Paramount Tower getting redesign

April 18, 2008
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Paramount TowerA development team is redesigning plans for a 16-story student-housing tower it hopes to build on a 2.3-acre site a few blocks east of the Central Canal. The developers, a partnership of Fishers-based Paramount Realty Group and Indianapolis-based Alboher Development Co. Inc., are making changes requested by the city's planning staff. The city wants the developers to redesign the façade (Original rendering shown here, click for a larger version) and move the $40 million tower closer to Michigan Street to provide easier bus access to campus. The project, dubbed Paramount Tower, would replace a parking lot east of Capitol Avenue between Michigan and North streets. A hearing on the proposal is scheduled for May 13, but the developers expect to request at least one more continuance, to June. The project architect is Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf. IBJ first reported the plans in November.
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  • This is great evidence that Indy is finally moving forward in their urban thinking. For example, asking for a redesign is a great step. As is asking it to be closer to the street for mass transit usage. Those are two really good things to hear! I'm quite impressed by the city planning staff on this.
  • I agree Erich. Very positive requests.

    As is, it looks like a Commie Block. Or beautiful Lugar Tower (yuck).

    Cory are we looking at the NW corner of the building here? Is this intersection the corner of North and Capitol?
  • Is there suppose to be some retail space on the bottom floor? Wondering and hoping.
  • Advent - Last I knew there was supposed to be space for a small restaurant and perhaps a workout facility. Nothing exciting.
  • Thanks to the City to ask that the facade and placement of the building be redesigned. The building looks like one of the numerous HUD projects on the southside of Chicago that have been torn down over the years. Why does Indianapolis continuously settle for mediocre architecture.
  • They aren't Robert, thats why they asked for the redesign.....
  • Marshall,
    What do you mean they aren't? The City is asking for the redesign per the article.
  • hey Cory, the link in the story at the top to the old rendering is missing. Could you repost the link int eh comments?
  • FYI: The City's planning staff has been asking for redesigns on projects for years. It's just that those requests fell on deaf ears. Developers just called on the guys in one of the CCb's corner offices and got there way. I had the petition for the Clarian Lab Building along the north side of 11th Street and I kicked and screamed asking for a redesign of the bottom floors (parking garage) to look more like retail spaces and make it more pedestrain friendly. I actually tried to require ground-floor retail as it was at the north basin of the Canal and would have been perfect. However, Clarian's people contacted a corner office and I was quietly told to approve the request as submitted.

    I am pleased that this building is getting redesigned. I can hear the Staff comments now....
  • Robert,

    Per the article the are redesigning it per the City's request.
  • JAK: This is the old rendering. They're working on a new one.
  • Sorry Cory, i misunderstood. Looking forward to the new renderings. I think this is good start, but they certainly have room for improvement.
  • Cory, can you please update us on the Merrill Tower winning the zoning variance. I just read it on the Indy Star & could not believe you didn't update us first. Thank you!
  • Only in Indianapolis does a 16-story building called a tower. This building has no reason to be called a tower due to its proportions & height. A midrise should be the term, not a tower.
  • Robert:

    You are incorrect with the term tower. Detroit's Chase Tower is 14 floors and has been referred to as a tower since it's construction in 1959. This is only 1 example and I'm sure you could find a building in every major city in America that's less than 14 floors and called a tower. Why are you such a debbie-downer?
  • This design looks like a Russian apartment block from the late 50's. POURED IN PLACE CONCRETE. Or just as bad pre-cast.

    Even with a redesign, I don't see it looking any better. I'm looking into my crystal ball. I see, I see, 6 foot high chane link fence. Sliding metal casement windows and some plywood. And is that an elevator or a public restroom. In this buildings future

    CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP. Is the word here.

    I think I hear the phone ringing in a corner office. Yes, it’s a developer with a Big Fat check.

