Browning reveals design for $17M Broad Ripple project

April 18, 2013
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Broad_Ripple_Browning_rendering_225pxLocal developer Browning Investments is pushing forward with a new rendering (right) for its plans to build a $17 million mixed-use development on land it previously pitched as a potential site for the Broad Ripple parking garage. Provided to Property Lines on Wednesday, the updated rendering features much more courtyard space along the Central Canal, more practical retail space along College Avenue, and a newly designed apartment complex with outdoor patios facing the west. Browning is proposing a mix of 60 to 70 apartments and commercial space on 1.9 acres on the northeast corner of College and the Canal. The development would replace a closed Shell gas station and a handful of older apartment buildings on the site, bordered by College and Carrollton Avenue. Browning is set to present its plans to the Broad Ripple Village Association on Tuesday and at a public hearing to city of Indianapolis officials May 9. Jamie Browning said the firm has the property under contract but declined to discuss further specifics until it presents plans to the city. The architect for the project is Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf Architects. Browning Investments was among several developers vying for the Broad Ripple parking garage project before city leaders ultimately chose Keystone Group. The parking garage opened Tuesday. It’s at the southwest corner of Broad Ripple and College avenues.

  • is it me?
    Why do all the new apartment complexes in Indy look the same? Don't our local architects get out and travel to other cities and see whats going on?
  • Is this better or worse?
    So, if there are 70 apartments the much needed extra parking in the new garage will be used by those apartments leaving no extra spaces for the people who want to visit the area.
    • Parking
      Cindy,There is a parking component to this project. It will not depend on the new garage. This article failed to mention the parking ppiece.
      This design is so bland. It's absolutely horrid. Uninspired. Lacks any sense of the creativity and flair that emanates from the Broad Ripple landscape. I would send it back to the drawing board and request that the company read a few Gehry, Escher, and Gaudi books.
      • half & half
        Hey KF, the apts look fairly good, its the low rise along College that looks same old, same old, and boring! The Landscape Architecture design looks real good, hope all that gets built!
      • Cindy
        Look clearly at the picture and you will see an attached garage for the complex
      • UGLY
        I am 100% in support of the concept of this project. However, this rendering is UGLY UGLY UGLY. Pink, blue and green?? Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf should be ashamed.
        • Yuck
          Projects like this don't come around in Broad Ripple very often. We in Broad Ripple should DEMAND quality architecture, not bland designs from a 1980s circa Florida retirement community.
        • Creativity and Flair
          the Creativity and flair of the generic strip malls that take up half of brip strip? that subway and mcdonalds are so creative.
        • Ugh!
          Yes, this design is really awful, altho in fairness it looks to be really schematic and representative of simple massing at this point. In response to Kevin F., yes we DO get around the country and even the world, but in a design environment such as here in Indy, where owners don't care what goes up as long as a project is profitable (resulting in continually depressed fees), architects are forced to deliver what they are paid for. Ask The Whitsett Group what they are paying as design fees for the awful stuff they are spreading around the city. Then ask the Indy Star why they don't employ an architecture critic, which would force owners and architects alike to step up their games to elevate design to a level commensurate with other places. Then ask Mayor Chinatown why there is no citywide design commission to police this stuff as in other cities!
          • Haters!
            You folks seem to have something negative to say about nearly all the new projects posted on this blog! I think this project looks like a real improvement to this site and I'd hope that it could set a tone for future enhancements to the area in general. I really like the use of greenspace and putting the high-rise section back away from the street. Keystone Group should have been required to address these same issues for the new garage.
          • Let's Back the Truck up.....
            I was surprised at the negative comments addressed to this project. Brownign Day.. are quality architects whose goa, I'm sure, is to provide a functional and pleasing facility set in an environment meant to enhance and beautify the landscape in Broad Ripple. I'm not an artist nor architect, but I would hardly call this rendering ugly. Nor would I belive that its design doesn't provide a unique architectural statement to raise the appearance of the BR area. It's multi-functional, does have garage parking of its own, and has a "front door" that is attractive.
          • Yea right.
            Mr. Aesthetic: Gehry, Escher, and Gaudi? 'Twould be nice but get real. I like all three but not for 250G/apt. I agree the building is bland but perhaps the rendering is only preliminary.
          • Why not address College?
