Mayor: IndyGo hub can be a 'signature structure'

February 28, 2014
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Transit CenterIndyGo unveiled Thursday Transit Centerthe design of its $20 million transit hub set to be built on a half-block surface parking lot in the heart of downtown. City officials hope the transit hub will serve as a signature structure that could trigger further development in the area.

IndyGo’s release of the architectural renderings coincides with Mayor Greg Ballard’s State of the City address Thursday evening, in which he mentioned the hub.

“This sleek building will not only transform an empty parking lot, but also serve as the hub for transit,” Ballard said in his speech. “Just imagine people waiting inside for a bus connection with coffee and a newspaper, rather than huddled outside on Ohio Street.”

Work is expected to begin in the fall; completion is expected by the end of 2015. A federal grant will cover $13.5 million of the cost, with the city picking up the rest of the tab.

The 14,000-square-foot building will be constructed on a 1.9-acre parcel owned by the city and situated on the south side of Washington Street between Delaware and Alabama streets. It's directly across Washington Street from the City-County Building. The hub will have 19 bus bays at the rear, closest to the Marion County Jail.

The project will help spiff up a section of downtown already in the midst of a renaissance. Immediately to the northeast, a portion of the former Market Square Arena site is available for development and is among the sites that Cummins Inc. is considering to construct a downtown building for its Indianapolis employees. To the north of that site, Flaherty & Collins Properties is set to begin construction this year on an $81 million, 28-story residential high-rise.

“Simply put, Indy needs to raise its game,” Ballard said in his address. “We need more signature structures that define our skyline. The new, curved MSA tower is modern and inspiring.  The new Mass Ave development contains a digital art screen that will draw people’s attention. IndyGo’s new Downtown Transit Center definitely fits that mold.”

The architects on the project are San Francisco-based URS Corp. and locally based Axis Architecture + Interiors.

Click on the renderings to get a closer look.