    This is Indiana and Indianapolis. One of the most corrupt State and City’s in the Midwest.
  • Erich: The Merrill Tower developer won a second zoning variance but still has not submitted a revised design that eliminates the need to vacate the alley. Once they do that, look for a post here.
  • Todd,
    Its 2008, this is not a tower.
  • Robert, at 16 floors, it will tower over any of the other buildings in that general vicinity. I like the height for that area and see nothing wrong with calling it what it is.... a tower.
  • What part of student housing did everyone not understand. This isn't going to be a city show place but affordable housing for students attending IUPUI. Yes it could look better and I sure it will look somewhat better...but be a little realistic. We do in fact have a major university just west of downtown and as much as I think we hae alot of bad design here...there are some areas were form doesn need to follow function a little bit. I see this as nothing morthe than an extension to the campus.
  • Gbow. Look past the next 20 years in which IUPUI may own the building. It may start needing repairs and it would be more cost effective to the university to sell it to a private person and move more student housing towards the river. Point is, things change hands and the university wont always own it. IT could turn into private apartments so they need to be made in the right design and a lasting design. It's part of the new (loosely used) urban core that is developing.
  • briscoe gucker meet indianapolis
  • how about a locator map cory. :)
  • My god it is Briscoe! Hell they might as well just go big and build Eigenmann Tower right there!
  • Mike...

    IUPUI doesn't own it now. This is a private development.

    Gbow...

    Just because it's a dorm doesn't mean it has to be drab. Every building affects the city's image. A city made up of mediocre, strictly functional buildings and a couple of showpieces is still a mediocre, dull city with a couple of unique structures. A handful of cool buildings will not overshadow a city full of sub-par design.

    We need to start paying attention to the aesthetic impact of our utilitarian buildings just as much as our museums. It's an easy way to stand out in a world full of competing cities: Look at that, Indianapolis even builds beautiful dorms!
  • mr bill: You can find a locator map on the previous post on the tower: http://propertylines.ibj.com/?p=490
  • Ok in twenty years when private company wants to buy the building from the state paid for by our tax dollars they can make it a showcase...raise the rent and of they go. Meanwhile back at the ranch in twenty years will we have any workable mass tranist in this city...that makes it even feasible to live here? That's what we need to be looking at now for twenty years down the road.
  • Um, what?

    I don't understand your comment Gbow. This is a private development. Nothing is being funded by your tax dollars. What are you talking about?

    Also, I support public transportation, but what does mass transit have to do with the feasibility of this project? This is development is basically a dorm for IUPUI students, whose campus starts about 4 blocks away. If people refuse to walk that far, nobody can help them.
  • I totally agree with Ablerock about the city's overall image and mediocre architecture. Columbus, Indiana is an excellent example of creating award winning architecture on all building types. Indianpolis can learn a lot from this city.
  • Mediocre buildings look better than surface parking lots...
  • Mediocre buildings do not look better than surface lots. How small minded. Surface lots hold potential for what COULD be developed in the future with smart planning and good design. Once a tower or midrise is built - opportunity over for the most part. Atleast for the next 25 to 50 years. Indy is so short sided when it comes to design. Think big. Thing better than average and superior than banal.
  • Sorry that was my mistake I thought IUPUI was building this building.
    But, yes I think we need to put a lot more into buliding mass transit in central Indiana now becaue in 20 years things might look nice..but will it really be feasible to live and work here. The asnser is no. When gas hits $5.00 I am heading east to a city that actually has mass transit and I can afford to live there.
  • For those of you who have not studied Columbus, there was a philanthropist named J. Irwin Miller, who donated the money for project architecture fees, if he could select the architect and control the design. It resulted in the collection we see today.

    Please contribute your trust funds to architecture fees for projects for which you would like to have your opinion considered.

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  1. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  2. If you only knew....

  3. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

  4. The facts contained in your post make your position so much more credible than those based on sheer emotion. Thanks for enlightening us.

  5. Please consider a couple of economic realities: First, retail is more consolidated now than it was when malls like this were built. There used to be many department stores. Now, in essence, there is one--Macy's. Right off, you've eliminated the need for multiple anchor stores in malls. And in-line retailers have consolidated or folded or have stopped building new stores because so much of their business is now online. The Limited, for example, Next, malls are closing all over the country, even some of the former gems are now derelict.Times change. And finally, as the income level of any particular area declines, so do the retail offerings. Sad, but true.

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