, Tax Break (IT Infrastructure) - $8.6M /2 years, Tax Breaks (against Hiring Commitment: 430 new jobs /2 years) == 11.5M Possible tax breaks. ININ TOTAL COST: $41M Even if you assume a 100% break, change the '30.0M' to '11.5M' and you can see the Company will be paying a minimum of $22.5, out-of-pocket for their capital-investment - NOT the tax-payers. Also note, much of this money is being spent locally in Indiana and it is creating 430 jobs in your city. I admit I'm a little unclear which tax-breaks are allocated to exactly which expenses. Clearly this is all oversimplified but I think we have both made our points! :) Sorry for the long post.

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