Carmel theater finds home at mall

August 17, 2009
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On Wednesday, an official announcement will be made that the troubled Carmel Community Players, once on the list of tenants for the in-the-works Carmel Performing Arts Center, will instead be putting down roots at Clay Terrace.

Simon Property Group and Lauth Property Group are on board for the venture, with the space also being made available to other arts groups (with proceeds benefiting CCP).

Here's hoping the effort works out better than attempts to put live theater in at Circle Centre. (Anyone else remember the sort-lived "Late Night Catechism"?) CCP has faced its share of challenges and this effort could be a win all around.

Your thoughts?
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  • It's a shame that didn't work out in Circle Centre, but honestly live theatre is better in artsy areas like Mass Ave or Broad Ripple OR even in coming around areas like Fountain Square or College Avenue.
  • I guess I haven't been living in or following Indy enough to know that a theater group attempted to open at Circle Centre. I'm sure it was part of an effort to lease out the largely vacant fourth floor of the mall--too bad it didn't work out. The top floor of the urban mall in New Orleans, Canal Place (much smaller than Circle Centre), has successfully sustained live theater and a gym--two uses I would have thought might have worked in that level of Circle Centre. But Indy Rock makes a good point--these sort of venues generally fare better in urban areas with street fronts (as do the bars and nightclubs that also failed in Circle Centre's fourth floor). Makes me wonder if they will ever be able to find tenants on that floor without major surgery.

    Best wishes to Carmel City Players, but does anybody else wonder if this is a bad sign for Clay Terrace? Most major shopping centers are scarcely seeking something with very limited operating hours--such as a theater--unless they are struggling to find tenants.
  • I think this makes a lot of sense.

    There is very little interest in retail space right now (even in Carmel) as many retailers are still having issues moving merchandise and have reduced or cancelled their expansion plans. So if space if available at Clay Terrace, why not rent it to a theater.

    Also, with recent court rulings that providing non-profits with reduced rent is considered a donation, Simon gets to right-off any reduced rent while having a tenant.

    It also has a great side benefit of where to go before/after a show (also good for Clay Terrace) and gets more exposure for the theater.

    I say - Way to go CCP Board on landing in a great spot!
  • Just to give you a brief synopsis of how all of this transpired - I came back to CCP recently after the split. I agreed to help them out with PR and marketing. I enquired about a retail space in Carmel and, after a brief discussion, Simon Property Group felt that CCP could be a unique addition to Clay Terrace. With over 70 retail shops and 16 restaurants, this could help draw more traffic to the outdoor mall. Clay Terrace has a few vacancies, but is mostly occupied, unlike many other malls.

    I put together a proposal that highlighted the possible uses for the Playhouse when the theater is dark. This is a big Win-Win for CCP, Clay Terrace and the community. Score one for the good guys!

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  1. What became of this project? Anyone know?

  2. Scott, could you post an enlarged photo of the exterior of the building? This will be a great addition to Walnut Street. This area will only continue to develop with additions like this. Also, please give us more updates on the "Cultural Trail light" expansion. Also a great move for the city, as long as there is maintenance money set aside.

  3. Great story IBJ! Citizens don't have a real sense of the financial magnitude of supporting Indy's sports and tourism sector. The CIB was a brilliant idea for creating a highly integrated public-private partnership to support this sector from the economic activity it generates. Unfortunately, most folks think the benefits of that economic activity accrue directly to the City budget, and it doesn't. So though the CIB is facing lean times (covering its costs while maintaining minimally acceptable reserves), the City is operating with deficit - less tax revenue than expenses each year - with a very fragile reserve balance. That's why it's so challenging for the City to fund basic needs or new intitatives (e.g. pre-k education; new jail), and some credit rating agencies have downgraded Indy from it's past stellar AAA status. More reporting on City finances would be welcomed.

  4. Sure, I'll admit that it bugs me to see that the IBJ.COM censors it's blog posts almost as much as the D of I does when someone points out the falsehoods and fabrications. _____But I think it bothers me almost as much that Captain/Defender/Disciple get his yanked too. You see, those of us with a sense of integrity, humanity, compassion, and a need for fact based opinion WANT to see all of his screeds posted. It makes our point so much better than we can do it ourselves.

  5. We're conflating two very different topics. Voter fraud is a myth and excessive gun violence is all too real. I just hope rational gunowners decide to stop being shouted down by the, well, let's call them "less rational" ones.

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