Kite pitches Pan Am plan

May 21, 2008
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panamsm.jpgAs promised, here is a siteplan from Kite Realty Group Trust that shows its preliminary plan to redevelop Pan Am Plaza. The plan shows seven restaurant, retail or entertainment spaces with a total of about 70,000 square feet for lease. The existing Pan Am memorial would be relocated to an area designed to "draw people into the plaza." Kite joined with Sacramento, Calif.-based Coastal Partners LLC to buy the plaza and two adjacent ice skating rinks from Indiana Sports Corp. in April.
  • Wow.... how remarkably UNimpressive. Typically, I don't like to complain about any development downtown, I generally think ANY development is good development and most definitely better than a surface parking lot. But this is one of the premier pieces of land downtown and this proposal just seems completely underwhelming.....
  • So, basically we get about 6 or 7 one story, maybe two story, restaraunt and retail establishments? I guess I figured that they would replace the ice rink buildings when the redeveloped the site, but from the notes on the site plan that does not seem to be the case for the west ice rink at least. Doesn't seem like they put a whole lot of effort into this site plan. I expected better from Kite.
  • That's a poor site plan.

    And a poor use of one the best lots downtown: It's sandwiched in-between The Luke, The Convention Center, and Circle Center Mall, for crying-out-loud, and is just a few blocks from The Circle and Conseco Fieldhouse.

    I didn't imagine a 30-story tower getting built there anytime soon, but a couple of 10-story mixed-use buildings would seem to make more financial sense than a handful of retail stores. Why just rent to retailers when you can give them a built in audience via several stories of apartments or condos?

    I guess one can't really expect much grander visions from a strip-mall developer.

    Check the portfolio:
  • Please don't tell me these are one story buildings. Simply disgusting for a city that waves around the 13th largest city banner. This would be immediately shot down in Carmel.
  • I'm just disgusted by this plan by Kite. I'm simply amazed by their conservative backward thinking process. This is just plain ridiculous... just like Ablerock said, it's sandwiched in-between The Luke, The Convention Center, and Circle Centre Mall... How will Indy ever prosper into a cutting edge thinking city? Not with this type of uncreative, unmotivational, and boring frog crap...
  • Wow - a proposal to turn Pan Am Plaza into a food court.
  • This is a joke. Here we have the most important piece of property downtown and they want to make it a strip mall. We need to have a major highrise with a hotel,condos, and office space. On the first few levels their could be retail that would connect circle centre and convention center. It would also be nice to have another anchor for circlecentre something like the worlds largest toy store in New York City. A store like that would be a huge regional draw and people are always willing to spend money on their kids. If kite cant do this get someone else that can. It was stated numerous times that this would be his signiture project. This would be kites most shameful..
  • At first I thought this was some kind of April Fools joke, but then I looked at my calendar. How dissapointing for one of the prime parcels in downtown. We are spending millions to bring the Super Bowl in Indy and we are going to welcome our visitors with suburban style strip mall outlots? There has to be a way to stop this crap.
  • Ladies and gentlemen, keep in mind that this is very preliminary site plan. I am sure Kite just put something together to take to Vegas with them. This plan will change a 1,000 times before they actually start construction. You have to cut them a little slack since it is so early in the game.
  • I wonder what lifestyle center name Kite will give this development? Any thoughts. How about Pan Am Town Centre?
  • This is what you get from KITE. KITE is one of the worst developers creatively speaking. You can always tell Kite trys to use the cheapest way to meet the minimum development standards. In my opinion Broadbent, Lauth, and even Centre properties with their new River Center development in Fishers are head and shoulders above Kite.
  • BOO!!!!
  • Why is there such a lack of understanding for URBAN development in Indianapolis? For a city that loves to boast about the compact downtown, there certainly seems to be a lot of development that stands counter to that vision.
  • I don't generally have problems with downtown development but this site could be so much more. They could easily add height and apartments - thats such a hot market downtown
  • Big Daddy, you raise a good point. Remember some other Kite projects: they built the Conrad, are developing the Fresh Market at 54th and College, retooled Glendale with a new Target, and are doing a huge mixed-use project at Notre Dame called Eddy Street Commons. Hopefully they'll have some more detailed plans that I can share soon.
  • Maria - You got it right with the Centre spelling, but you forgot the e on the end of Town. It sounds WAY more upscale if you spell it Towne Centre!
  • As has already been said, they just bought the property just over a month ago. I would like to see any of you come up with some grand scheme to pitch in just over a month. I'm sure this will change once they have time to get input from the city, Indiana Historical Society, and other groups. This packet was just put together to gauge the interest in the project.
  • The reason Lucas Oil Stadium is pointing the way it is, is so that the Indy Skyline is visible out the end windows. The Pan Am Plaza is right in clear site of these windows. Maybe we can talk Kite into building just a little taller so that bleachers can be placed on top like across the street at Wrigley Field. It's not quite right across the street but nothing a pair of binoculars couldn't fix. Okay, bleachers are a stretch because it is a winter sport but at least they could enhance the skyline rather than ignore it. Plus, if the new main entrance to the convention center is at Georgia & Capitol, the plaza should face Georgia. Especially with Georgia being the main corridor for the Superbowl.
  • Do not expect much people....even if this is just preliminary. In Indianapolis, developers never goe the extra mile in building design or height. My guess it will be something about 10 stories in height and very bland. Business first, legacy last.
  • If your going to COME UP WITH SOME SCHEME to just pitch. AKA pretty pictures Why not make up some 50 60 100 story Hotel/condo/office/retail/glass neon lighted stratus tower type building. Not just a strip mall. This is just lame. I can hear it now in some office at Kite. Just give him something. I don’t care what. Just something. NOW get out of my office I have to take this call from National City Bank.
  • Bigdaddy, I hope you're right.

