Mass Ave building changes hands

March 3, 2009
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Argyle BuildingAn iconic flatiron building on Massachusetts Avenue downtown has a new owner nearly three years after the property first went on the market, IBJ's Chip Cutter reports in this week's Real Estate Weekly. Larry Browning of Shelbyville-based Evergreen Investment Corp. paid $3.2 million for the historic three-story Argyle on Mass Ave building at the corner of East Street and Massachusetts Avenue. He plans to spend between $200,000 and $300,000 over the next five years to upgrade the mixed-use property, which contains 17,787 square feet of retail space on the basement and first floors and 36 mostly one-bedroom apartments on the upper levels. "It won't be dramatic," he said, "but there will be lots of little areas where we're going to spend some money on just gradually improving the property." The ground-floor retail space is home to Mediterranean restaurant Aesop's Tables, caterer Boun Gusto Unique Events, hair salon Michael's on Mass and local retailers Interior Life and The Stamp Shop. The upstairs apartment units, which rent from $550 to $700 a month, rarely have vacancies, Browning said. Key priorities will be sprucing up the apartment units and finding a tenant or two to occupy the 6,000 square feet of vacant space in the building's basement. See the full story here.
  • Good news for a great little building.
  • Also, these pie-shaped buildings are called Flat Irons.
  • Thanks for the assist, Ablerock. Changed it.
  • Cool.
    I love this building.
  • Ahh... I remember when this building was also home to the very first dance club I stepped into... (at the underage of 16 years, lol).... It was also once home to a video store / tanning salon of which I was an employee. Nice building.
  • Good to hear. I lived here back in 2005, and thought that it could use some work. Some parts of the building seemed like they could be in an anonymous office park or suburban apartment complex. But, it was a great price for a downtown place, so I didn't complain too much.
  • Good to see more investment in the area. I hope this is the start of the credit markets loosening up.
  • It's interesting to think about the potential uses of the basement mentioned in the article. It's hard to speculate without knowing what shape the space is in, but as Mass Ave grows it would be nice to see spaces like that used for artist space or even retail.
  • Thanks Cory, on reread, that came out snobby, which wasn't my intent!
  • K, anyone, why are these buildings called Flat Irons? I'd even take a dose of 'snobby answer' to cure my ignorance. Great deal, btw. Sounds like a win-win for everyone. We need more of these kinds of building-saving projects.
  • I think it refers to the flat iron building in NYC, and from that point on we just started calling them flat irons because they are the same shape(even though they were around a long time before the NYC flat iron).
    I could be wrong though.
  • Or, it could be because the buildings are shaped like a flat iron.
  • That is a really nice building...I go to Aesops all of the time. A few years back, before the previous owners raised the rent, I had friends who were tenants in the basement space...a market research firm, Full Circle (now based in Carmel) and a communications firm, Savvy Events & Marketing (now based in New York City). They used to have the best wine and after hours events every First Friday to coincide with IDADA...the space and ambiance made you often forget that you were in Indy and not SoHo. Hopefully the new owner will get attract the same type of tenants.
  • Bring back Mugwumps!
  • It is because it is in the shape of an old flat iron back before they made electric irons.
  • Indy used to have a wonderful flatiron building. Too bad it had to be torn down:-(
  • We used to have dozens of flatirons. Indy's diagonal street grid (what's left of it) is a veritable breeding ground for them.

    Too bad most of them have been torn down.

    It seems current developers aren't interested in taking advantage of such unique parcels.

    Most recently, The Villagio at Paige Point had a chance to build a beautiful flatiron, but decided to build a tiny parking lot instead.

    Hopefully, someday soon, there will be a flatiron renaissance in Indy. :-)
  • njo shizzy - bring back mugwumps! That place was fun.

    My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult played there. :)
  • We could use something like the ultimate flatiron (The National Gallery of Art East Wing) that celebrates the angled space. Not a gallery, but a modern, distinctive, angled, multi-tenant building.

    Perhaps concrete and glass?

    Perhaps at the foot of the Barton Tower on Mass Ave?
  • I too look forward to a resurgence of Flat Irons in Indy and with great diagonal streets like Indiana, Mass, Virgiana and Ft. Wayne with lots of developable land I look forward to the future. Just look at the lot near Barton tower that IHA wants to develop; great spot for a flat iron.

    Also, if people haven't seen some of the picture of the great old flat irons indy used to have look for pictures of the Lincoln Hotel (Illinois/Washington/Kentucky Intersection) and the Knights of Pythias building (Mass/Penn/Ohio Intersection).

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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