Deylen offers another vision for Mass Ave redevelopment

November 1, 2012
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A little post-Halloween candy for Property Lines readers: Check out the renderings of an unsuccessful Mass Ave redevelopment proposal from locally based Deylen Development and architect Blackline Studio. The proposal called for a 100-room boutique hotel, 20,500 square feet of retail, about 80 residential units and a 300-space parking Deylen Mass Ave proposalstructure, Deylen Mass Ave proposalto be built in three distinct projects.

Local architect Craig Von Deylen notes his firm's proposal for the parcel occupied by the Indianapolis Fire Department was the only one that didn't ask for TIF funds. Instead, the company requested a 7-year property tax abatement. Deylen offered to buy the 5.5-acre site from the city for $1 million and spend another $1.5 million to develop three pads it would market to other developers (total cost for all three phases: $38.5 million). The city would have the right to repurchase the property if no work had begun on the site after two years, the proposal notes.

The proposed financial terms, which basically amounted to a two-year, risk-free option on prime city-owned real estate, ultimately sunk the proposal, which also lacked commitment from a hotel developer. The city chose a more developed proposal from J.C. Hart Company, Paul Kite's Strongbox Commercial, and the architecture firm Schmidt Associates. City officials say the partners will be required to put $5.4 million into an escrow account toward construction of the $43 million project. If it doesn't get built, the city would keep the land and cash.

Von Deylen, whose latest project is The Hinge in Fletcher Place, is no fan of the Schmidt design: "Right now they have a mishmash of ideas cobbled together into a street scape more appropriate to a cut-rate amusement park than a destination avenue in a 'world class' city," he wrote in an email. "Schmidt (and for that matter many of the larger firms here in town) has a tendency to not sweat the details when it comes to design and presentation. It's like they get things to a point where they are just good enough, and then they stop and figure they are done."

Any other bidders want to share proposals? Drop me a line.

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  • I like 1 of the 2 buildings
    I like the smaller building that is prominent in the second rendering, but the larger building (in rendering one) is reminiscent of the old Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame abomination at 9th and Penn....it's a retro 1950's look. But overall, I agree with the architect's assessment of the winning design. it is a little too schlocky for the area...
  • Deylen proposal
    When I first saw the rendering, before reading the article, I thought, "This would have been a great design for the Fire Station property." I guess my thought still stands... The massing and assemblage of elements is much more pleasing to the eye. It would be nice to see the other proposals as well!
  • Best Suited
    In terms of the design aspect, I much prefer this proposal to the one that was accepted. I agree wholeheartedly with the comment "Right now they have a mishmash of ideas cobbled together into a street scape more appropriate to a cut-rate amusement park than a destination avenue in a 'world class' city". My only hope is that public input will be allowed before the construction of the accepted design begins. This design fits in much better and is much more pleasing to the eye.
  • VonD
    The design has much better variation and massing than the Schmidt cruise ship, but I agree that parts of the facade throw back to the 50s attempts to modernize beautiful facades by papering them with metal geometry. I'll give VonD credit for the Hinge--a very nice building. Now if only design could make up for personality...
  • Politics as usual
    Design was a factor, but spreading the wealth was much more important. Flaherty & Collins, for example, already got their piece of the pie. Buckingham got City Way, etc. No one was going to get two pieces of dessert, regardless of how attractive their concept was.
  • City chose a project,
    The winning project team has skin in the game to deliver - the City chose a team that's committed to making it happen. Sure, the other teams are committed, but not to the tune of $5M. The design will change, and it will get better. Good design is important - and Schmidt will deliver - but the deal's the thing. Maybe the losing teams will get engaged in the community conversation about the final design that gets built, but somehow I doubt they will...so it's just idle talk. Get involved in design people, even if you're not the Chief. The City needs indians too...
