Hotel proposed over Canal

May 4, 2007
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A Kansas developer has proposed a hotel, restaurant and retail space that would form a bridge over the Ponte VecchioCentral Canal in the tradition of Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy (pictured). The plan is one of four submitted for a state-owned parcel along the Canal between Ohio and New York streets. "To become the heart of this diverse community we felt that more-of-the-same would not be adequate," developers LodgeWorks LP said in a filing with the state. They did not include a rendering. The project would require the state throw in a parking lot next to the Indiana History Center. For more details, check out Jennifer Whitson's story in this weekend's IBJ. Discuss another proposal here.
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  • WOW. Can't wait to see a rendering. This could be an AMAZING proposal.

    And need I point out that it's an out-of-town developer?
  • This could be promising. It is definitely good to know we have some competition from an out-of-town developer.
  • The project would require the state throw in a parking lot next to the Indiana History Center.

    First off, isn't there already a parking lot next to (or behind) the Indiana History Center? Secondly, this proposal sounds incredibly interesting but I don't like the sound of a development that includes parking lots downtown.
  • Tyler -- I'm guessing they mean they want the parking lot next to the IHC because they intend to use that as part of the development, not because they want to maintain it as a parking lot. This is fantastic news, actually. I didn't realize the state owned that land, and given the fact that they do, I'm surprised that they didn't include that fact in the original RFP. Getting that whole area developed with a cohesive, retail-driven project at canal AND street level would be an incredible coup for the area.
  • I can't wait to see a rendering. Thank God, there are some out of state companies bidding, because we all know local companies dont give a you know what about thinking outside the box.
  • My concern is that, while a daring proposal, it will create a wall like effect. Recall that Market Square Arena was long a barrier to development east of there. It is now gone and development to the north and east is taking place.
  • I feel the same as you JIm, the thought of development (a builder from out of town) building across the canal to maximize space sounds great. My concern is the same as yours, what about the loss of open air and sunshine that a development across the canal will create. This development would go between two existing bridges and the whole enjoyment of the canal is the beautiful outdoors not having to walk through a bunch of tunnels following the canal. Any development along this spot needs to be creative and interesting without taking away from the natural feel of our beloved canal.
  • I think those are valid concerns about a possible wall/tunnel effect being created by this development. Some details to think about, though:

    The main IBJ article on this mentions that it will be a covered walkway with one to two stories on top of it. If it's a covered walkway like Ponte Vecchio, with open arches, I'm not too concerned about a wall effect. It should still feel pretty open and one to two stories on top isn't very much. If it's done well, it could even create a very interesting, intimate space between New York and Ohio.

    And unless the canal-spanning section is VERY wide, I don't think the tunnel will be any longer than the Michigan/Indiana or West St. bridges. I'm more concerned about this possibility, but I don't think it would be a big deal.
  • I agree with CorrND. I think this is a FABULOUS proposal, certainly the most creative of anything I've seen downtown. I think if it's done right, there shouldn't be a problem maintaining the natural feel of the canal, which I do think is important. I'm anxious to see the rendering. It's too bad a local developer couldn't come up with something as creative. Where's the talent in this city?
  • Jim, the talent in the city doesn't stay in the city.
  • awesome idea/project. i hope this is the one chosen. i have been to the ponte vecchio, and trust me, if this will be anything like the italian original, we are fortunate to possibly have it built in indy...i like the creative thinking here!
  • Any news on the Buggs Temple project????
  • I'm hearing more of the same, David. A few more months and they'll be ready to open.
  • Cory:

    I have tried this link for a month or two and am dying to know about the reinvention at the old Dodd's location. Where can I find that article? Thanks.

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