            The article didn't state, but why aren't the apartments brought out over the retail along college? The proposed wall/terrace things are terrible. Is it a brown field or a zoning issue? Can't either be addressed to get a project that is done the way it should be instead of what is quickest and easiest? What about the retail? How many SF is the retail? Is the entire retail one space, or is it proposed smaller shops?
          • Well...
            ... I like it. I'm no architect either but I've learned through years of reading Property Lines that Indianapolis has more self-proclaimed design experts per-capita than probably any other city in the world. You'd think, by reading these threads, that everything being built in Indianapolis was total crap and that whatever is being built in any other city was gilded in gold. Having lived in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Miami the past several years before moving back home to Indy, I can absolutely guarantee that projects exactly like the one pictured in this rendering ARE, in fact, being built elsewhere.
          • conceptually almost there
            The design is great, especially with all of the balconies for the apartments. I do think that the previous version was better from a color scheme and finish perspective, but I'm guessing those changes were driven by the local officials more than the developer or architect.
          • i like it
            beats all the hideous stuff that is there now! I think it is a great concept and they need to get it done! kudos to Browning!
          • Come on.
            This is needed in Broad Ripple like most of us need another hole in our head. The village is already massively overbuilt and far too densely populated. So sure, let's just make it worse and add 70 more dwelling units wedged into a tiny space on the canal.
          • IT'S ABOUT TIME
            If the developers can get more cooperation from the BRVA and community as well as purchase the old Johnny's market site, the whole project can become more efficient and not as "tricky" as the new garage on the SW site.
          • Be Thankful
            The enemy of good is better when good is so hard to get. This is good. Functional, appealling enough, and it cleans up this piece of BR with multiuse structure. This project will change BR in a good way.
          • If your so smart ...
            If all you critics are so smart, why don't you pony up and build a few shrines to great architecture yourself. I think if you did that once or twice, you might understand thre reality of developing in the market place today. On second thought, it is just easier to sit back and gripe about people actually doing projects. Your 'groundhog day like" complaints are tiresome.
          • Apartments or FroYo
            I feel like I only ever read about new apartment complexes and new frozen yogurt shops... I know they are both in high demand, but that can't last forver, can it?
          • Right time, right project, right architecture
            Congratulations to Browning Day etc. At least this doesn't look like another convention center with the obligatory "cap" at the top. Actually the scope of the building is perfect for the space, and the plaza area on the corner is a home-run. As has been said for the earlier design, it's likely these apartments will be fully leased well before the project is completed. How lucky Broad Ripple is to continue to grow and be a site where developers are willing to invest serious money. The architect wannabees should get together and invest some of their own funds in avant-garde buildings. Thanks Browning Day for providing first-class apartments where they are sorely needed.
          • Good project
            This will be a great project for Broad Ripple. The area is sorely lacking for modern apartments and more density in general. The only complaints that I have are with the colors used and that the apartments don't go all the way out to College over the retail. There needs to be something on top of the retail. If not apartments, then rooftop dining.
            • Rendering
              It's way too early to tell much of anything from this rendering. It is relatively mute on materiality and really is little more than a schematic massing tool. That being said, I can't believe Browning (or BDDM!) would release this image for public view. Frankly, it's a terrible image and will do very little to inspire confidence. Hopefully, better things are to come...
            • Review the Meaning of Rendering
              People need to use their reading comprehension skills: This is an updated rendering, but still a preliminary sketch. It is merely done to show the basic massing and shape of the structure. All the details will be flushed out later. The comments about how the design is "bland," etc, come from people who clearly don't understand that all initial sketches look bland and go through several iterations before final designs are completed. This sketch lacks most of the structural detail that will get put in later.
            • The Colors Are Not What Will Be Used
              Good God, the sort of nonsense that is getting posted is just incredible. The colors are simply used for the sketch for contrast. The colors used in a sketch are often not even close to the final colors used on the actual building. Stop tripping out over silly details like color, etc, when none of the details have been finalized.
              • No...
                I think YOU need to review the meaning of "rendering". This is NOT a "sketch"'s a sketchup "rendering". At the very least, a "rendering" should convey massing, site context, and materiality. To suggest that people should not pay attention to the "colors" or that the color are "just for contrast" is ludicrous. If you're not going to release a factual rendering, then don't release it...or, at the ABSOLUTE least, put it in grayscale. The developer has released this rendering to the public. Unless they say otherwise, the public has to assume that this is what the project will look like. Otherwise, don't release it.
