Developer files plans for Washington Street infill

February 14, 2013
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6 E Washington St IndianapolisA local developer plans to build a 2.5-story retail and office building on a vacant lot at the northeast corner of Meridian and Washington streets. The plans for 6 E. Washington St. call for a 9,500-square-foot building including a restaurant on the first floor and a 6,000-square-foot office suite spread over the second floor and a third-floor mezzanine, said Bill Ehret, a real estate broker and partner with John Demaree in developer Uptown Realty Investors. The pair also own the building next door that houses Jos. A. Bank and the seven-story McOuat Building, which they have transformed into apartments with a first-floor retail space. The plans, filed with the city Jan. 31, describe a modern façade with limestone, glass and zinc and aluminum panels. The project will require Regional Center design approval; a hearing is tentatively scheduled for March 14. The developers hope to begin construction by April. Earlier posts on Uptown Realty's buildings are here and here. Ehret and Demaree began acquiring pieces of the property about a decade ago. The pair had worked on plans to build a 10-story structure next to the McOuat, but that deal fell through in 2009. The architect on the new building is Axis. What do you think?

  • Height
    I'm glad something is going in there, but why so short??? There needs to be minimum height standards in the CBD!
    • Another?
      It seems every few days we get an update on an exciting new development project. However, my excitment is waning as I see several development projects already completed with vacant spaces and doors closing on established businesses. It seems there are more people wanting to create the promise of exciting amenities in downtown than there are actual amenities able to take up residence and thrive. I would love to see an in-depth look at this to know if it a mere observation or facts to back it up.
    • Agrred, too short
      This building is very short on a road that could be considered a main artery of Indianapolis. I could understand the height issue if it served some sort of functional purpose (i.e. rooftop restaurant, lounge, etc.), but in this case it seems to be a minimal financial investment from Axis. Indianapolis needs to improve on its skyline; All of these new apartments/ condos being introduced, why not grow upwards instead of outwards? Just a thought.
    • More Height
      I agree with Maria, it needs to be at lease five floors at this location. That way if the ever replace the Jos Bank's store with a bigger building it would complete the block. I think this site could definitely support a bigger building. Hopefully the site across Washington will be developed soon.
    • 2009 Deal
      Cory, do you have any details on why the 2009 detail for 10 stories fell through? Or does anyone else have details?
      • More height, retail needed
        This building needs to be taller if it's going to be in the heart of downtown. Also, less restaurant, more retail needed downtown.
      • Doesn't Fit
        I agree that it is too short, but it also does not go with the vintage turn-of-the-20th-century facades around it. It doesn't match at all. Too bad they cannot create a more retro facade to coincide with the feel of the block.
      • Height Response
        The reason that this building is not taller all comes down to cost. The higher you go, construction costs grow exponentially (space for additional elevaotrs, stairs, mechanical chases, etc.) Not to mention, once you go higher than 3 floors, there are additional code requirements for fire protection, heavier steel, etc. This parcel is only 9,500 SF. Nobody is going to build a highrise in Indianapolis with a 9,500 SF footprint. I understand the desire for taller buildings in the city core, but this is not the location for it. The numbers simply would not work. At a minimum, they would need the Jos A. Bank parcel in order to gain a larger footprint to justify the cost of the increased height.
      • WWCD?
        What would Carmel do? Look at their downtown, even the suburbs are building taller than this. Its pretty sad, when the suburbs are leading the way in terms of urban development...
      • Style?
        I'm glad this space is being made use of, but I have two problems. One, why is it so little? It should be at least three stories taller. That's prime space in the very heart of Indianapolis. Second, why so ugly? It is asymmetrical and cold looking (looks like it popped out of 1960's Russia). On top of that, place it in a row of architectural gems and it just looks pathetic. I want to see a taller building with brilliant symmetry and good use of stone (no gravestone granite for the love of god).
      • Indy Skyline or lack of
        What a waste of a nice piece of real estate. Right in the heart of the city and with so few available pieces left and we're going to allow a two story development? You would not see that happening in any other major city in the US. Very disappointing. Decisions like this ensure that Indy will never have a respectable skyline.
      • Thanks Troy
        Appreciate the infusion of facts into the discussion. Now, let's get back to incessant whining about the failure of developers to spend spend their money turning urbanist fantasies into reality...
      • McOuat buiding windows
        Since they just refurbished the McOuat building two doors east to include windows and balconies on the west side, it would seem that they specifically want to keep this property and the Jos A Bank buiding to lower heights as to not block the views they just spent time to create.
      • Meh.
        Only building two stories here probably isn't the end of the world, if it were to fit in with its surroundings, but this is ugly. What's up with the "butt-glazed aluminum curtain wall"? I don't know what that means, but I can see that it protrudes out from the facade of the building. This little infill lot just doesn't seem like the location for this typical schlocky (sp?) modern architecture that we are seeing a lot of lately. Give it a traditional design with more rows of masonry both vertically and horizontally, and call it a pass.
      • 22nd and Delaware
        Can someone tell me what is being built on the northwest corner of 22nd and Delaware? Thanks!
      • 22nd & Delaware
        It's going to be a gas station. Excited?
      • Oh yippee
        This makes me feel happy! I'm so excited to brag about this major, innovative, and ground breaking design/concept! [sarc]
      • Open Space
        i always thought this would be a great loction for a small park like Paley Park in New York. but of course what we need is more unimpressive buildings that are supposed to increase the tax base but will sit just as vacant as the space is now.
        • Reply to Peabody
          Peabody-that is a beautiful idea. I used to walk by that empty lot every day to work when I lived in Indianapolis and often thought a tiny park would provide some nice green space in the middle of the city without taking up too much valuable space. At the same time, it would probably the number one hangout for all the panhandlers (which I assume still pepper the corners of Meridian and Washington Street).
        • Taller
          Why couldn't they work with the JosABank building and building over that and incorporate? Then they could go taller.

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