  • design v community v taste v reality
    Dear Cory, First off, love your blog, love. Second, am I the only person that has actually spent time on Mass Ave? What do Bru, Bazbeaux, MacNivans, Black Market, Ball & Biscuit, OPT, The Chatterbox, Mesh, Chatham Tap and 45 Degrees have in common? I wish the architects realized the importance of creating nodes of outdoor see-and-be-seen space for the ground floor tenants. There is so much potential to make Mass Ave a promenade but I feel both of these designs miss the mark. And before you say, "But Schmidt's design has a large area for outdoor seating," I would like to shout: WHO THE HELL WANTS TO EAT DINNER UNDER A BRIGHT FLASHING SIGN?!?!?! I love that people are up in arms about the winning design but I really think the actual culture of this Cultural District was ignored in both of these designs: socializing, public art, music, theater and lively dining/drinking. This site has the potential to actually be programmed in a way that could support a very real and vibrant community that is growing and expanding every day. Oh, and does the winter's farmer's market have a permanent new home, just thinking out loud. Sincerely, A long-standing/frequent diner, shopper and patron of several business along the Mass Ave corridor and a member of the downtown community that only wants the best for this city and a designer that wants to see Indianapolis take some risks
  • hotel
    What I like about the non-winning design was the boutique hotel idea. I understand that they didn't have a commitment, but the thought of having a boutique hotel in the Mass Ave. area is awesome. We need to expand the hotel business to other parts of downtown.
  • Far better
    I have to say I like Craig Von Delyen's proposal far better. While he may not have had all the pieces lined up with developers and a hotel tenant, his proposal certainly could have been shopped around by the city as a future Super Bowl hotel (or a new downtown hotel in general which the city needs). While I understand the financial carrot dangled in front of the city was hard to turn down, the city also has been allowing larger architectural firms and developers to put out a bunch of junk design. I have no problem with Craig calling out his colleagues either - he is spot on. The city short-changed itself I'm afraid, and now visitors and residents of Mass Ave will have to live with lousy design unsuitable for a high-profile avenue. I hope the city realizes that the smaller architectural firms in Indianapolis are quite capable of putting out thorough, thought-out, quality design.
  • Regarding Financials Etc.
    This is Craig McCormick, design Principal for Blackline. I feel it's necessary to fill in a few gaps to better understand our team's proposal. Our team consisted of Deylen, Blackline, Five2Five Design, Rundell Ernstberger and Liz Ditzler Interior Design. Our goal was to propose what was in our opinion 1) the best urban design solution for this site, and 2) the highest revenue-generating use for the city. We felt that use of the TIF funds for this site was an unnecessary use of taxpayer dollars, and that the TIF should instead be used to build the new fire station headquarters. Thus, we proposed a hotel use which would draw restaurants and create a high stream of annual tax revenue for the city while also bolstering this cultural district. The boutique hotel (a Louisville-based art hotel) has twice in the past considered an Indianapolis location, but received little support and was therefore hesitant to formally commit to our team. I guess this is strike three. Financial bottom line: Deylen proposed a reasonable offer for the property with the idea that the committed use would be a financial and cultural boon for the City. Regarding the design, I think my Partner was critical yet eloquent is his assessment. A project of this scale deserves a sharp vetting of its concepts and design aesthetics. The time for building mediocrity (or frankly, a pastiche game of facadism with a cry for attention where the flatiron point should be) in the core of our City is over. This site deserves a better design.
    • will you...
      to following the progression of this project and offering constructive criticism as the design evolves? Note that this may involve attending evening public meetings, having your ideas mixed up and commented on by the other ordinaires that will weigh in, and possibly not having any influence at all. Kind of like commenting here, but there's actually much more potential to influence outcomes by staying involved in this project. Stop whining, get engaged the next best way you can. Don't have time? Write fewer comments here.
      • Missed Opportunity
        As someone who briefly moved to Louisville from Indianapolis, I cannot express how big of a loss it is to not have a 21c in our city. That company is a class organization and their boutique style hotel and art gallery concept would fit in perfectly with the culture of Mass Ave. They just opened a new hotel in Cincy to rave reviews. We do not need more apartments at the moment. We need to focus on bringing more markets, restaurants, shops, etc. to downtown before adding additional housing.