              • A quote...
                ... to highlight the biggest obstacle to proper urban development in Indianapolis: "This is needed in Broad Ripple like most of us need another hole in our head. The village is already massively overbuilt and far too densely populated. So sure, let's just make it worse and add 70 more dwelling units wedged into a tiny space on the canal. " ...sigh...
              • Parking
                What happened to the below-grade parking?
              • Practical concerns
                1. Water table here is quite high. Below-grade parking would have to (expensively) deal with groundwater and rainwater infiltration. 2. The multi-use storefronts will likely contain one or more eating places, which require rooftop ventilation and carry increased fire risk. It's GOOD not to build apartments over that.
                • One point of agreement...maybe
                  I think we could hopefully all agree that this rendering or sketch is better than what is there now. The crap gas station and the deterioting apts behind it are an eyesore to a great neighborhood.
                • re: Thundermutt
                  Fire Rated shafts can be built. I would hope for the residents' sake that they wouldn't be exhausting off that roof any offensive odors or grease exhausts - Let's go sit on our balcony and breath in those french fry vapors! Yummm.
                • re: Thundermutt
                  There are apartments/condos/office space built over restaraunts all over the place. Why would this be any different than the hundreds of restaunts on the ground level of buildings all over the city?
                • I like the outdoor area
                  I like the outdoor area a lot. It would be terrific to be able to walk around the canal from one side to the other. Hope the space is properly represented.
                • Not very...
                  Not very attractive. Very similar to a lot of projects going up all over town with no creativity. Yes, there are other parts of the country that seem to have a better flair for architecture. My other point is the continued tearing down of old Broad Ripple instead of restoration. The station needs to go, but the apartments can be saved. I have seen old pictures of these buildings without the siding, and they are quite attractive.
                  • College Avenue needs to be addressed
                    It's amazing the lack of respect for the most obvious piece of PRIME REAL ESTATE within this whole development: THE CORNER OF COLLEGE AVE. & the CANAL. An urban wall, consisting of 4 story apartments on top of the commercial space, needs to face College Avenue, which is just as important as the canal. What a misssed opportunity if this is not addressed. At least bring 5 stories out to the corner of the canal & College. This would make a huge statement for BRV and move it in the right direction.
                  • Traffic
                    I live in Broad Ripple and the traffic is absolutely horrible, especially at Collage and Broad Ripple Blvd. This new complex will make it even worse. How will residents or shoppers get in and out?
                    • Hmmm
                      People would get in and out the same way as they do now: with their cars. The only difference: more pedestrian activity. Sound weird?
                    • Whole Foods from Chicago?
                      My biggest complaint is the talk that Mayor Ballard is supposedly enticing a Whole Foods store in Chicago to be the corner retailer here - using tax money earned in Broad Ripple. So our money is being spent to attract an Illinois business, to set up one block away from the The Good Earth, which has been a health food store in Broad Ripple for decades. Seems a little cruel to the little guy paying the taxes in the first place.
                      • Broad Ripple Resident
                        1. I do not think any taxpayer money should go into this. We already know that the price to rent these apartments is going to be outrageous. If they want to build it, pay for it yourself because you will make it back in the end with leases. 2. This is taking away from the Broad Ripple feel. This is supposed to be an artsy/young area and you don't get that with new development. Sorry people, I am not a fan of the parking garage. There isn't a lack of parking in BR. People just don't like to walk.
                        • Whole Foods
                          Whole Foods is based out of Austin, TX, so not sure where Chicago comes to play here.
                        • What?
                          Why should BRV be 'artsy/young'? So a more mixed demographic would hurt the reputation of BRV? I think the village is over run with bars, young drunks and crime. Not that I'm ever there to's just what I hear from others.
                        • Rooftop Dining!
                          Love it... more rooftop dining with retractable roofing and portable glass walls for colder weather rooftop dining!
                        • Traffic
                          I agree - a bit concerned about MORE traffic. Are we also widening College Avenue and Westfield?
