Retail lineup taking shape for CityWay project

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CityWay has landed a fine dining restaurant, a mixology bar, a Qdoba and a frozen yogurt shop as developer Buckingham Cos. turns its attention to the retail portion of the $155 million mixed-use project.

The 40,000-square-foot first phase of retail at CityWay is on track to be 90-percent leased by year's end, said Natasha Evans, Buckingham's director of leasing, during an interview at the International Council of Shopping Centers annual deal-making convention in Las Vegas.

Buckingham has closed leases for roughly 15,000 square feet and is finalizing another 10,000 square feet of retail deals to complement the project's boutique hotel, luxury apartments and YMCA branch.

Among the first committed tenants: Cerulean Restaurant, an "ingredient-driven" fine dining experience led by Indiana chef Caleb France, which is taking a 6,200-square-foot first-floor space in The Alexander hotel. France operates a critically acclaimed restaurant of the same name in Winona Lake, Ind.

A mixology bar and American brasserie called Plat 99 is taking 6,600 square feet on the second floor. The name was inspired by CityWay's spot on Alexander Ralston's original plat of Indianapolis.

Fast-casual restaurants and bars plan to take the first floors of the three apartment buildings along the east side of Delaware Street. The lineup will include Qdoba (opening a second downtown location), a national self-serve frozen yogurt chain, a 4,200-square-foot regional sports bar and a homegrown pizza concept, retail industry sources said.

The sources said the pizza offering is not Neal Brown's Pizzology or Martha Hoover's Napolese, which already plans a downtown restaurant at 30 South Meridian. It also wasn't clear which frozen yogurt chain has the inside track to become the first in the downtown core. (Evans declined to discuss the non-hotel deals since neither Buckingham nor the tenants have made the plans public.)

A proposed second phase of retail, which would more than double CityWay's offerings, tentatively calls for a big-box retail store taking up to 48,000 square feet at the northwest corner of Delaware and South streets, a handful of smaller retail buildings and first-floor retail in a new office building at the northeast corner of South and Alabama streets.

Evans said the plans for the second phase could change dramatically, based on market demand.

Buckingham's goal is to create a restaurant district that will bring people downtown and capitalize on traffic from both Lucas Oil Stadium and Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

"People will decide to go to CityWay, then figure out where to eat," Evans explained.

The site is a retailer's dream thanks to a huge daytime population fed by the corporate offices of Eli Lilly and Co., WellPoint Inc. and Rolls Royce, said Frank E. Swiss, a veteran retail broker and principal of Carmel-based SwissCo Real Estate.

The addition of the YMCA branch, 157-room boutique hotel and 320 upscale apartment only boosts the site's prospects with retailers.

"It's just a matter of timing," Swiss said. "This is something people needed to see coming out of the ground. Now that it is, it should lease up well."

Swiss said retailers are showing fresh interest in the area along South Street. He's working with developer Ryan Zickler, architect of the stalled plan for Legends District SoDo, on the sale or development of a 1.2-acre surface parking lot at the southeast corner of Madison and South streets.

He's fielded pitches from a national retailer, a not-for-profit interested in a new headquarters and three developers with proposed plans of their own for the site.


  • Cerulean
    Chef France does a great job at Cerulean in Winona Lake, and is a required stop whenever I'm in town. That food stands up to any food in Indy or Chicago for that matter. It's pretty great.
  • Oh well, ...
    ...despite the naysayers, I am very happy about this project and glad to see it coming to life. We want/need more of these developments downtown!
  • smells like fish...
    Touting 90% occupancy at this juncture sounds fishy. It's not like retailers are standing in line to get in there. This is not the Forum Shoppes @ Caesars in Vegas where retailers "pay" $$$ to become tenants.

    Since none of these tenants were precommitted they must be giving the space away. If they can disclose the occupancy level surely they can disclose tenant price per leasing square foot and free rent periods as well as TA $.

    What is the point in the landlord disclosing the occupancy? How about recasting the budget now based on current expected market rents in a proforma financial statement.

    Look the Colts sellout each game 100% occupancy but that billion $ deal is a complete bust out to taxpayers.
    Sounds like bust outs and lease workouts 24 months after they get in. How much Tenant Allowance $$$$$ is Buckingham(scratch that I mean the Taxpayers courtesy of Ballard) getting. What is leasing price per square foot? Oh that's proprietary, right. Another city inspired money pit - Crony Capitalism at work.
  • Glad to see this happen
    I'm glad the city felt this project was important enough to help support the loan. The banks weren't helping - so I'm glad the City felt this was an important enough project. The south side needed to see this happen. The city understood that there are a lot of major businesses with clout surrounding the site. Apparently the banks were clueless on the strength of the site.
  • Retailers Dream?
    If City Way is such a "retailer's dream" - why on earth did the city choose to give Buckingham much public money to see the area developed. It is long past time for investors and businesses in downtown Indianapolis to pay their own way, put their own money at risk and not take my money to build their businesses.

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  1. I think the poster was being sarcastic and only posting or making fun of what is usually posted on here about anything being built in BR or d'town for that matter.

  2. Great news IRL fans: TURBO the IMS sanctioned movie about slugs running the Indy 500 has caught the Securities and Exchange Commission because Dreamworks had to take a $132MILLION write down...because the movie was such a flop. See, the Indy/IMS magic soiled another pair of drawers. Bwahahahahahaha! How's CARTOWN doing? HAHAHAHA...Indy is for losers.

  3. So disappointed in WIBC. This is the last straw to lose a good local morning program. I used to be able to rely on WIBC to give me good local information, news, weather and traffic on my 45 minute commute.Two incidents when I needed local, accurate information regarding severe weather were the first signs I could not now rely on WIBC. I work weekend 12 hour nights for a downtown hospital. This past winter when we had the worst snowfall in my 50 years of life, I came home on a Sunday morning, went to sleep (because I was to go back in Sunday night for another 12 hour shift), and woke up around 1 p.m. to a house with no electricity. I keep an old battery powered radio around and turned on WIBC to see what was going on with the winter storm and the roads and the power outage. Sigh. Only policital stuff. Not even a break in to update on the winter storm warning. The second weather incident occurred when I was driving home during a severe thunderstorm a few months ago. I had already gotten a call from my husband that a tornado warning was just southwest of where I had been. I turned to WIBC to find out what direction the storm was headed so I could figure out a route home, only to find Rush on the air, and again, no breaking away from this stupidity to give me information. Thank God for my phone, which gave me the warning that I was driving in an area where a tornado was seen. Thanks for nothing WIBC. Good luck to you, Steve! We need more of you and not the politics of hatred that WIBC wants to shove at us. Good thing I have Satellite radio.

  4. I read the retail roundup article and tried Burritos and Beers tonight. I'm glad I did, for the food was great. Fresh authentic Mexican food. Great seasoning on the carne asada. A must try!!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...