New renderings: CityWay's hotel dubbed The Alexander

January 9, 2012
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                              Alexander at CityWay IndianapolisBuckingham Cos. and Dolce Hotels and Resorts plan to name their hotel in CityWay The Alexander at CityWay IndianapolisThe Alexander in honor of the man who developed the original city plan for Indianapolis, Alexander Ralston.The Alexander at CityWay Indianapolis The 157-room hotel will include 16 meeting rooms with a total of 16,000The
                              Alexander at CityWay Indianapolis square feet of space, a full-service restaurant, an American-style brasserie and a 2,200-square-foot lounge with a view of the downtown skyline. It will feature contemporary art throughout its public spaces and rooms, and conference rooms will be outfited with audiovisual technology for corporate meetings. Construction on the hotel began in August and is scheduled for completion by the fall. The Alexander is an anchor of the $155-million CityWay project at Delaware and South streets. It also includes apartments, commercial space, a YMCA branch and parking structures centered on a public plaza. (Click each rendering for a larger version.) What do you think?

  • Nice details
    I like the project overall (except for the CityWay name). If you look at the detail of the Alexander, you'll notice a logo that is the original street grid for the Circle block. I really appreciate that level of detail!
  • Don't Cut Corners on Modern and Unique
    I really want to get excited about this design, but it this signature anchor hotel leaves me disappointed.

    The long exterior of hotel rooms with bland prefab stucco board reminds me of some cheap dispensable Howard Johnson Motel you would find on the side of a highway somewhere.

    The exterior design & durability would be greatly improved with another type of facade material like the stone & slate shown in the first photo. Considering all the windows, it really isn't that much square footage to upgrade.

    The interior is promising with unique modern touches similar to the Hotel Indigo in Fishers.
  • Name of Architect
    Who is the Architect for this project? It doesn't look like they had one.
  • YMCA is everywhere
    I am amazed at how many times the YMCA is mentioned in developers plans. North of South, City Market, Pike, Exit 10, etc.

    How are they able to put up so many new facilities?
  • Architect
    I believe Ratio is doing the design work. You will notice the entrance to the Alexander is very similar to the entrance of the new Convention Center (also Ratio).
  • As is usual, these quicky renderings do not give enough to really tell how the materials will look. I will reserve judgement.

    I really wish they would bring back the North of South name. It sounded more urban like SoHo. Or since they are going with the Alexander for the hotel, go with Ralston Square for the development name since that project seems to have died.
  • Indyman
    Generally, I like it, with the exception of mimicking the Convention Center expansion entrance. Seems a bit too cutesy. Is that going to become Ratio's "signature"? Also, please bring back the North of South name. Show some urban distintivenss. City Way doesn't do it.
  • Plot or Floor Plan?
    Is a plot or floor plan available for this project?
  • CityWay?
    Although I try to stay abreast of things, I had no idea where or what "CityWay" was until I noticed the references in the comments to North of South. NOSO (stupid acronym, I know) was at least not a generic term -- North of South Street. CityWay reminded me simultaneously of the old AyrWay stores and right of way easements. Seriously, this is so generic it is embarrassing. The development is a great idea, is in a perfect location, and deserves something unique.
  • meh
    i dont think the design makes much of a statement. it reminds me of a starwood airport property; element, aloft, etc. cityway is a horrible name, i agree it feels generic and forced. at least north of south had an organic feel to it. off topic but does anyone know what is going in at 62nd and keystone in the old shell lot? it wasn't listed on lawrence building corp's website but it looks like they mostly do gas stations and sonic restaurants. i was thinking cvs but now I'm leaning toward a gas station.
    • CityWay - No Way!
      I agree with the earlier comments. Get rid of CityWay and go back to North of South or Ralston Square. CityWay doesn't sound hip and modern. It sounds cheesy. These concerns have been raised before. Why don't city officials seem to be paying attention?
      • CityWay sounds like a non-profit
        Names with the word "Way" in the title always remind me of either a non-profit (United Way) or a scam (AmWay). Either scenario results in a terrible name for a city development. I have to echo the push for Ralston Square, given the newly announced name for the hotel, but wouldn't be upset about North of South. CityWay is just so...yes, generic.
      • CityWay website
        I am note associated with the project or the marketing of it but they had a FaceBook and Twitter campaign a couple of weeks ago and you can follow them at those sites and

        I don't think you need my 2-cents about the name, it's been stated enough. I do like the project though.
      • Architect
        The architect is not Ratio. Unfortunately, this "look" has become the new norm and it is being overused. The architect for the Hotel Dolce is Gensler. The other buildings are designed by OZ.
      • Not Ratio
        This design is not by Ratio. They might have been involved for 5 minutes, but the work was given to someone else. Might have "borrowed" the design from them though.
      • Thanks PJ & Bobby K.
        PJ got it right, no Ratio, but a trendy style of 'new urban' architecture from out- of-towners again. Got to love Bob K's opinion of no architect, it does seem like a suburban anywhere usa design....and please the name will not change, they are to deeply comitted into their marketing to change now. One last note, I take the Ralston reference as nothing more than a long stretch of contrived marketing, especailly at this location! The Ralston plan had been totally desecrated prior to this project and now even more, with no real resemblence of his plan left to attach a tag name, another disappointing and superficial marketing move.
      • Bring back North of South name
        I agree that the name CityWay sounds generic and bland. The name of North of South was way more interesting and actually spoke of the location. CityWay reminds me of AyrWay which was the company that Target eventually bought out back in the 70's/80's. A project that looks this interesting deserves a much better moniker.
      • restaurant
        I have heard there is a Cereleum resturant opening, which is a great sushi/Asian bar/restaurant in Warsaw, IN area. Good news!
      • Two-Way Delaware??
        I don't really care what they want to call it, honestly. I don't know marketing, and they do. I have liked this project from the start, and one of the most intruiging aspects of the site plan ( ) that I've seen is that it appears that they will be converting Delaware Street to, at least partially, a two-way street. Can anyone confirm or deny that this is actually the case?
      • Cultural Trail
        I was looking at their website especially the Site Plan and Location sections. Do the current plans for this development sufficiently connect with the Cultural Trail? it looks like a parking lot will border the Trail.
      • NoS
        Developers do intend to turn Delaware back to a 2 way near this project, but nothing has been put in motion as of yet.

        If a parking lot borders the Trail, it should at least prevent obstructionist parking on the trail (cough cough conrad cough cough)
      • Really?
        I see people mentioning that they should bring back the acronym NoSo as the name. Was that even the original name? I thought it was SoDo (South of Downtown)- or was that another proposal (I get confused sometimes)? NoSo is just as bad as CityWay in that it carries a negative connotation. NoSo = NotSo? I don't think CityWay is as bad as some people apparently do. It isn't, afterall, the name of a neighborhood or specific cultural district. It is the name of a single development. Why can't we just think of CityWay as the first of many (hopefully) projects in an area we can designate as SoDo (or NoSo, should it be preferred)?
      • Rendering
        Hope it at least looks like the rendering,several/most projects downtown look good on paper but vanilla once built.
      • Ralston no more
        Just a little ironic that they chose to "honor" Ralston with the naming of the hotel right after they vacated one of the streets from his original plan.

        I do like the plan to provide two-way traffic on Delaware, and I did see that plans for that work were put out to bid but I believe that was only for the portion from South Street down to Madison Avenue. It will be interesting to see how far north the 2-way alignment is brought. It would make sense to bring it at least as far north as Washington, but that could certainly cause some traffic problems for all commuters that turns north onto Delaware from Maryland.
        • Vacate Street?
          What street did the developer vacate? None. Delaware, South and Virginia all remain as originally planned. Internal street rights-of-way were previously vacated many years ago.
        • Yes, it's a gas station...
          Apparently the Shell station was scraped away for (hold your breath!) a Speedway station. Go figure.

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        1. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

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        3. Yes it does have an ethics commission which enforce the law which prohibits 12 specific items. google it

        4. Thanks for reading and replying. If you want to see the differentiation for research, speaking and consulting, check out the spreadsheet I linked to at the bottom of the post; it is broken out exactly that way. I can only include so much detail in a blog post before it becomes something other than a blog post.

        5. 1. There is no allegation of corruption, Marty, to imply otherwise if false. 2. Is the "State Rule" a law? I suspect not. 3. Is Mr. Woodruff obligated via an employment agreement (contractual obligation) to not work with the engineering firm? 4. In many states a right to earn a living will trump non-competes and other contractual obligations, does Mr. Woodruff's personal right to earn a living trump any contractual obligations that might or might not be out there. 5. Lawyers in state government routinely go work for law firms they were formally working with in their regulatory actions. You can see a steady stream to firms like B&D from state government. It would be interesting for IBJ to do a review of current lawyers and find out how their past decisions affected the law firms clients. Since there is a buffer between regulated company and the regulator working for a law firm technically is not in violation of ethics but you have to wonder if decisions were made in favor of certain firms and quid pro quo jobs resulted. Start with the DOI in this review. Very interesting.