Former Dunkin building targeted for major renovation

May 22, 2013
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former Dunkin downtownA prominent local developer is buying the downtown building that last housed a Dunkin Donuts and has plans to renovate it to make it more attractive to an upscale eatery. Several local real estate sources say Keystone Group CEO Ersal Ozdemir is close to purchasing it from a private, out-of-state seller. His plans for the building at the high-profile corner of Washington and Pennsylvania streets include adding a second story in hopes of luring a national restaurant. Ozdemir said during the International Council of Shopping Centers annual convention in Las Vegas that he has “interest” in the building but never comments on speculation. Retail brokerage Midland Atlantic is shopping the site and has the property under contract with a potential buyer, broker Patrick Boyle said. The purchase could include the adjoining space currently occupied by Cartridge World, which would be the “ideal scenario,” he said. “The most likely use is a restaurant that could justify [the cost of] renovation,” Boyle said. One thing is certain: The iconic sign atop the building can stay, according to grandfathered city zoning laws. The entire space is 2,800 square feet. Dunkin Donuts closed the location at 48 E. Washington St. in late March when its lease expired.

(Staff photo / Cory Schouten)

  • Googie
    Glad the sign stays and hopefully Keystone will find a tenant with a vision for an elegant mid-century modern revision on this site. Googie architecture has largely been demolished or fallen into disrepair in our city, and perhaps a proper renovation / expansion here will bolster the appreciation of this style.
  • "Ballard's On Penn"--my vote
    If Keystone is developing it, let me guess, the city is pitching in half the cost using parking meter money or savings from the cricket field? They shouldn't have any problems getting any necessary zoning or permits.....
  • The Sign
    Let's not forget that to those of us who can remember it, the iconic sign was the ever-recognizable emblem of Roselyn Bakeries, may they rest in peace. No one since has come close.
  • Iconic, but not elegant
    The sign atop the building is certainly iconic, but in no way can be described as 'elegant'. I see this as more of an on-the-go eatery than anything in the "elegant" category. Of course, the REAL value of the site is its long-term potential once the economy rebounds. perhaps something in the 6-8 story range, but probably nothing hi-rise.
    • The Googie Style!
      Craig, nice to encounter someone locally who recognizes and appreciates the 'Googie' style! And i think I used to work for you!
    • McD's??
      I like the "on-the-go" eatery ideal. Aren't there enough national "upscale" chains in that area? Why not add an iconic brand to that sign/location and bring in a 2-story McD's...something like they did in Chicago Downtown. Just a thought. Tons of business customers would frequent it on lunch breaks in that area I would think.
      • Pizzology
        Someone told me a few days ago that a Pizzology was opening here. Any truth there? It would be a great addition to downtown.
      • Troubled location
        Don't forget this is next to an MMA gym, a pawn shop, and some abandoned spaces.
      • Location?
        It's also across the street from Fogo de Chao and Morton's....
      • McDonald's Locates Wherever it Wants
        There area already McDonald's downtown. There are no longer any of them in the very core, but there used to be and they closed. No developer would turn away a deep pocket business who wanted to pay the rent. McDonald's spends hundreds of millions of dollars on market research and locates its stores where they are wanted. "Business customers" who work downtown and want to eat at McDonald's go to the existing ones nearby. McDonald's has decided these stores meet the existing demand. For the most part, a developer doesn't really care who locates in his development, so long as they pay the rent, it is the retailers who decide where they wish to locate.
      • Classic Diner
        One thing I would love to see downtown as a resident is more 24-hour food option. I think this would be the perfect spot for a classic diner with it being at the corner. Doesn't have to be a chain and it could even have a twist of upscale to it, but it would be a welcome addition.
      • Greg
        I could suggest several 24 hour dining options (including a couple of "diners") in the downtown area...
        • Chris...
          The only "nearby" McDonalds that I can think of is at 16th and Meridian. Aside from the fact that service at that location is horrible, it's hardly convenient to the "business customers" you refer to. The only McDonalds I remember being near the core of downtown anytime recently was the location in the lobby of the Hyatt and it was pretty much hidden. If you didn't already know it was there, you would NEVER know it was there. I'm no fan of fast food but I'm SURE there is a place (and a "want") for additional fast food options in the city core - especially McDonalds!
          • Marshall, McDonald's Makes Its Own Decisions
            Marshall, I know where the current McDonald's are located. They all take just a few minutes to drive to. Yes, there is no longer one in walking distance (and the old Hyatt location was not the only one, there used to be at least two more, but maybe, I'm showing my age). The point is that it is McDonald's NOT the developer that makes the decision about where and if to locate a restaurant somewhere. Whether you or I are fans of McDonald's is irrelevant. McDonald's has the money to locate anywhere it wishes. The fact that it doesn't have a restaurant in the core of the downtown means McDonald's thinks there is no market justification for it, and right or wrong, that is the end of the story.
          • low rise
            The city should demand a structure of atleast 3 stories on this site.
          • Chris...
            ... lol. Did I suggest at some point that I didn't understand who's decision it was to locate where? Of course developers don't tell companies where they must locate (well, this is MOSTLY true... but not always). And the fact that there is not a McDonalds currently in the core of the city does NOT mean that McDonalds doesn't want it. 80% of McDonalds stores around the world are franchised locations, NOT corporate owned. I'm pretty certain the departure of McDonalds from the Hyatt was more a decision of the buildings owner than that of the restaurant. Even as hidden as it was, it did a pretty good business. I'm sure that presented with the ideal location, a McDonalds in the downtown core would be very successful. Since it was not my intention to hijack this thread with talk of McDonalds (I had to read back to even see how it came up in the first place), there will be no further comments of this nature on my part! ;-)
          • Diners Downtown
            You mean Peppy's or Steak and Shake. Those are the only two I know of near the downtown core.
          • Indy needs a Wow Bao
            This would be a good spot for Wow Bao to expand from Chicago to Indy.
          • Downtown Eyesoar
            I don't think anything viable will survive until that dilapidated block of Washington Street gets cleaned up and developed properly. I don't know who owns what on that block but until something of quality happens, that corner is doomed.As my fraternity big brother used to say, "Put two bags over it in case the first one rips, you'll still have another bag to hide it."
          • renovating
            This is a good decision to have a major renovation of this targeted building and obviously this renovation will add the value.
          • Renovation
            I am sure that this decision will be worthy because renovation will make it more beautiful than before.
          • Renewal
            This building will look more wonderful after the renovation and will have a great effect.
          • Redesigning
            This major renovation involves many factors that can have both positive and negative aspects on this building. So, it needs extra care.

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          1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

          2. has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

          3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

          4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

          5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.