      • Balance
        I completely understand and respect our city's decision to choose the project they felt most comfortable with from a financial viability perspective. I typically defer to the business expertise of the city's decision makers, Democrat or Republican, and (for the most part) trust them. (I refuse to enter into conversations about conspiracies. Perhaps I am naive.) The larger issue here is that this project is yet another example of the continued imbalance of Indy's civic priorities when it comes to the built environment. The civic dinner party will not be complete until Design, and in this case specifically, Architecture, have an equal seat at the civic investment table. Again and again, projects invested in by the city and state show a lopsided and rudimentary understanding of civic development and the built environment. We continue to place Design and Architecture on the lowest rung, while basing a project's merit on its financial efficiency alone. This is to the detriment of the city at large and the enjoyment of it by every citizen and visitor. How can we convince the powers-that-be that Design matters, that excellent, well-examined Form and Function are just as important as financial viability? When will projects be judged not only by their financial viability but also by their excellence in Design? How can Design be given its proper place at Indy's civic investment table? When will our city government aim higher aesthetically and functionally? When will we stop settling for below average design in our built environment, from infrastructure to architecture? When will we hold our "designers" to higher standards? When will we begin to compare ourselves to the highest aesthetic standards of the world instead of the subpar hyper local standards we've accepted so far? When will we begin to reverse the tide of aesthetic poverty that has affected Indianapolis for decades?
      • 21C
        I, too, love 21C in Louisville and would like to see one here in Indy (I wasn't aware that they were the hotel discussed in these plans until the comment above... but perhaps I missed something). Without weighing in one way or the other one the designs in question, it seems to me that there are still several boutique-hotel-sized parcels on Mass Ave that could be developed. For example: along Michigan between Mass Ave and Alabama; a triangle next to Chatterbox; off of Park south of Chatham and Mesh; all the vacant lots at St. Clair. I'm not saying there aren't disadvantages to each, but we hardly need to say that because 21C can't build on the firehouse lot that there's nowhere else worth looking at.
      • I get the feeling that Deylen is one of the folks who cries on here about poor design. The problem is getting someone to fund your neat designs. Deylen may have had a design some on here liked, but without funding, it is lines on paper. I would love to have a 2 year free option on prime downtown real estate. Talk about a sweet heart deal. The city has been burned to often on pipe dreams. For that parcel to sit empty for up to two years while the developer tries to look for tennants is unacceptable. Finally, it is unfortunate that Deylen thinks it is a good idea and ethically fine to not only publically criticize another architects work but to rip all of the major comapanys. I guess he doesn't want to be included as a sub on any large future projects. Sounds like maybe he should have counted to ten before responding to the interview questions. While there are elements of this design I do not like, the extending roof lines are gettting old, the buildings are a nice modern interpretation of a late 1800's commercial buildings. Deylen needs to be more careful with his responses. The whine and cheese crown on here needs to understand there is a difference between designs that can be funded and designs that can't be.
        • It's good the public knows
          I respect Deylen for being honest when it comes to discussing design, an aspect that is totally ignored in every day life in Indy. Yes, it's subjective...but good design is as obvious as bad design. I'm just happy to know this discussion continues, helping educate the naive public about how good design should shape the community, rather than politics. I'm glad the public is NOW at least more clear about the potential of a 21C in the other proposal. What a lost opportunity. Hell, plan the hotel for 5 years if you have to...there are many alternative uses for now! But planning for long term investment is clearly impossible for the Schmidt group to comprehend. So what do we get: a Schmidt cruise ship for INDY'S new Amusement Park corridor...pushing Indy back further and further. At least some people speak the truth...even if John Hart & Schmidt are too stubborn to listen & learn.
        • Good Design
          This design is smart. It's not trying to be something its not. It's perfectly scaled and sits in context with it's surroundings. It's not competing with, or overpowering the historical architecture around it. It is setting an example for its time, yet its timeless. This project also offered a very successful business model on every level as well. The hotel component would have brought a huge increase in revenue for local boutiques and restaurants, and generated a lot of tax for the city. Not to mention having an art boutique hotel in the heart of an art district is just RIGHT. It says we care about the community and want to see it sustain. It says we care about design and want it to belong. It says we care about humanity and their experience.
        • Putting It On the Line
          If I might paraphrase Indyman: "Nice architecture firm you have there. It would be a shame if anything happened to it." I think this illustrates the nature of what the city faces as a community. Unless people are willing to put their ass on the line, to risk standing and capital in the community for something better, nothing will ever change. I'm not taking a position on this development since I haven't really looked at it in any details. But I greatly admire that the Blackline folks have been willing to go public with their complaints. That sort of robust engagement from people who have something to lose is absolutely critical to ever changing the dynamic in Indy.
        • Demolish Barton Tower
          Why is the fire department the first to go when there is a hideous housing project pulling down property values in this area? If Indy wants this to be it's Rodeo Drive, relocate the crime-infested eyesore that is the Barton Towers.
        • The built environment SHOULD be debated
          How refreshing to see a healthy debate about what gets built on prominent parcels in our city! Personally, I'd prefer the city take a chance on a 2-year 'pipedream' (or just leave the parcel as a temporarily- undeveloped parking lot) than move forward with a constructing this hodge podge Schmidt mess that we have to live with for decades. We've settled too long for mediocre (or worse!) design on our most valuable real estate (do I really have to name them? We all know where they are....3 Mass, Villagio, Firehouse Place, on and on the list goes...) We've allowed these structures to be constructed and they continue to keep the design bar very low in our community. Anyone who truly wants to see our city move forward should understand that it is paramount that we demand more of our architects. Are we actually asking ourselves if it's a 'good idea' or 'ethical' to publically call-out an architect on a blatant bad design? I hope not. It is true that the design is destined to be refined and adapt as real-life constraits (such as the IHPC public review process) are layered over this monstrosity, but I have NO faith that 'it will get better' or that 'Schmidt will deliver'.....unless we all stand up and DEMAND that it be so. It's time to call out bad design when we see it--and I think we all just saw it!
        • balance
          The Schmidt design is an embarrassment to the Architectural Profession. A total disaster. Every firm in town, large and small, knows that Schmidt literally copies pieces and parts of everyone else's projects and slams them together into a mishmash of their own "Art". Aside from that, no matter who the Architect may be, the public confidence should be assured that the aesthetics, function and economic value are balanced and that its purpose is valid.
        • MultiBuilder
          Oh, how soon we forget... The city gave a multi-year free option on the Market Square Arena parcel to a team that hadn't developed so much as a roll of film. Deylen is clearly different, but the "let us try" aspect is clearly the same. Design is important, but equally important is striking when capital and markets align so that something actually gets accomplished in our city, especially given our rent-challenged Midwestern market. And shame on any anonymous trash-talking of someone's professional standards and ethics. THAT is unprofessional.
        • Yes, demand better.
          I agree with all the comments about the importance of good design. The problem here is each of these whiny would-be developers is going to be totally absent from every subsequent opportunity to influence the ultimate design that gets built. They are only ever heard from when it's sour grapes time on the comment board. Get up from your desks, put your phones down and go do something about it. Engage your passion around design in a meaningful way. I read these comments and laugh because I know the only time I'm going to hear from them is the next time they have a dismissive comment about the next poorly designed project. I'm certainly not worried any will turn up in person at a meeting or hearing to give voice to their obvious passions. That is the problem with "design" in Indy. The designers aren't in it through the end-game. Mostly they're just a bunch of stone-throwers like the equally passionate historic preservationists. This design crowd thinks they have only one shot - either their preferred design/ideology is selected or not. Good design and good projects are the result of ongoing dialog, but not in this forum. The forum to express passion on design ideology is not here, but rather throughout the design and development process. It's not simply an academic exercise that can be conducted on the comment board, or through earnest email newsletters, or over beers and tears. Rise to the challenge of in-person civic engagement in order to make a difference. Learn how to navigate the civic process to make your pleas relevant. Better yet, get a project built, earn the respect of your peers, and serve your city in some capacity such as serving on a civic board or committee. Create your opportunity to make the positive changes you currently only whine about.
          • Ok?