    Rockemsockem, I could whip together a vastly superior project with mock-ups in 2 hours. Thinking creatively about downtown development is not hard. Getting the money to build it is the hard part.
  • Only time will tell but I think the Kite people will give us something that we are proud of.
  • Kite is not a strip mall developer! Like stated above, it's most likely a preliminary plan until they fully flesh out what they want to to do with the propery and what the interest is. If you have haven't noticed the economy is in the toilet and getting loans for any projects is much more difficult. Not to mention condo demand is at a low, since people actually have to have credit now to get a mortgage. Why do you think the Market Square site is STILL vacant years after MSA was torn down? Developing or re-developing a downtown site is not easy and really, judging from the posts I read on here about any project, there's really no pleasing you. Something is always too bland, or too boring, or not tall enough, or not urban enough. I don't think any of you would ever be happy.

    You know Kite could've let Glendale go the way of Lafayette Square, but instead decided to really work on it. This is the 2nd remodel of that site since they've owned it. My neighborhood association is thrilled with it! So few real estate companies give us anything but check-cashing and liquor stores near that area of Keystone.

    Why don't you guys get together and pool your money and buy a site downtown and develop it? I mean, if you obviously know so more about it than do the professionals, by all means, I would love to see what you can do! I'm sure it would astonish!
  • I am not a fan of this site plan, but what everyone else is proposing is not feasible. I too would much rather have the bldgs be a little taller. but people, who is going to fill this extra SF. We should not expect Kite to build it big and expect tenants to come or in this case manifest out of nowhere and fill up the occupancy. Kite will probably alter their plans as time progresses, but they can not afford to build spec on such an expensive piece of property. It will crash the bottom line of the project.
  • You better watch out Firewoman, you will be accussed of being an evil developer by certain people on this forum if you don't join in on the b*tching and moaning about every project that is mentioned on this blog.
  • Another factor that could be at work here is the garage ownership situation. If they're able to reach a deal with the garage owner, maybe this plan gets more aggressive.
  • Dead on Firewoman. The question needs to be should the site be developed now, or should it sit empty and wait. Downtown does NOT need more office space, vacancy rates are too high as it is. Condos are over-saturated, and there isn't sufficient room for parking to allow for substantial condo development. A mid-rise to high-rise structure on this site is not economically feasible, except maybe as a hotel.

