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New mixed-use project holds promise for building across street

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map of the Cadillac Building, site of proposed projectAn 82-year-old downtown commercial building that’s had trouble luring tenants is suddenly positioned to thrive courtesy of an $85 million mixed-use project planned for a site right across the street.

About a third of the 50,700-square-foot Cadillac Building at the northwest corner of Capitol Avenue and Michigan Street has been empty for more than 10 years. The Stough Group, the Cincinnati-based company that owns it, decided last year to give the building a boost by investing $350,000 in a modest exterior renovation.

But the building’s biggest selling point arrived last week. The city and locally based Flaherty & Collins Properties announced Jan. 24 plans to transform what is now an entire city block of surface parking outside the Cadillac Building’s front door. A Marsh grocery store, 487 apartments, additional retail space and a parking garage will be built beginning next summer on the south side of Michigan Street between Capitol and Indiana Avenue.  

“It’s a great amenity for our building,” said Scott Lindenberg, a broker with Echelon Realty Advisors who was hired to take over the leasing effort about a year ago. Lindenberg said the building owners were thrilled when he called them with news of the mixed-use project the day it was announced.

Lindenberg had been marketing the roughly 16,000-square-feet that’s available in the building for $9.95 a square foot. He’d been targeting small office users, but news of the mixed-use project changed the equation. “We have a different asset to market now,” said Lindenberg, who thinks the building could be attractive now to retail users—a class of tenant that could pay 35 percent to 40 percent more than an office user.

The best retail spot is undoubtedly an 8,000-square-foot, first-floor space that fronts Michigan Street. The building, which once housed a Cadillac dealership, used to have large first-floor windows. Those were filled in long ago but could be reopened, Lindenberg said.

Another 7,700 square feet is available on the second floor, which has 12-foot ceilings and exposed beams. The second floor is already home to Indianapolis School of Ballet, which leases about 13,000 square feet, and Riolo Dance, a dance studio that leases 3,500 square feet.

The building’s oldest tenant is PlasmaCare, a plasma donation center that occupies the majority of the first floor in a space that fronts Capitol Avenue. PlasmaCare moved into the building not long after Stough Group bought the property in 1983.

A plasma center might not be a selling point when trying to lure mainstream retail tenants, but PlasmaCare has a long history with the building owner. Stough owned PlasmaCare, which has facilities in Virginia, Alabama and throughout the Midwest, until about five years ago and got into commercial real estate by purchasing properties suitable for housing the centers, said Polly Benzing, an asset manager for Stough.

When Stough sold PlasmaCare it kept the real estate. About 65 percent of its holdings are still single-tenant buildings that house plasma centers, Benzing said. She said PlasmaCare has been a good tenant for the Cadillac Building and will stay there for the time being.

But she wouldn’t rule out big changes for the building, which sits on a block bounded by Senate Avenue on the west and North Street on the north. Stough owns more than half the block, including 276 parking spaces, and is well aware of its potential down the road.

Company owner Michael Stough thought from the start that the Cadillac Building and surrounding area would eventually be a prime area for development, Benzing said. In 1993 Stough added to its holdings in the area when it bought the building immediately west of the Cadillac. That building is leased to Mo’Jo Coffeehouse.

Stough also developed and owns the 22,000-square-foot Lockefield Commons retail center at 901 Indiana Ave and the Pavilion at Castleton, a 42,000-square-foot retail strip center on the north side of Castleton Square Mall that Stough built in 1986.

 

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  • Mo'Joe Building
    Restore the windows on the Plasma Center building, move Mo'Joe and the Textbook Alternative in there and then replace the Mo'Joe building with proper (built to the sidewalk) retail/residential space of a height to match everything around it. Michigan and Senate would instantly be one of the best retail spots in the whole city.

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  1. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...

  2. 85 feet for an ambitious project? I could shoot ej*culate farther than that.

  3. I tried, can't take it anymore. Untill Katz is replaced I can't listen anymore.

  4. Perhaps, but they've had a very active program to reduce rainwater/sump pump inflows for a number of years. But you are correct that controlling these peak flows will require spending more money - surge tanks, lines or removing storm water inflow at the source.

  5. All sewage goes to the Carmel treatment plant on the White River at 96th St. Rainfall should not affect sewage flows, but somehow it does - and the increased rate is more than the plant can handle a few times each year. One big source is typically homeowners who have their sump pumps connect into the sanitary sewer line rather than to the storm sewer line or yard. So we (Carmel and Clay Twp) need someway to hold the excess flow for a few days until the plant can process this material. Carmel wants the surge tank located at the treatment plant but than means an expensive underground line has to be installed through residential areas while CTRWD wants the surge tank located further 'upstream' from the treatment plant which costs less. Either solution works from an environmental control perspective. The less expensive solution means some people would likely have an unsightly tank near them. Carmel wants the more expensive solution - surprise!

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