It's hot, and Villagio needs a pool

June 10, 2008
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Villagio locatorThe developers of downtown's Villagio at Page Pointe are hoping city officials will waive development standards so condo owners can cool off in a new pool next door to the 9-story project at Virginia Avenue and South East Street. Locally based Page Development has applied to build a private pool on a triangle-shaped lot where the condo sales center now sits (identified in pink). The plans would require variances to allow the pool as a primary use and for a 4-foot setback instead of the required 10 feet. If approved, residents of Villagio would have to walk across the alley to access the pool. A "brick veneer" wall would front East Street. What do you think? A hearing is set for June 17.
  • I think the entire development is absolutely atrocious. Tearing down a structure to add their pool only adds to the design abortion that is this project.
  • Bull****, that building should be re-used! This place is already a big enough eye soar!
  • I have tried long and hard to think of a way to adequately describe how bad this project is and I think I am now going to have to go with design abortion... thanks Tim.
  • absolutely the dumbest idea. bad enough design (and to think, the elder pages grew up in the area - should've known better) and this is ridiculous. it's not the suburbs. put it on the roof/upper floors of the building like normal urban developments of this size. they should definitely reuse the existing building on the site.
  • Let them eat cake.
  • do you live there?

    do you own the property?

    you guys crack me up. if they dont want to use the building then who cares. new buildings look better than the old ones around there anyway. apart from the church, the whole block should go.

    while they are at it they need to demolish the whole block on washington st btwn penn and washington(north side) ans start over. maybe keep the facades.
  • LMAO at your headline Cory!! Can't believe no one else got the joke. :)
  • Design Abortion is good, but I still prefer The Fellatio (because it sucks so bad).

    I loved how Mr. Page called this his gift to Fountain Square then proceeded to erect one the most ill-built, awkward, cheap-looking, luxury condos in the city.

    This retarded use of land just continues the precedent of poor land use that the building has set for itself. The idea of putting a pool for luxury condos at ground-level at that intersection is ridiculous.

    It's called DESIGN, Mr. Page. Look it up.
  • So what you are all saying is you don't like the building? I was thinking of moving there from Geist. So what is so bad about it? Have you seen the floorplans of the condos, they are quite nice?
  • Maybe they could instead take down that massive parking garage that nobody uses instead of that old one-story. Re-create a beach with a tiki bar and plastic palm trees...finally, the beach front property they're after.

    Meanwhile, the rest of downtown will continue to try to ignore this...
  • Steve H., the Villagio should feel a lot like your Geist home. It comes complete with integral window grids in its double-hung windows to give it that suburban feel. It kind of reminds me of one of the Sexton Apartments projects that became ubiquitous in suburban Indy in the seventies and eighties. Now it will be complete with a pool.
  • Steve H, the nice thing about living in it is that you don't have to look at it. Urbanophile's critique from a while back (click on the word Villagio in the original post above) notes a number of problems with the construction, namely the ugly and undisguised parking garage, the lack of engagement with the street, the fake stucco on the top half of the building, parking lot at the point of the lot, and so forth. A wasted opportunity, basically. I can see the top five stories of the Villagio from my office. Because of the bland stucco, and because I rarely make it down to that intersection, I thought it was still under construction for months after it was finished. From a distance, the stucco looks like underlayment, as if the brick job had been left half-finished.
  • Crossing a dumpster filled ‘CITY’ alley for a dip in a Walled off pool. NOT sounding so “luxury condo” to me.
  • Oh, don't worry. They're working on vacating the alley to make it private property, as well. So glad to see them working in the public interest by getting rid of those pesky alleys.
  • Steve H., please don't let our critique of The Villagio discourage you from moving downtown. I live downtown and love it.

    Bottom line is, there are several other condos developments downtown that are much nicer and more worthy of your hard-earned money. Unless you're stalking Hélio Castroneves.
  • haha the title cracks me up...yeah watsons is gonna hook them up with a pool.

    doesn't seem like this project is very thought out does it? parking garage and bland backside facing neighborhood, add on pool, etc etc
  • Since an abortion is actually the procedure by which one rids oneself of something one wishes not to keep, perhaps design abortion is not fitting. You might better say that you would wish such a procedure for this n'hood.
  • I don't comment here often but I'd have to say this is poorly planned.
    Why not create a community pool on a vacant and empty lot?
    Not everything that is old is historic but encouraging demolition of the original structures is quiet bad for neighborhoods seeking their own identity.
    The Villagio is not very well designed and stands as an eyesore to many of the classic structures around it. It especially looks tacky sitting across from a nice old church(and that church doesn't even have its steeple anymore!).
    It seems like Villagio is getting away with slowly destroying that section of Fletcher Place. It is their property indeed but it is not their 'personal property.'(in which I don't mean jewelry or photo albums, I mean their homes.) it is business property and many people around there with personal property are going to lose from this.
    The current structure relates much better to the street level then a blank brick wall. The whole thing is ill designed.
  • idyllic, I think design abortion is meant to imply that the design entered the world before it was fully developed resulting in a putrid unpalatable mass that was dead on arrival, and that the design was never meant to be fully developed and only came about as the unfortunate side-product of actions taken in a fit of sensuous desire. Now that the building is finished we can't abort it. What we need is edificide.

