Indiana Landmarks selling downtown headquarters

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Indiana Landmarks is selling its longtime headquarters on West Michigan Street in downtown Indianapolis and is asking $3.1 million for the historic property.

The not-for-profit’s planned move in the spring to the former Central Avenue Methodist Church at 12th Street and Central Avenue is prompting the sale.

Indiana Landmarks has tapped Cassidy Turley to market the Williamson Center, which has served as its headquarters since 1991.

The center includes the 1879 Kuhn House and a 1990 addition, as well as a 30-car parking lot. The 0.74-acre site straddles the Central Canal at Michigan Street and Indiana Avenue.

Listing agent Jon Owens of Cassidy Turley said in a prepared statement that the building should generate plenty of interest from potential buyers.

“The property’s landmark status combined with its frontage on the canal and high-traffic count on Michigan Street will have strong appeal in the marketplace,” he said.

The property was refurbished last year after sustaining damage from a nearby fire in March 2009 that destroyed the Cosmopolitan on the Canal apartment project.

The blaze spread to the roof of the foundation’s building, causing about $1 million in damage to the north wing that was added in 1990.

The building contains 15,734 square feet of rentable space.

“When Indiana Landmarks moved [in 1991] and restored the Kuhn House, the canal had little development north of Michigan Street,” the organization’s president, Marsh Davis, said in a prepared statement. “The Kuhn House served us well, and we did our job in advancing development on the historic canal.”

Indiana Landmarks is the largest state preservation organization in the United States, both by size of its endowment ($35 million) and membership base (8,700). With nine offices across the state, it is second only to the Washington, D.C.-based National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Bill Cook, the billionaire founder of Bloomington-based medical-device maker Cook Group, is donating $7 million of the $10 million needed to renovate it's new headquarters, a former church also known as Old Centrum.

The building on the northern edge of downtown Indianapolis  contains a sanctuary and auditorium that are being converted to event space for weddings and corporate retreats. A grand opening is scheduled for mid-April.

Before moving to the canal, Indiana Landmarks was headquartered in the Waiting Station, a gothic building just inside the 34th Street gate to Crown Hill Cemetery.


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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.

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