Local buyers plan revamp for vacant Consolidated Building

August 20, 2012
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                              Building IndianapolisTwo local buyers are angling to revitalize a 15-story downtown landmark that has confounded redevelopment attempts since its last tenants departed in the late 1990s. Ambrose Property Group and The Whitsett Group hope to transform the brick and terra-cotta Consolidated Building at 115 N. Pennsylvania St. into 98 apartments with first-floor retail or restaurant space. The developers plan to invest $16 million to acquire and restore the building, betting plenty of folks who work in the trio of office buildings steps away from the Consolidated—Chase Tower, Regions Tower and BMO Plaza—will be eager to live close to work. Ambrose and Whitsett expect to close on the purchase of the building from an affiliate of New York-based Crown Properties in October and start construction in the spring. The Consolidated was built in 1910 as an annex to the adjacent Lemcke Building, now home to The National Bank of Indianapolis, and once contained a vaudeville theater. A seven-story annex was added in 1974. The building’s downfall began in 1992, when anchor tenant Indiana Insurance vacated 10 floors and moved to the suburbs. The last remaining tenants, Downtown Comics on the first floor and The Cozy restaurant on the second, departed by 2000. For much more, including how they plan to finance the project and address the building's lack of parking, read our full story. (Subscription required.)

Photo credit: W. H. Bass Photo Company Collection c/o Indiana Historical Society. Circa 1915.

  • YES!
    This is truly great news. Hats off to the developers for apparently figuring out how to handle it. Now if only the Illinois Building problem could be solved...
  • Finally
    This building has been an eyesore for years. The renovation and the adding of housing will add more life to this area. It could be such a nice building in the heart of downtown. I also agree that the Illinois Building also needs to move forward. It's an embarassment to the city to have such large buildings abandoned in the heart of downtown. The City needs to make reusing downtown buildings a priority.
  • Great News
    I am very excited about this project! I used to have to walk by this building every day to go to work and pined over its possibilities. I agree with the commenter regarding the Illinois Building. Here's an idea: Indy Star should take the Illinois Building and make it their own.

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  1. I am so impressed that the smoking ban FAILED in Kokomo! I might just move to your Awesome city!

  2. way to much breweries being built in indianapolis. its going to be saturated market, if not already. when is enough, enough??

  3. This house is a reminder of Hamilton County history. Its position near the interstate is significant to remember what Hamilton County was before the SUPERBROKERs, Navients, commercial parks, sprawling vinyl villages, and acres of concrete retail showed up. What's truly Wasteful is not reusing a structure that could still be useful. History isn't confined to parks and books.

  4. To compare Connor Prairie or the Zoo to a random old house is a big ridiculous. If it were any where near the level of significance there wouldn't be a major funding gap. Put a big billboard on I-69 funded by the tourism board for people to come visit this old house, and I doubt there would be any takers, since other than age there is no significance whatsoever. Clearly the tax payers of Fishers don't have a significant interest in this project, so PLEASE DON'T USE OUR VALUABLE MONEY. Government money is finite and needs to be utilized for the most efficient and productive purposes. This is far from that.

  5. I only tried it 2x and didn't think much of it both times. With the new apts plus a couple other of new developments on Guilford, I am surprised it didn't get more business. Plus you have a couple of subdivisions across the street from it. I hope Upland can keep it going. Good beer and food plus a neat environment and outdoor seating.