  • Looks thrilling
    Can't wait to get mugged here
  • Architecture
    Another blah design from Axis. Why does EVERYTHING built in this city have to be designed by the same mediocre, local firms? Can't we just have ONE quality, world class building built. I'm not asking for every building or even TWO, just ONE.
  • Nice
    What's wrong with this architecture? It looks beautiful to me.
  • Well, Jon...
    ... let's keep things in perspective here. It is, afterall, just a bus station. They can call it a transit hub or whatever they want to, but in the end it's just a bus station. That said, I personally rather like the design - don't see anything to complain about. If we, as you put, were going to have "ONE quality, world class building built", I certainly hope they'd pick something other than a bus station.
  • To add...
    I AM quite surprised at how DRASTICALLY this differs in scale from what was originally proposed. It would seem that rather than the statement the Mayor says he want's to make, this would be a step backwards. While I like the design in general, the more I look at it the more it resembles a rest area somewhere on I-69.
    • Wrong place for the argument
      Sure, every building in Indianapolis is hideous and the local firms are amateur hacks. But is some article about a bus station the best place to have the argument? I don't want to waste any money or effort having a "beautiful" bus station built, just so vagrants can urinate all over it
    • Looks Like A Well Design Outdoor Bus Terminal
      I find the criticism of this bus station very silly. It is an outdoor central bus station. I have traveled all over the world and the United States, and most contemporary bus stations with outdoor bays look like something along the lines of this planned stations. A bus station should be functional first, and then also attractive. I think with the sleek lines of the bays and the rain gardens, the station will be a big improvement over the empty lot that is there now. I think considering the budget and the intended purposes of this outdoor bus terminal, it will be a functional and aesthetically pleasing structure.
    • Small Market Thinking in an Emerging Market
      I suppose Indy (like other cities) can't afford the luxury of waiting til it emerges as a more significant market to upgrade some of its necessary facilities, but it would seem that a measure of strategic thinking about the longer-term impact of small-town facilities at critical locations would serve the city well. An example is the unfortunate crowding of Victory Field into the Northeast corner of its site rather than placing it out further to the Southwest with expansion in mind for possible MLB. With some exceptions, I think the transit station is a decent design, but feels as tho it'd be a better fit for Fort Wayne or Omaha. This structure, Like 'The Vic' will be too significant to think of as temporary, yet too limiting in its long-term usefulness as the city grows. Another unfortunate example of expediant small town thinking by those prone to labeling every mediocre new facility here as "World-class". Ugghh!
      • Unfortunate crowding?
        Part of what makes Indy so desirable for both locals and particularly visitors is the density of attractions within our downtown area. I'm not sure why anyone would think Victory Field is crowding in its corridor given the expanse of White River State Park that abuts it. The building of that Field and its location has been an important catalyst for revitalization of that section of downtown.
      • This will make bus service even worse than it is now
        What is a bus for? It is to take us where we want to go. With this hub every bus line will end at a backwater part of the Mile Square. From there am I supposed to walk five blocks to Circle Center Mall? At least the loop system IndyGo has now can take you there. I don't need a bus to take me to jail. I can get a free ride in the back of a police car for that.
        • Embarrassing
          This is pretty embarrassing for the city of Indianapolis considering the city's size and exposure to the world (Super Bowl, Indy 500, Brickyard 400, et cetera). Here in Tucson, there are three bus hubs for the city bus and one of them is downtown. The infrastructure was already planned and created decades ago. Not only that, there has been a one track trolley system installed connecting downtown to 4th Avenue (which is an extension of downtown that has many shops/restaurants/cafes/bars/nightclubs; kind of like a combination of Broad Ripple and Mass Ave), and another shopping/dining/entertainment area that is on the campus of University of Arizona. Tucson is not even as big or populated as Indy. It's pretty pathetic how people are bitching and complaining about progress trying to take place in Indy. These people just don't know when to stop and think about Indy being a laughingstock of mid size cities that just hasn't caught up with the times.
          • Amazing...
            I can't believe the ridiculous comments on this board regarding local architecture. For one, the idea that we don't have a single "world class" structure is hilarious. I was going to sit here and list all the great architecture this city has to offer (past and present), but why waste the time. You can hate on "local architects" all you want, but there's quite a bit of talent in this city. I, for one, applaud this design as forward thinking. The only thing I do not care for is the lack of a physical buffer between it and the adjacent jail. Personally, I wouldn't have shown the jail still there, in the anticipation that it will be moving in the the next 5-10 years...but many sour grapes here. And the guy who was complaining about Victory Field, YOU CAN'T BE SERIOUS!!!
          • JON: By the way...
            This design was not done by the "same, mediocre local firms". If you read the article, you would have seen that it was designed by "San Francisco-based URS Corp. and locally based Axis Architecture + Interiors". This tells me that URS did the design and that Axis is acting as the architect of record. So, sounds like you got your wish. Hope you're happy...
          • Drop the Drama, It's A Good Bus Station
            I read these hyperbolic criticisms of this bus station and I think what planet have these hot head critics fallen from? Go to any city in the world, and a modern outdoor bus station will look similar to this (and don't bring up huge transit facilities with rail lines that cost over a $4 billion dollars like the one San Francisco is building). This is a $20 million dollar outdoor bus station. For the budget and the intended use, it is quite nicely designed and it serves its purpose while being aesthetically pleasing. The notion that this needs to be some gold-plated palace is just silly. This is what a contemporary outdoor bus station looks like anywhere else in the world. Instead of nitpicking about the bus station, just be grateful it is being built And to Tem who apparently has problems walking 5 blocks, all I can say is you would not make it a big city like New York, Chicago, or San Francisco where people routinely walk 5 blocks without batting an eyelash. All this griping really makes Indianapolis look insecure and small-town, it is certainly not the bus station that is hurting the city's image.
          • Pedestrians
            How about a serious question, I think? Do they really need to design the entire Delaware and Alabama frontages each as one huge sprawling wide driveway over the sidewalks? How much width is needed to have one bus entering and one bus exiting at the same time? The driveways should be no wider than that. In fact, couldn't they curb and sidewalk the area in between where the buses enter and exit? The way it appears in the rendering, it looks like it will be a free for all for the bus drivers (who certainly currently don't display the most professional driving techniques), and might be a nightmare for peds who simply want to walk by the facility on either street.
          • Low Standards
            So the design savvy mayor thinks a digital billboard across from the historic Murat is a good thing. Says a lot of the recently city approved designs.
          • We've missed you Dustin
            Where have you been Dustin? We have missed your critique of everything we are doing wrong in Indianapolis. We know Tuscon does everything right and we do everything wrong here.
            • Design is fine but not game changing
              The problem here is not with the design but rather our priorities. How is this hub going to be a game changer for the community? Sorry, but it's not going to change the way people in Indy think about riding a bus. It's a pretty 'feel good project' that merely fills in one of many parking lots in this town---which translates to our infamous "it's better than nothing" philosophy. Go bold or stay home. This project is a waste of money. It's time Indy just does something game changing to spur economic development: let's develop COLLEGE AVENUE as the 'transit spine' which a better bus system feeds off of!
              • Transit spine makes sense
                If IndyGo really wants a hub put it in Union Station where it will feed Amtrak and Greyhound. The post office building across the street was useful back in the day downtown was a dead zone but now is sitting on valuable land. Move it out to the airport and widen South St. on this block to accommodate IndyGo buses. There’s already a waiting room inside Union Station. Then the land at the south end of the postal service building can be developed for something else like hotel/commercial. The idea of focusing on a transit spine is useful too, the error in these proposed mass transit plans are that they try to cover the whole city equally including the outlying areas developed for automobile use. Put the major effort on a section of town like between downtown and Broadripple and make bus service so heavy you won’t need a car. People who want to use mass transit will move there.
                • exactly
                  Thanks to IndyGov...Indianapolis is spread out to a point where a bus system covering all of Marion county is beyond impractical. The only solution for Indianapolis' transit problems is not be political for politics sake: spend the money in one area (COLLEGE AVENUE) and let the transit spine spur growth between Carmel and Downtown. The outlying areas will develop naturally in the future.
                • Build it...
                  Just build it.. it's a good start and we need it.
                • Cost
                  Let's see...14,000sf...$20MM. $1429 per sf(sic!)! That is what this forum should be talking about!!
                  • Mark, on cost.
                    Mark, and everyone else here...I can assure you that the 20M dollar figure is not just the building. It includes all the supporting canopy structures, the sitework (which is considerable) and everything else.

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                  1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

                  2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

                  3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

                  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

                  5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim