Penn Centre wins approval

October 4, 2007
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Penn CentreThe Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission gave its unanimous approval last night for Penn Centre, a massive hotel, residential and restaurant development across from Conseco Fieldhouse. The next step is to add more detail to the plans and begin work on construction drawings, said John Cunningham, a project manager for developer J. Greg Allen. Plans call for towers of 25 and 16 stories, including a 240-room Le Meridien hotel, 150-room aloft hotel, 64 condos and up to six restaurants. Construction is slated to begin in January. STAY TUNED: I'll post a new rendering this evening.
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  • That is pretty awesome. I am still a little skeptical that the financing will stick and that the market can sustain a Conrad, JW Marriott, and Le Meridien, but I am happy to see this moving forward.

    I wonder if the prices in the Harness Factory Lofts will go down since their east view is now destroyed. :)
  • I think once the convention center opens and big name events are committed it should be enough to sustain profitability for all the new top-tier hotels proposed. Profitability during events and break-even operations during normal weekends.
  • Maybe a hotel across from Conceco Fieldhouse will just start the venues non-Pacers events.
  • What kind of experience does this builder have in this market segment? I noticed that the J. Greg Allen website lists only a handful of smaller residential projects. Anyone know more (is there a partner, etc.)? January seems ambitious.

    A lack of experience in this type of market segment may be a hurdle in attaining financing for this project. Even the best of business/project plans won't cut it without some level of expertise. Regardless, I would love to see this become a success for downtown, and let's hope J. Greg Allen has all of their ducks in a row.
  • Looks like a great project. That is such an underused parcel of land. Yeah I'm sure it makes a buck or two from parking revenue, but seriously, that is pretty prime real estate. I hope it includes a nice bar. Nice to have some drinks and stumble across to the Pacers game. Would be an amazing place to stay for local visitors here for Sporting or Conseco Events. I do agree that with all the emphasis on Downtown for Convention business, Racing Tourists, Sports Events, Pacers, Colts, Pedestrian Friendly Downtown, we could use a surge in Hotel space. Might have to hold off on any more major hotel projects and focus on Condos, but this will work. I approve.
  • Thank you, Chuck.
  • I believe the project was presented as 25 and 16 stories last night.
  • That's what I recall as well, ablerock.
  • Thanks for the information, guys. I neglected to update a sentence pulled from an old post.
  • You're welcome. I'm looking forward to the new rendering. :-)
  • Very exciting!
  • Although this project sounds promising and very exciting, yet at the same time... why why why why why why... do new buildings have to be less than 30 stories high? WHY??? This is a CITY. This is Indianapolis growing... to become a larger city than it was 10 years ago. I am not going to get into the mass transit problem because that's a separate issue... although I have strong opinions against the lack of it thereof. Anyhow... I strongly feel Indy needs to stop thinking inside of the box too much and start thinking outside of it. These new hotels, condos that have sprung up in the recent past and the new renditions are nothing but a f**king bore. I just can't understand why the Marquis Tower was overlooked. I understand there was an issue with parking, but HEY... that's where the mass transit falls into. ANYWAY. I hope... someday in the near future SOMEONE with enough balls and imagination will build an innovative, different, amazing, inspiring, and worldly skyscraper. Not another damn mediocre box.
  • Another thing... this is off topic of the Penn Centre, I know, but I was just thinking... How it would be SO nice that the American Mall park will be surrounded by new skyscrapers and buildings, just like Central Park. Wouldn't that be great? I hope live as long to see that day!
  • 64 Condos? That's like 22 more than 3 Mass! Quite impressive i must say... :)
  • This is good news, indeed.
  • A 25 story building is pretty big. We are still a growing city and I think you're crazy if you think huge Chase Tower size skyscrapers are going to start popping up. Give it time. We are not Chicago and these aren't 5 or 6 story buildings either. It will be a nice and welcome additions.
  • DRT, you're right, we're not Chicago. But its just not Chicago that has tall buildings. Look at Charlotte, Nashville, Austin, heck, even Louisville. I like this project, but Indy is sorely lacking in the height department.
  • Todd - the height is strictly a financial function. You hit a wall of expense at about 25 stories and until the land costs go up, you won't see anything over that height. Only two reasons skyscrapers get built: ego and necessity. Good or bad, neither is currently driving the downtown market.

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  1. If I were a developer I would be looking at the Fountain Square and Fletcher Place neighborhoods instead of Broad Ripple. I would avoid the dysfunctional BRVA with all of their headaches. It's like deciding between a Blackberry or an iPhone 5s smartphone. BR is greatly in need of updates. It has become stale and outdated. Whereas Fountain Square, Fletcher Place and Mass Ave have become the "new" Broad Ripples. Every time I see people on the strip in BR on the weekend I want to ask them, "How is it you are not familiar with Fountain Square or Mass Ave? You have choices and you choose BR?" Long vacant storefronts like the old Scholar's Inn Bake House and ZA, both on prominent corners, hurt the village's image. Many business on the strip could use updated facades. Cigarette butt covered sidewalks and graffiti covered walls don't help either. The whole strip just looks like it needs to be power washed. I know there is more to the BRV than the 700-1100 blocks of Broad Ripple Ave, but that is what people see when they think of BR. It will always be a nice place live, but is quickly becoming a not-so-nice place to visit.

  2. I sure hope so and would gladly join a law suit against them. They flat out rob people and their little punk scam artist telephone losers actually enjoy it. I would love to run into one of them some day!!

  3. Biggest scam ever!! Took 307 out of my bank ac count. Never received a single call! They prey on new small business and flat out rob them! Do not sign up with these thieves. I filed a complaint with the ftc. I suggest doing the same ic they robbed you too.

  4. Woohoo! We're #200!!! Absolutely disgusting. Bring on the congestion. Indianapolis NEEDS it.

  5. So Westfield invested about $30M in developing Grand Park and attendance to date is good enough that local hotel can't meet the demand. Carmel invested $180M in the Palladium - which generates zero hotel demand for its casino acts. Which Mayor made the better decision?

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