    If the site is developed now, it's going to be mostly retail. If the site sits vacant for another five years, it could be something bigger. Generally, I'm in favor of development, as opposed to wasting the utility of valuable land by letting it sit under-utilized, while hoping for something grand down the line. There are exceptions (MSA for one), and this might be another one. But adding that much retail space that close to the convention center would definitely increase the density of people downtown... tough call.
  • Is the garage under the plaza structurally designed to support large structures above it?
  • I don't think anyone on this forum knows for sure that's why we shouldn't be passing judgement on the design of the project.
  • rockemsockem, you said they had less than a month to work on this? Then why is the site plan dated December 2007????
  • And why is it referencing a Holiday In Crowne Plaza - Hotel and Convention Center? I don't think it is a Holiday Inn anymore, and I'm pretty sure Inn has two N's.

    I hope this was put together quickly!
  • Levi, I take the completely opposite view. If you rush in to develop prime sites such so that you can have some building there, you've effectively ruined the long term value of the site since it is so difficult to redevelop or replace a new structure. With critical sites like MSA and Pan Am Plaza, it is indeed better to wait, rather than be stuck with something the city will regret for the next 40-50 years.
  • O praise be to Kite, Thank you Lord God Kite for being the Great Giver to Indianapolis. Cast down to us the little people. And give us strip mall development in the Center of Downtown. Without you (Kite) Firewoman would not have a GOD to worship.

    Will that work Big Daddy,.

    Building ANYTHING that is not 10-15 floors or taller. Well, is just BAD development on this site. I think that’s what people on here are trying to say. You don't build a trailer park next to your Convention Center in the middle of Downtown. Times are tight. But wait a couple of years and the Cash will be flowing again. And Kite can build something more suitable on this site. Don’t just build to build something. That just more bad development. Its looks like with the SB on its way. Kite just wanting to cash in on retail space/sells with a LOAD of stores right outside the Door. NOT thinking LONG TERM... Just fast cash. Now, we all know that ALL developers are in it for the cash. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMIN’S. It’s never about making the City a better place. And when we give up TAX money for them to build. YOU BET your back side. We should have something to say about it

    And if IBJ did not want people's comments they would have never given us this blog. Or do you JUST want the good comments or just the one’s YOU like.
  • It truly is uninspiring. This is a community that needs to care more about architecture and design. But the fact is just letting this sit empty is expensive. The Urbanophile is right. It would be best to wait but the question is can Kite afford to wait and not realize any revenue from their purchase. With the credit markets as they are lenders will require leases before they loan money. There is no more market for office downtown. Condos and apartments are over built in this environment. The weird parking ownership makes building a hotel or high rise impossible. I don't think retail is viable. The reality is that Kite may have bought this too soon and paid too much. Perhaps they can build something that will make sense now that they can expand later. What's really important is that the city insists on good design and thinks of this project for the long term.
  • Urbanophile- I agree. I think this is one of those sites that you wait for. The Conrad site is a perfect example. If the Peterson administration had taken the first offer, we never would have gotten the Conrad hotel. That's a little different as that site (as with MSA) was city owned. But I think the logic applies here too.

    I was just trying to say to comments that argue Build something extravagant now! that it's not possible, and to be blunt, it's naive. Indy doesn't need another office building, and the site isn't suited for apartments or condos with the available parking.
  • Are you sure this was not designed for Avon?
  • Am I the only one who looked at the site plan and wondered why it was about 5 degrees off axis? This is a downtown city site and building footprints generally (no matter how tall) should be aligned with the city grid. There is no diagonal street in that area...even the RR tracks run due east-west. (And yes, I know LOS violates that rule.)

    In general, I don't have a problem with single-user restaurant or retail buildings holding places downtown. Those buildings can easily be swept away if a major project comes down the pike later. In the meantime, the restaurants are generating wages, taxes, and foot traffic.
  • Sorry Firewoman, but I think you are way out of line in your criticism of people and their views, simply because they don't mesh with yours or seem too negative for you. If everyone took the same attitude you have and just sat back and let what would happen just happen, we'd have a crapload of single story buildings and NOTHING inspiring at all. Input from the community, both the good and the bad, is a very important part of the development process, particularly in the urban core.