    If only there existed a design contraceptive for lusty developers....
  • @socrates#1fan:

    There is no reasonable distinction between personal property and business property. Property is property and you are arguing about what sort of person(legal or real) owns it. Remember that the interest in that corporate person is the personal property of a real person or persons. And the condos are personal property as well. I agree that this project is for the most part awful and I actually honestly don't see how an individual could have any sort of pride in it. That is not the point. What is one's property is one's property, and you are either FOR property rights or not. Simplistic maybe, but asking for the rights of one property owners to be curtailed in order to prevent a possible loss of value by surrounding owners(when it does not satisfy the requirements of the Coming of the Nuisance doctrine) is a slippery slope for land use being dictated by people that are not market actors and therefore with minimal incentives to make correct choices.

    Let them build their pool and see how potential residents feel about the sort of amenities they are being offered. If not enough people purchase a unit, they will lose money and be forced to sell the property to someone who will more than likely have to do a complete makeover and probably make a smarter use of the parcel in question. Otherwise, there is not much to argue with here.
  • And there is all this uproar because how many other companies were rushing to develop ANYTHING in this area? Ummmm... thought so. I guess I just don't get it... I read on here all the time the clammering for higher density development downtown (which this certainly is) and the bemoaning of the NIMBY's in areas such as Broad Ripple... and then I read all of this QUIBBLING over a PRIVATE development. Were all of you people actively remonstrating against this project when it was in the planning stages?
  • I'm OK with the plan, as long as the pool is above ground-- you know, the kind with blue plastic sides that you always hear about kids breaking their necks in.
  • Cory,

    Are you implying through your headline that perhaps the lovechild of The Watson's Girl and Reggie Miller is being raised somewhere within the Villagio?

    Sounds like the start of a great new Property Lines Scavenger Hunt!
  • OK Huh. DMY!! I don't thing anybody on here has a major problem with this development. Most people (I think) have a problem with the General look of the building. IT LOOKS CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP. Now we all know developers are in it for the money. BUT, if people like US have to look at it the rest of our lives. It's not much to ask or complain that this is just a *Butt* ugly building and with just a couple more dollars on the whole project. I could have been SOME MUCH BETTER. Why in the world did they NOT think about a pool in the first place? Starting at over 300K. You would think. They would have a pool in the Design. And the Design would call for a roof top pool. Its luxury design 101, FIRST day, 8 am, No.1 POOL ON ROOF. This makes us think they did not PLAN very well and was looking to put up the CHEAPEST building they could. NOW to do the SELL. People looking at a 300 -800K+ Cave (see floor plans) WANT A POOL. A little brick or some detailing would have HELPED this Building 100%. This building was all about the money. I'm glade for this Building. I would like to see more buildings this size. In and around the downtown. BUT THEY NEED TO respect the area. FIT in and NOT look like some DAYS INN along 465. A luxury Condo Building NEED TO BE LUXURIOUS ON THE INSIDE AND OUT SIDE. Or you might as well used a Metal Pole barn.

    I would guess People like you don’t care about HOW YOU’RE WORLD (CITY) LOOKS. As long as your not paying for it. People like you, would let a developer put this type of building on Monument Circle. People like you, would let the State cover the State House in Vinyl siding. People like you would remove all the Parks for Parking lots. You MUST be a Developer.
  • This whole developmpent is awful. Now it's hot and they need a pool. Too bad, so sad. Why wasn't a pool considered and placed on the roof of this ill-conceived, shoe-horned project at the start? I mean, if I was paying $500,000 for a 1,000sf condo, you can bet your arse that one of the ammenities is a pool and fitness area.

    As for tearring down a building, ok, I can live with that, but to then replace it with a pool along East Street? Surely Staff has recommended denial of this?
  • I don't think this development of the Villagio is bad at all. The building looks could be a lot better but hink long term. When this side of town develops and more mid-rises are built, it will blend right in and lok normal. Yes it sticks out as a sore thumb but it has great views of the skyline, the stadium and wil continu to have good views, but it won't stick out like a sore thumb for long if redevelopment keeps taking place, which is a good thing. As for the pool. I live in a complex where our pool is across an alley and they did not need to vacate it. The alley is a drive to other buildings and any of our residents have no problem walking across. I do think they should have thought of the pool in the first place.

