Owner plans redevelopment for Virginia Avenue buildings

March 7, 2013
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Virginia Avenue buildings
                              IndianapolisThe owner of three vacant buildings along Virginia Avenue between Pennsylvania and Delaware streets hopes to develop one of them with five apartments and first-floor retail, recruit retail and office users for a second, and tear down a third to make way for parking. The small buildings at 40, 42 and 44 Virginia Ave. are owned by a family trust controlled by Don and Dave Lucas and have been in the family since the 1980s, Dave Lucas said. The last tenant, Fortune Bail Bonds at 44 Virginia Ave., departed in January. The structures were built in 1930, 1967 and 1920, in order of address, according to property records. The redevelopment plans call for upscale apartments (including new balconies) and first-floor retail in the four-story 42 Virginia Ave. building, first-floor retail and a second-floor office suite in the two-story 44 Virginia Ave. building, and demolition of the 1.5-story building at 40 Virginia Ave. to make way for parking and a 1,500-square-foot entrance structure for the neighboring 9,500-square-foot building. The demolition of the building and a curb cut to allow for parking will be a tough (if not impossible) sell for city planners, who are reviwing the proposal. The buildings have no dedicated parking. Lucas said he's working with the city and hopes to find a solution to allow redevelopment.

  • Jail proximity
    I've always wanted to live immediately next door to a jail. Can't wait to move in.
    • UGH
      Wow, this is a great development for downtown Anderson. Oh wait, this is downtown Indy? SMH.
    • parking
      If the city approves new surface parking in downtown, I will be disgusted. But knowing Indy's track record, I have no doubt this will be approved.
    • Know the landscape
      If you want to live next to a jail, then you'd better look for a place south and east of this location ... unless you consider The Star building a jail. Come to think of it, you wouldn't be alone.
      • Who will pay the overlords in Texas?
        If they get a curb cut, someone (the City) will have to send a monthly check to Texas to compensate for the lost parking meter revenue. Could the parking meter lease actually provide a benefit to the City by preventing a new downtown parking lot from being built? Will the City demand a contract requiring the property owner to make the monthly payments? Or will the City just pay ACS so this property owner can access his desired parking lot?
      • sandwich shop
        Lamb's Sheep, Lamb, and Gyros would make a great addition on the retail level. Throw in a beer pong table and it's money in the bank.
      • There is a current resident
        I know the current resident of one of the buildings. He ripped up all the carpets because he said "concrete floors are the future of indoor living". Only people that insane would want to live in this building.
        • Floors
          Dr. Wily, I have stained concrete floors, live in a condo and know lot of people who have concrete (Stained and unfinished) who love them. Whats the problem. Am I insane? Are all the people who live in loft style condos and apartments insane? Its actually healthier. Less VOCs, less dust, less being trapped in the carpet, and easier to clean. We have lots of rugs that break up the space. Maybe you are insane for not accepting other preferences....
        • Weak Urban Development
          This area has been such an eyesore for years. A new substantial infill developement similar in scale with the Broadbent building at Washington St. and Virginia Ave. would be more appropriate. Its a shame we can not do better. Are we that desparate to allow this type of develpments in the downtown area. Maybe we need to be more patient and wait. Please no more surface parking in downtown Indianapolis.
        • Love
          I actually love that quirky little block! Plans (minus the parking lot)seem perfectly fine to me.... and whats with all the uber-negative, snarky remarks anymore. These boards are becoming more like those on the IndyStar every day.... sigh...
        • Sigh
          Can our downtown not do better than this? How embarrassing!
        • Wow...
          ... I continue to be amazed by some of your responses. Do you people not recognize the fact that these properties are owned by PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS and not the city? Why does this PROPERTY OWNERS decision about what to do with HIS property reflect pporly on the CITY? The city is there to approve, or disapprove of his plans, not tell HIM what to do? Can our downtown not do any better than this? Really?!? Just in case you haven't been downtown in the last year or so, perhaps you should take a walk around and see everything that IS actually occuring. People who sit back and whine about everything without knowledge of what they speak or without doing anything to change what they PERCIEVE to be wrong jusy annoy the heck out of me.
        • Location
          I actually think this isn't a bad plan for this location. I'm not a fan of downtown surface parking but this would be a small lot and serve the greater good of developing the other two buildings. I don't see the jail across the street as being that big a deal. This location is also close to BL Fieldhouse and CityWay so in an urban core you will have a mix of neighbors. I doubt with the small footprint these buildings have that the owner could do much more than they are already proposing. Hopefully they can work with the city to find a solution that makes the best use of this property.
        • Decision
          The building rehab plans are fine. Even demo'ing the third building might be ok. But the surface parking lot idea should be stopped dead in its tracks. Like most other retail and offices downtown, they can make do with street parking and the plethora of garages and surface lots nearby. Once the City says no to the surface parking lot, they'll probably look for a good re-use for the third building, unless it's really in such bad shape as to have negative value.
          • annoying
            Busybodies stating "they can make do" are more annoying than downtown surface parking lots.
          • Approve it
            They aren't going to look for a good use for the smaller building because the issue is the development needs parking to move forward. The only other solution would be to tear down the small building and replace it with a new building that either has parking on its lower floors or underground parking. My assumption would be the developer does not have the funds to build a parking structure or underground parking. So, no parking lot means the buildings would most likely stay in their dilapidated state--and no, no knight on a white horse is going to come along. This corner will simple get passed by. I don't think the city needs more huge parking lots downtown, but I have no problem with the city giving permission on a case-by-case basis for a few more small lots that serve adjoining developments.
          • Marshall, well said. A bunch of arm chair designers with no money who want to whine about people who do. Agree the City should hold firm on no surface parking. Market to people who don't own cars, or strike a deal with a nearby parking structure. Wife used to work near there.lots of parking available within a block or two.
          • parking alternative
            Just took a look at the google earth and street views of this site. Maybe there is a way to maintain the storefront and perimeter wall of the third building to contain parking. Or add a ventilation system, strip the interior bare and provide parking inside? It's a small building, but if possible seems like a win-win.

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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.