    Levi, I happen to think that a a mid- to highrise would be perfectly feasible on this site. Not every development has to be condos. Anyone remember those things called apartments? There is still a VERY HIGH demand for apartments downtown, a demand which will probably continue to grow. Several years ago, Barrett and Stokely had propsed a high rise apartment building with retail on the lower floors which I think would work perfectly in a location like this. Perhaps someone should push them to revive their plans. It would have been a unigue project in Indianapolis and, if I remember correctly, it was actually fairly innovative architecture, as well.
  • We should wait until we see renderings? WHATEVER!!! This is nothing more than a glorified strip mall in the middle of D/T. This plaza should have something at least 30 floors and be significant. I just can't decide what to be more appalled by, Kite's audacity tosuggest this abortion or the people arguing in its defense. Give me a break, will ya?
  • That Barrett and Stokely project, btw, was proposed for the site where the Conrad now stands. The only reason it fell through, from my understanding, was a problem discovered with an underground parking garage already at that location and how to build so high on top of it.
  • Dear Firewoman,

    Kite indeed rescued Glendale with MIllion's of public dollars !
  • Although I couldn't get a real clear picture of the site plan on my computer, I agree with many of the postings - it's uninspiring. It's going on what' supposed to be the new front door of the city, leading right into the new Convention City. Give us something good and inspired; as others have said, not another suburban strip mall slapped down on Indy's new Main St. Kite can do better this - I hope.
  • Firewoman,

    Kite most certainly is a stripmall developer. When 99% of your properties are shopping centers, you're a stripmall developer. It's almost impossible to find anything but stripmalls in their portfolio:

    Also, they label themselves as such.

    From Kite's website:

    Kite Realty Group Trust is a full-service, vertically-integrated real estate investment trust focused primarily on the development, construction, acquisition, ownership and operation of high quality neighborhood and community SHOPPING CENTERS in selected growth markets in the United States.


    We focus on neighborhood and community SHOPPING CENTERS anchored by market-leading retailers or small to medium sized operators with a dominant niche position.


    Levi, your argument that there's no parking doesn't make sense. There's not enough parking for apartments or condos, but there is enough parking for a giant stripmall? C'mon. They could easily build a parking garage in a similar fashion to The Cosmolitan's.


    Bob is right on. This is all about a quick buck. It's going to bring down the quality of the whole area if it's as poor as it seems it is.

    St. Elmo Steakhouse? Yeah It's right down the street from Pan Am Town Centre. Just make a right at the Pet Food Warehouse.
  • Marshall- I agree that apartments, even high rise, are viable downtown. And Kite could certainly put together the financing. But you can't build a high-rise apartment building in Indy without parking. Where are you proposing to put the garage? Along Illinois or Meridian.

    I don't think apartments are viable on the site for the same reason I don't think condos are viable: there's no place to put the cars.
  • Yes, that Towne Centre Village at Glendale will truly be something at which to marvel. Funny how while one section of DMD was busy crafting an Ordinance to require the construction of public sidewalks adjacent to new development/redevelopment, another section was busy throwing cash into hefty bags and delivering them to Kite without either requiring an overall pedestrian-oriented design at a location served by three IndyGo bus routes as well as being along a potential rapid transit route, or even simply the construction of perimeter sidewalks where they are currently lacking.

    I'm picturing a cartoon alligator with the different DMD sections being on the opposite short little arms unable to come together to figure out what each is doing.
  • Levi, have you been in a city before? Why can't they incorporate parking into the structure?

    And I'll say it again, your argument that there's no parking doesn't make sense. There's not enough parking for apartments or condos, but there is enough parking for a giant stripmall?
  • The kicker to this - and the reason why nothing over a two or three story building will currently work on the site - is that Kite does not own or control the parking structure under the site. Anything substantial would require MAJOR structural renovation in the underground garage and I don't believe that owner is willing to play without a substantial pay off. So adding an above ground parking structure or 30 story condo tower just isn't viable

    That said, there could and should still be something there that is useful, architecturally significant, and at least a decent use of the space within three stories.

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