                        • Mixed Feelings
                          I'm not particularly fond of that little strip of BRV, anyway. It's got a nice record store, but I'm pretty sure there's nothing "artsy" about a Starbucks, Jimmy Johns, or Pitaya. The shops there in the area have become increasingly geared toward the yuppie-meat market bar scene. For which a development like this, full of overpriced apartments and more gourmet burger joints, would be perfect. God bless those little guys on the immediate periphery who keep the Village Proper worth venturing into, but there sure are a lot of dbags to contend with once you do! No, the "young/artsy" folks who gave the Village its original cache are now south of that racket.
                        • P.S.
                          Also, a look at all those I.U. plates on $50,000 cars in the Village on a sunny Saturday will tell you who's in the Village these days. Developers are cashing in on all that pent-up nostalgia of those in their 20s and 30s who went away to Bloomington, Lafayette or Muncie and had to come back home to actually find a job once they graduated. Those are the people with money, not the young and the artsy. They want to spend that money on luxurious fun, not renovating old houses in a neighborhood they're only visiting. Developers would love to get a piece of that before these people get older, married, and moved to Hamilton County before their first kid hits school-age.
                        • 6338 N College
                          I have a building across the street for SALE or for LEASE. Click on the link below for more info
                        • Overpricing the Area
                          I agree that this design is incredibly bland, you would think the aim would be more inspired and original, just like most of Broad Ripple. I live in the apartments where these are going up and I am extremely disappointed by all of this. I am wondering how much rent for one of these units will be as they are tearing down many many more apartments than they are replacing. Not to mention the median age in Broad Ripple is in their 20's and early 30's, they won't be able to afford apartments that are priced the same as those downtown. I'm not saying the demographic shouldn't shift, but I can't imagine too many 40-60 year-olds enjoying the night life of Rock Lobster or your typical Carmel family frequenting The Alley Cat. Its not just the night life, but I consider a Broad Ripple a haven for younger people to gather and meet. It is a fun vibrant area, and they are tearing down some pretty amazing apartments along a quiet street to create this monstrosity. I am quite disappointed. This will change the area entirely.
                        • Changes Broad Ripple Forever
                          Rezoning for a structure this size? Broad Ripple has kept all the other businesses in the area restricted as far as how big they could build. Allowing this retail store shows disregard for the community of local businesses whose culture has defined Broad Ripple. Indianapolis has designated Broad Ripple as one of its 6 Cultural Districts, and the area is described as follows by Indianapolis Downtown, Inc.: "Broad Ripple Village has always been known for its artistic residents, independent businesses and overall image of creativity." The construction of a large chain retail store defies the logic of identifying Broad Ripple as a cultural district celebrated for independent businesses. If the area NEEDED to be rezoned to promote growth because it was distressed, that might fly. But there is no need to allow this project to build by new rules, when the rest of the village is supposed to stay "quaint," and be run out of business in the meantime.
                        • Needs work
                          The basic idea of nice apartments with parking and retail is a good one, but this design seems overwhelmingly big/tall for Broad Ripple. The size could be disguised a bit with lots of big trees/landscaping, but the complex is too massive to blend in easily. That section of canal between College and Westfield will also need to be upgraded on both sides. Nice apartments facing onto a nice promenade with shade trees/plantings could bring together the canal towpath/Monon recreation, the outdoor seating at existing restaurants, and this project into something that upgrades the whole area. A plan for the whole stretch makes more sense than facing nice new housing onto what looks like a ditch. Is there a plan? Does the public have input? Who pays? The apartment idea seems to be reasonable, but Whole Foods is not a good idea for appropriate retail. Besides the store being physically too big, there are already Fresh Market at 54xCollege and Whole Foods in Nora for fancy groceries. Good Earth and Kroger are within walking distance of the Shell site. There are at least 7 grocery stores within a safe bike ride. Whole Foods would add nothing but traffic congestion. This design is on the right track, but there needs to be more work done to ensure that it blends in with and enhances the existing community. A project that large will set a tone for that whole part of town. It could be a real asset, but only if done right.
                        • The Results are in Broad Ripple is against the development!
                 Opposed Leaning No Neutral Leaning Yes In Favor % of total respondents 41.70% 11.70% 4.40% 12.80% 29.40% # of respondents 802 226 85 247 565 Data after removing duplicate respondents (1,782 responses) % of total respondents 40.60% 12% 4.50% 12.70% 30.10% # of respondents 724 213 81 227 537
                        • ...
                          Oh, great. More cookie-cutter luxury and less culture and diversity. Drive up the rent prices and push out anyone who isn't a rich yuppie...

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