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North of South gets a new name: CityWay

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The $156 million mixed-use development at Delaware and South streets in Indianapolis has a new name designed to reference both the project's downtown locale and the urban "way of life" it will offer.

The name CityWay is the result of more than a year of work by "various branding companies" to capture the project's "urban and contemporary" flavor, said Brad Chambers, CEO of developer Buckingham Cos., at a groundbreaking event Wednesday morning.

Signs around the project, formerly known as North of South, tout ways the project will allow visitors and residents to work, shop, dine, stay and live the "CityWay."

The complex, to be built primarily on Eli Lilly and Co.-owned parking lots, calls for a boutique 157-room Dolce hotel, a YMCA branch, 320 apartments and 40,000 square feet of retail and office space.

Taxpayers are acting as the project's bank, putting up nearly every dollar used to build it, chiefly by loaning $86 million raised from the sale of municipal bonds.

The developer considered other names, including Midyard, a reference to the site's historic use as a railyard, before settling on CityWay, said Terry Sweeney, director of real estate for Indianapolis Downtown Inc.

All told, about 200 possible names were vetted.

Sweeney and other dignitaries, including Mayor Greg Ballard, Eli Lilly CEO John Lechleiter and City-County Council members, attended the official groundbreaking Wednesday, an event Chambers described as an opportunity to "thank the people" who made the project possible.

Guests gathered in an air-conditioned tent, sipped iced teas and lemonade and snacked on orange-cranberry muffins with turkey and watermelon bites topped with blue cheese, as they waited for remarks and for CityWay-branded shovels to cut into a mound of dirt.

Locally based Buckingham Cos. expects to finish construction in about two years. The hotel should open first, in January 2013, said Scott Travis, Buckingham's senior development executive.

The developer spent more than three years working with Lilly to formulate plans for the project. Buckingham, Lilly and the city announced the effort last September, at which time Buckingham expressed hope it could break ground by the end of 2010.

Lilly, which is partnering with Buckingham on the project, has said CityWay will help connect the Lilly corporate campus with downtown proper and offer amenities that would help the pharmaceutical firm attract and retain employees.

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  • blech
    If the target audience for this development is people looking to live in an urban neighborhood, including the word "city" in the title is a poor decision. This is like naming a restaurant FoodHere. I like Midyard better. Maybe the people of Indianapolis should have been given a vote.
  • Terrible Name. Very Disappointed.
    What terrible name! This could be an amazing neighborhood to add to the city and help attract the young urban professionals the city wants to recruit.

    However, the naming committee seemed to miss the point with naming it "City Way". It is dull, bland, basic, and corny. There is no character to the name. There is nothing cool about it.

    "Midyard" (as mentioned in the article) would have been much better. It has roots. Instead, it is typical Midwest vanilla and sounds very corporate.

    Take a look at the great names of neighboods in other big US cities... "Meatpacking Disctrict" or "SoHo" (an acroynm of South of Houston street) in Manhattan. Or "Castro" in San Francisco. "The Heights" in Houston. "Buckhead" in Atlanta. Strong, distinguished names.

    This was Indy's chance to add an urban splash of culture and spice to the growing downtown scene but chose a boring name. These things should be decided by artists. Not politicians or their yes-men and women. It is about as clever and creative a name as "Indianpolis" is to Indianapolis.
  • or the highway
    I am guessing that other developers can see the City Way or take the highway
  • Worst name I ever heard
    I liked North of South - you know exactly where it is and it is unique. CityWay is CityStupid.
  • North of South
    Yes city way is ok but i think it should be called city way place or city way at north and south,city place indianapolis. and yes north of south also sounded pretty cool. Anthony j. indianapolis.
  • thank the people
    Sweeney and other dignitaries, including Mayor Greg Ballard, Eli Lilly CEO John Lechleiter and City-County Council members, attended the official groundbreaking Wednesday, an event Chambers described as an opportunity to "thank the people" who made the project possible.

    How many taxpayers were there to thank? Any of the people who live in homes without air conditioning?
  • it could be better
    So uninspiring! While north of south wasn't great, at least it made you think there was an urban element to it. When the name specifically says "city" in it, I imagine that in reality it is anything but!
  • CityWay
    Call it "TaxpayersarefundingviamunibondWay"
  • Agreed!
    I agree. This new name is quite weak. North of South wasn't bad and did have location branded into it. I wish they would have let me know about the naming process. I would have spent much less time to come up with a bad name.
  • Poor Choice
    North of South is a lot classier. CityWay is such a poor choice it's hard to imagine how it was arrived at. Was it supposed to be a contrast to CountryWay? Is there some insecurity about Indy being a city, so they had to make that clear? Is it too late to ditch the new moniker?
  • Really?
    Reminds me of Ayr-Way. 200 options and you pick City Way? North of South was a much better name!
  • CityWay!?
    Sorry "branding" experts but this sounds like a discount shopping center to me. If they're marketing this development to a low-budget demographic, I suppose it works. I think North of South had a much better ring to it, and even provided a general location in its moniker. And if the development ends up being of crappy quality, you know "City" is going to end up with a less-palatable word in its place.

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