            So, it seems the Deylen proposal had a group of designers that have proven themselves with past projects. They are definitely out in the public navigating the civic process on a weekly basis. Yet this is what we end up with? It's too bad the public is not more involved when it matters. Hmmm...politics, folks?!? But when we do find out, it's too late. This dialogue is exactly what Indy needs since the market doesn't demand good design. Btw, may I borrow 43 mil so I can get on out there and develop? Perfect! Man, that was easy.
            • They navigate...
              You gotta stay involved in important projects, even when you're not the chief. The designers are too arrogant to play Indian (ie informed stakeholders) to their colleagues whose (chosen) design they don't appreciate. I mean stay involved and navigate the civic process throughout, beyond the project concept that won the day. That's when all these great whiney design-centric folks disappear, only to pop up on the comment board like so many whack-a-moles the next time IBJ posts a rendering that they think isn't up to par. It takes more than dialog to make change. Why is this concept so tough to convey here? Oh - sniveling arrogance and a too proud to play second fiddle attitude from our wonderful design "community".
            • Why
              Cory, Not sure your tie to the folks that you are offering press coverage to but I have to ask-Why? there were several firms and property developers who offered "another vision" and I am curious why their visions weren't offered equal time in your column? The folks discussed here have a very limited experience and history (Blackline is a respected group) but the absence of oppoortunity for the others in the city is not in standing w/an IBJ that "serves all". Thanks
            • Responding to SMelvin
              It's simple, really: Deylen shared their vision. Did you notice the last line of my post? I'm happy to include other proposals here, too, if they are willing to share. By way of background: During the selection process, the city and CBRE refused to share any of the bid details or even confirm who was bidding. Naturally, as a reporter, I would advocate for a more open/transparent process when so many government dollars are at stake. But they disagreed, saying they needed to keep the competing bidders in the dark to get the best deal for the city.
              • Thank you
                Thanks for your follow up Cory.
              • subjectivity?
                One person here has said: "Yes, it's subjective...but good design is as obvious as bad design." Isn't that statement a little paradoxical in an of itself? I hate to target the individual who said this (since it seems to be a sentiment shared by practically everyone here), but it does demonstrate our need to try to gussy up our individual opinions toward aesthetics with enough contextual reference to make it sound objective. A few weeks ago, I had my own prejudices challenged at the Pop-Up MOD tour by docents who gave informed and intelligent defenses on the design of Barton Tower, Minton-Capeheart, City-County Building (among others)--all buildings that I had long perceived as modernist relics and urban design failures. (A blog post on the subject is forthcoming.) Hopefully the actual design will get filtered through the hearing process, and it will reflect the arguments of people willing to stick a leg out rather than hide behind their computers. In the meantime, bear in mind that the city has no shortage of vacant lots for both a boutique hotel or a residential building that Architectural Critics can cheer.
              • Aaron, that was not a paraphrase of what I said, that is what you heard. But for some reason you did not hear the part about show me the money. We have one project that has put money out there at risk willing to move forward. We have another architect who is saying give me a free option on this property and I will try to make it work. And to Jim, I have not forgotten the MSA debacle and I am betting the City has not either. Hence why they went with a company with something at risk. As you may have noticed most city projects require some skin in the game before you can win a bid. They don't want this block to sit empty for two years while the economy is recovering and construction prices are still reasonable. Back to Aaron, there is no threat, just doesn't seem like a smart move for a small architecture firm to go all Rambo on a internet board about how horrible all of its competitors are. Not smart from a survival standpoint....we all know how small a world architecture is. And speaking of architects, they remind me of the art crowd. Love to criticize vocally and constantly anything that does not "move them". I am not a professionaly trained architect, but love well built well designed projects that work. I am a traditionalist and love Lucas Oil over the monstrosity that is Texas Stadium. And I am sure that will drive criticsm of me. I am sure the mass and standing and touchy feely-ness of the building does not harmonize with its surroundings and draw out its inner feng shui-zenism or whatever you want to call it. The ironic thing is this is all about personal taste. I may love a red porsche and you may hate it and think a blue tesla is the greatest design. Are you right? Am I right? Same with building design. Someone may hate both designs and think a concrete bunker is a better look. Which one is right? It all boils down to who is paying for it. If you don't have a client willing to lay money down, it is all just pretty lines on paper.
              • Wow!
                Wow! I think someone is envious they didn't get the project....too bad....move on to something else.
              • Mass ave, brought together
                Looking at both designs, the chosen design truly blends the eclectic styles all along Mass Ave. It mixes the styles that can be seen all up and down the avenue. From the historic sites like the Murat and the Anthenaeum to the more modern arts locations seen up and down the street, the winning design truly blends and brings the city to life. What I've read from the interview above, it's unfortunate that one architect sounds more like they are attacking another architect instead of celebrating architecture as a whole as well as an improvement to the city no matter what they're opinion is. The renderings above remind me of pictures my father showed me from the 50's and 60's. Let's move the city forward people not backwards, the flux capacitor can't take it!!!
              • Blahhh
                This design looks boring and prefer the winning proposal. Nothing exciting or new with this design. I have a feeling if this one had been chosen and the Schmidt design was not people would be on here slamming this design and crying for the Schmidt design.
              • Halos are in!!!
                Dave: how does the Schmidt proposal 'truly blend all of the eclectic styles along Mass'? Just curious. Irvingtonguy: what makes the winning proposal 'exciting'? Just curious. What's that round halo thing on top of the Cruise ship? I think it was best stated that the Deylen project isn't trying to be something it's not. Its properly scaled, but more importantly doesn't overpower the historical nature of surrounding buildings. A building of this nature fits in with the eclectic nature that Mass Avenue should strive to be as it develops. A more sophisticated, timeless design is appropriate within this prime piece of real estate right in the middle of INDY'S ART district. The Schmidt proposal desperately screams for attention, like a lost puppy with no soul. While it's splashy, colorful facade looks intriguing as a rendering for many (what wouldn't look more exciting than the existing Fire House?)...this thing just doesn't fit. I guess if 3 Mass, Villagio & Firehouse Square is what you like, then this Schmidt cruise ship fits right in. Omg, can't stop thinking how hideous the halo is!!! Btw, what's more unethical? Deylen calling out or Schmidt putting their name...on bad design? Just curious
              • Cruise Ship?
                Micah, not sure what your fascination is with cruise ships and seeing them in every design that comes along. I don't know what the "halo" is at the top of the building...maybe you should contact Schmidt and ask to see their design and you can make some suggestions while your at it. I personally believe it is exciting with the LED screen is something you don't see in many cities. The design above looks like it would fit in with any other building in any other city or any other block in this city in my opinion. You mention eclectic...which means drawn from multiple sources. I would take that to mean that in building construction/style or design they don't all look alike and this building would add that "eclectic" touch you are seeking.
                • hmmmm
                  Well, so you admit Schmidt's multiple cruise ship designs along Mass Ave. adds an eclectic quality to the mix. A McDonald's or Vilagio would be 'eclectic', adding to the mix along Mass Ave. However, those projects would not fit...just like they don't fit ANYWHERE DOWNTOWN...so what's your point? Whoever stated that 'everyone (I assume the local design profession) knows that Schmidt copies multiple ideas, meshes it together, and calls it a design for the day...seems to be on to something. It just shows no restraint in design while competing with the great examples of architecture across the street. The Deylen design is much more simple and sophisticated. But simple is not splashy & sexy...which the general public gets into.
                  • Retro Shtick
                    This rejected design looks like a 1960s-era dorm at a third-rate business college. http://www.csc.edu/images/centennial/44-1.jpg http://www.csc.edu/images/centennial/153-1.jpg
                  • Cruise Ships???
                    I said nothing of the sort of saying the "cruise ship" fits in. I don't see a cruise ship when I look at the building. What would you have said about the Murat building when it was proposed to be built? Does it fit in with all the other surrounding buildings? What about Barton Tower? Do you think the fire station fits in? You keep saying you want eclectic but then when you are presented with that you don't really want it. The rejected design fits in perfectly because it is bland?
                  • Meh
                    IMHO the rejected design is unimaginative trying really hard to look imaginative.
                  • Read This Pleas
                    I mean well so please listen. Did we get rid of the sign because we are a lower class city?? The LED was a very good idea. Especially in a cultural neighborhood. Indianapolis misses the mark often times because of the people who live here. Indianapolis will not be competitive by building up bland development. MOST ARE BLINDED BY IGNORANCE OR LACK THE VISION OF REAL POTENTIAL. YOU MUST KNOW HOW TO REACH YOUR POTENTIAL AS A CITY. THIS IS WHY CITIES LIKE CHICAGO WILL WIN IN EVERY CATEGORY.
                  • Better than Schmidt
                    I like Blackline's design a hell of a lot better than the primary color building Dwayne Schmidt calls "architecture". Deylan's design actually fits the neighborhood and has a high level of quality to it. Schmidt Associates design looks like a 1st year architecture student's design painted to look like Crayola Crayons.
                  • Better than the actual design
                    Deylan's Blackline firm definately knows what the appropriate architecture and business model for this area should be. Wayne Schmidt's design is a boring 1st year student design painted like Crayola Crayons. That might work in the suburban sprawl where Wayne lives, but it looks horrible for downtown indianapolis. First it was the CSO Architect's parking garage along Illinois, and now the Schmidt Crayola building? The idea of a "Times Square" in Indy at this area is really inappropriate.
                  • Missing the mark
                    Irvingtonguy, Harvey & Brandon: I totally agree with Rob's comments. One question. Why don't you think a 21C hotel would bring a more diverse, eclectic & vibrant crowd than what the winning proposal brings? Brandon, the problem with people here, like yourself, is you get caught up with certain design styles...rather than functional design, focusing on people. Do me one favor: get out of Indy and go visit Louisville (a smaller city than Indy) and let me know how bland the 21C hotel is. Who knows...you may think the red penguins are as ignorant as us locals. So what's the winning proposal plan to put within the commercial space?
                  • bad combination
                    Here's where I see the city's mistake: choosing the winning design based on the proposal with (arguably) the best financial model behind it. Had the design not been tied to the specifics of financing, then perhaps we could have arrived at a better design solution. How about using the best financing model and applying it to the best design? But wait... that would mean someone would have to compromise....
                  • And I think Shoemaker speaks like a true architect. Lets pick what we think is the coolest design regardless if it can be built. At some point reality needs to come into play. If there is no financing package, then there is no building. This isn't field of dreams "if you design it they will fund it" type stuff. Same with the boutique hotel. I have not heard of one that is ready to make a deal to come here. Again, money in the hand is worth more than a pretty design. Find funding for your dream buildings, and feel free to build them That said, the Schmidt design fits the neighborhood by echoing the late 1800's storefronts and putting a twist on them. I do love the folks who are freaking out over color. First, most artists conceptions are just that. Remember the multi colored glass in the JW? Second, what screams more artsy than bright color pallette? The other design is rather depressing and boring. A bunch of blocks and drab colors.
                    • at the behavior...
                      Stop throwing sand. Architects and designers have a hard enough time convincing a midwestern town that they need to be brave and bold in their building structures and community spaces. Personally, I like Schmidts design....it's exciting, provides a lively atmosphere and attracts attention. I understand that we all have varying opinions, but please please please don't trash your colleagues. Our sandbox is way too small for that. It's rude and terribly unprofessional.
                    • CUT-N-PASTE
                      They are all starting to look alike, Barton Tower Dev, Mass Ave, City View,Illinois Place. Are they just Cutting and pasting the same building details from the same Auto Cad library again and again. that's how you save money, You never come up with an original design, you only have to pay drafting fee. And Now that Mass Ave SOVIET GOVERNMENT BLOCK FROM THE DESIGNER AT PLAYSCHOOL... Can we say Primary colors today kids. This design has been done to death. Glass wall/balcony wall/brick wall/ small square window wall/ add Flat overhang here and there, endless strip of glass at ground floor w/doors, repeat as needed. NEXT..
                    • Collaboration
                      I wish the team of J.C. Hart Company & Paul Kite's Strongbox Commercial would've teamed up with Deylen to offer a much stronger architectural and commercial option. Deylen's concept is stronger but doesn't offer the city a guaranteed tenant but the design is infinitely stronger and more appealing. Dump Schmidt, add Deylen.
                    • I'm no architect
                      Indyman: I'm not an architect. Neer claimed to be. Don't pretend to be. (You are who/what exactly, hiding behind your anonymous handle?!?) Your assertion that a better design can't be married to a different financial plan is nonsensical at best. The city could have very well defined the financial parameters first, and then asked the architectural firms to create their designs within those parameters. As it stood, the two sides of the coin are inextricably linked.
                    • Ah, the HYPOCRISY that is VonDeylen…
                      Those are some harshly worded comments of someone coming from a slumlord. Those who design glass houses shouldn't throw stones…

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                    1. Apologies for the wall of text. I promise I had this nicely formatted in paragraphs in Notepad before pasting here.

                    2. I believe that is incorrect Sir, the people's tax-dollars are NOT paying for the companies investment. Without the tax-break the company would be paying an ADDITIONAL $11.1 million in taxes ON TOP of their $22.5 Million investment (Building + IT), for a total of $33.6M or a 50% tax rate. Also, the article does not specify what the total taxes were BEFORE the break. Usually such a corporate tax-break is a 'discount' not a 100% wavier of tax obligations. For sake of example lets say the original taxes added up to $30M over 10 years. $12.5M, New Building $10.0M, IT infrastructure $30.0M, Total Taxes (Example Number) == $52.5M ININ's Cost - $1.8M /10 years, Tax Break (Building) - $0.75M /10 years, Tax Break (IT Infrastructure) - $8.6M /2 years, Tax Breaks (against Hiring Commitment: 430 new jobs /2 years) == 11.5M Possible tax breaks. ININ TOTAL COST: $41M Even if you assume a 100% break, change the '30.0M' to '11.5M' and you can see the Company will be paying a minimum of $22.5, out-of-pocket for their capital-investment - NOT the tax-payers. Also note, much of this money is being spent locally in Indiana and it is creating 430 jobs in your city. I admit I'm a little unclear which tax-breaks are allocated to exactly which expenses. Clearly this is all oversimplified but I think we have both made our points! :) Sorry for the long post.

                    3. Clearly, there is a lack of a basic understanding of economics. It is not up to the company to decide what to pay its workers. If companies were able to decide how much to pay their workers then why wouldn't they pay everyone minimum wage? Why choose to pay $10 or $14 when they could pay $7? The answer is that companies DO NOT decide how much to pay workers. It is the market that dictates what a worker is worth and how much they should get paid. If Lowe's chooses to pay a call center worker $7 an hour it will not be able to hire anyone for the job, because all those people will work for someone else paying the market rate of $10-$14 an hour. This forces Lowes to pay its workers that much. Not because it wants to pay them that much out of the goodness of their heart, but because it has to pay them that much in order to stay competitive and attract good workers.

                    4. GOOD DAY to you I am Mr Howell Henry, a Reputable, Legitimate & an accredited money Lender. I loan money out to individuals in need of financial assistance. Do you have a bad credit or are you in need of money to pay bills? i want to use this medium to inform you that i render reliable beneficiary assistance as I'll be glad to offer you a loan at 2% interest rate to reliable individuals. Services Rendered include: *Refinance *Home Improvement *Inventor Loans *Auto Loans *Debt Consolidation *Horse Loans *Line of Credit *Second Mortgage *Business Loans *Personal Loans *International Loans. Please write back if interested. Upon Response, you'll be mailed a Loan application form to fill. (No social security and no credit check, 100% Guaranteed!) I Look forward permitting me to be of service to you. You can contact me via e-mail howellhenryloanfirm@gmail.com Yours Sincerely MR Howell Henry(MD)

                    5. It is sad to see these races not have a full attendance. The Indy Car races are so much more exciting than Nascar. It seems to me the commenters here are still a little upset with Tony George from a move he made 20 years ago. It was his decision to make, not yours. He lost his position over it. But I believe the problem in all pro sports is the escalating price of admission. In todays economy, people have to pay much more for food and gas. The average fan cannot attend many events anymore. It's gotten priced out of most peoples budgets.

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