    I heard though that they have always targeted that parcel for a pool as an extension of the property but were waiting for sales of the condo to purcahse it an develop it. Why can't they re configure the garage and have the pool on that.
  • Why dont they just build it on that lame parking lot in front of the building? To me that makes perfect sense!
  • ...for such a non-sensible project.
  • Bob, why do you always get so carried away with EVERY SINGLE one of your posts, no matter the subject? How did you get, from what I said, that I would be willing to clad the Statehouse in vinyl siding? I would STUCCO it, of course! Duh!
  • Any project that ehances the livability of downtown Indianapolis should be applauded - not ridiculed. It's fairly obvious that some of your posts are rooted in jealousy. I wonder how many of you have ever stuck your necks out and invested in downtown Indy?
  • How is critiquing an ugly, poorly thought-out building rooted in jealousy? I refuse to accept mediocre developments in my city. It has nothing to do with jealousy.

    This project has not enhanced the livability of downtown, it ruined a great triangular lot and the view of everything behind it. The least they could've done was put something to look at on the south facade, but no, a giant beige wall was all they could manage to come up with.

    What could've been a great gateway into the rebirth of Fountain Square has now been replaced by a giant tacky box.

    I've stuck my neck out and invested in downtown Indy by living there. I try to spend as much of my money downtown as possible. I encourage every person I know to do the same.
  • In my book, any project that encourages people to live downtown, recreate downtown and spend money downtown enhances the livability of downtown. Imagine living at Villaggio and taking in the Italian Fest this weekend -or a Fever game - or hopping on the Cultural Trail - all within walking distance? No need to pump gas! This was a pipe dream only a few years ago. What you call mediocre, I call brilliant!
  • Ablerock, it is obvious that parts of the building are, in fact, very ugly. I don't think the entire project is a mess, however. Yes, that garage was a mistake and I don't think that anyone would consider this an architectural home-run, but I think people get carried away with the idea that this building has somehow ruined that entire area. There are several simple things they could do to jazz the building itself up. I'd suggest starting by painting the stucco portions a darker color which doesn't contrast so much with the brick. I haven't seen the building in quite some time..... did they ever add shutters or wrought iron accessories such as planter boxes to the windows?

    If and when that area of downtown starts to get more mid to high-rise infill, this building will start to blend in more and become part of a fabric, just as MikeW suggested in his post earlier.

    Hypothetical for everyone: which is better? NO developmet AT ALL or development which you consider mediocre? Seriously, if you had to choose one which would it be? I have never visited a city which didn't have it's share of mediocre development but I have been to PLENTY of cities which WISH they were getting ANY development......
  • Architectural home run? Well, you're right, NO ONE would consider this an architectural home run. More like bunt attempt foul for strike three.
  • I love the Indy attitude of no development at all or mediocre development, as if that's really the only choices we have. While some folks believe it, and the DMD Planning staff apparently believes it, I don't think it's asking a whole heck of a lot to redesign a rear facade or somehow better incorporate the parking garage into the structure, rather than the boil on the Villagio's ass that desperately needs to be lanced as it stands right now.
  • No, the Villagio isn't going to ruin the area by any means. I think the main complaint among detractors here is that it represents a huge opportunity lost. If it were designed well, its allure and ability to positively impact the area would be so much greater. If it were the quality of, for example, the Admiral, or some of the other excellent large mid-rise residential structures on mid-North Meridian, its impact might have been truly great. That's the problem in Indy - we get too many What Might Have Been developments...
  • Please do not think that the DMD Planning Staff supports mediocre. Their hands get tied more often than not.
  • Sorry Huh. Didn’t know it was all about you on here. In the future I'll try to keep it to one of your favorite comments.

    1. it’s not your money, so shut up.

    2. More mediocre architecture will blend in with the mediocre architecture.

    3. If you don't like it MOVE.


    4. Be glade for what you get.
  • Bob-

    1. It doesn't matter if it's his money or not. Planning and zoning exists to protect surrounding property owners from ridiculous developments like these.

    2. Oh, thank god... we can expect even more medicority to counterbalance the existing medicority.

    3. Um, no. I lived in this neighbrohood before this hellhole came along. It should have never been built like that in the first place.

    4. I have no idea how to be glade. Perhaps if I could plug into a wall and emit a warm, flowery smell, I'd take your advice.
  • I love #2 Bob!

  • I used to work in the area, and the area needed development to survive. Although this isn't the BEST development in the city, it is by far not the worst (the doubles near Riley Towers come to mind). Hopefully this helps to invigorate the area with more and better future investments.
  • Bob, you are something else! I read Huh's comments and you have taken them completely out of context and attributed sentiments to him which he hasn't even expressed. And you DO seem to get overly excited in most every one of your rambling responses. Can't you keep things civil on here? It IS a discussion board, afterall.
  • Just curious. Who has empirical evidence to back that excellant design of a major building project increases other development in an area better than a building serving the same funciton, but with mediocre or poor design?

    Seems a lot of posts take this as a truism, and just curious what there is to support it.

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  1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

  2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

  3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

  5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim