Sad news: Cosmopolitan burns

March 12, 2009
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
A $33-million apartment and retail project along the canal downtown caught fire early this morning. The Cosmopolitan on the Canal project, by Flaherty & Collins Properties, had been nearing completion on a site bordered by the canal, Senate Avenue, Michigan Street and North Street. The three-alarm fire broke out around 3:30 a.m. and also damaged the Historic Landmark Foundation of Indiana building. More than 100 firefighters had the fire mostly under control by about 7 a.m., and no injuries were reported. But it appears one of only a handful of mixed-use developments downtown in recent years will be a total loss.

IBJ has more coverage here. Fellow blogger CorrND has posted photos at Dig-B.
  • So sad! I was looking forward to seeing a lot of foot traffic in that area and along the canal. The building looked great from a distance the way it was positioned. I'm in the AUL building and enjoyed watching out of my window the progress they made. I hope they are able to rebuild and don't just write it off as a loss.

    Not a good time to not have good Cash Flow coming that they may have anticipated this spring. Hope that doesn't cause any damage to their bottom line and force them into any financial trouble!

    Thanks for making a great attemp F&C, we welcome your development back!
  • What a terrible loss for downtown. I am so sad right now.
  • Cory, a slight correction: this was a 218-unit luxury apartment development, not condos.
  • Any word on arson?

    What a loss for downtown right now. This was a good project that had the potential to transform that area of the Regional Center and stimulate more development nearby.

    I hope their insurance covers a rebuild.
  • Why did it burn so fast?
  • It burned so fast because the upper floors were constructed with wood.
  • This was likely a very unfortunate accident related to temporary heat. We just experienced a very cold evening and day after a weeklong warm-up. Many trades at this point in construction require temporary heat. This is sometimes provided as propane burners or salamanders that can be dangerous. Any other speculation of nefarious activity is unnecessary.
  • There have been numerous housing developments downtown in recent years. However, it is one of the few apartment developments recently, which I think is what you meant.
  • The Star is reporting that F&C plans to rebuild on the site!
  • And while you are looking at CorrND's excellent photos on his Dig-B blog page, scroll down and compare them to his February 10, 2009 photos. They show the Cosmopolitan as it looked just a few weeks ago. Sad, it was really shaping up...

    On the other blogs and e-mails, everyone is suggesting the worst and referencing the bad real estate market as a cause. I hope it was just an accident and it will be rebuilt.
  • We live in the adjacent neighborhood and were awakened by three loud pops around 3:00 a.m. IFD did a fantastic job of managing the situation and we were glad to see 120+ firefighters on the scene!

    If F & C rebuilds, perhaps they will think twice about a multi-level wood structure ...
  • The owners are already announcing plans to rebuild, so hopefully that will quell speculation about the fire being economy-induced.
  • Truly sad, but hopefully they rebuild. Big thanks to IFD for their fast work in saving the Historic Landmarks Foundation and keeping this from being a bigger loss.
  • I second SE Guy's thoughts on the cause. Temporary heat would be needed for a lot trades going through the project ritght now (exterior masonry, drywall mudding and plaster) that, once finished, would have made the building more fire resistant. Additionally, I doubt the sprinklers were active yet. While, obviously, this isn't the best construction type from a fire stand point, it is not unsafe once complete.
  • Sprinklers were not active yet.  Temp. heat was in use in a portion of the building only as many units were in final finish. 
  • Yay! They are going to rebuild!
    Another short-lived stimulus for more jobs in the trades sector in Indy. I'm glad that they are sticking around. This is - and will be a very nice project once they complete it again.

    F&C a few months back stated in an article that they were fine financially. This was not Malicious in any form - pure construction site mishap. Hopefully. Glad to hear they are coming back though. I had a friend that was going to move in there, wonder what will happen to people that have already agreed to move in.
  • They were installing carpet in some units, getting ready for May occupancy and the sprinkler's weren't active yet!? That sounds plainly ignorant.

    I was once an intern in Portland, OR, where a five-story, condo building my firm was working on, situated on a city block in the warehouse district, burned to the ground in 2 hours overnight. It was entirely wood framed, and only had 2 floors of drywall completed. Boy was that an inferno.
  • Let's also be thankful that to my knowledge no one was hurt or killed. If this building was going to burn down, I'm glad it was a couple months before it was completed instead of a couple months after. It's still a big blow to this city, but if the reports are true that they are going to rebuild then more power to them!
  • I'd hate to be the insurance agent for the contractor who left a salamander running unattended overnight.
  • Any news on whether Mo'Joe Coffeehouse across the street is OK?
  • Other than being bummed that they aren't going to have an influx of neighbors next door ina few months, I think they were okay when I went to go park earlier this morning. I think the trucks were in between that building and most of the fire was in the middle to back portions, not the front section near MoJo's
  • Other buildings in the area were damaged or checked by inspectors (windows, roofs). Also, I was visiting an office in the AUL building and there were flames still shooting up at 11 a.m., which really shocked me. There were still 8 ladder trucks that I saw from my vantage point.
  • Nobody hurt: Most important thing to remember.
  • Amen to that Da Hooey, and here I am agreeing with you again! Indy Fire Dept did a superb job.
  • build it with wood and fire takes it away,build it with metal and scrapers take it it with bricks and and concrete and it would still be there least we still got senate manor.
  • Burn baby burn....
  • Even though the developer has stated they will re-build, I have a frightening vision of this being tied-up in insurance litigation. The result would be a half burned out shell of a building becoming an eyesore over the next few years. I hope not, but I'm just saying...
  • I've noticed that a lot of these multistory buildings are using a lot of wood in the upper floors. I figured they knew what they were doing though. Maybe we should rethink how we build these kind of buildings instead of using two by fours and plywood. Advance Indiana's blog has a pretty good take on this. If everything on the canal is built like this maybe we'd be lucky if the whole area doesn't burn up like the Fire of London.

Post a comment to this blog

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
  1. Good Day I am Mr (Victoria Wright) from United state of America, i stayed in NEW YORK, and i have a broke up business, until i found this company email who help me to gain a loan for business,, and now i want to used this short medium to congratulate the below company for the fast and safe money they loan to me without any form of collateral, i loan 500,000USD from the company to save my business and lots more, i saw their mail on the internet, everyone always give testimony for what they did, so i quickly contacted them and they all did everything for me without stress and my money was sent to my account just 3 days later, i was surprise and i feel so glad, now i have a standard business control agent who help me, now i will advice those who need urgent loan to contact him at the bellow

  2. NOTICE:This is to inform the general public that Vampires are real. My name is James Franklyn.,am an agent of vampire,am here to introduce our new world trend to you,a world of vampire where life get easier,we have made so many persons vampires and have turned them rich,you will be assured long life and prosperity,you shall be made to be very sensitive to mental alertness,stronger and also very fast,you will not be restricted to walking at night only even at the very middle of broad day light you will be made to walk.In case you are wildly oppressed by some unscrupulous persons we can still help you fight them.Your protection is assured immediately you join.Just contact the bellow email if you are interested we are here to attend to you anytime you want us. Contact the bellow email for more details. Sincerely: James Franklyn.

  3. Bravo! Someone else that is willing to speak the truth! Bravo!_____NBCSN is available in almost 2 MILLION more homes than just a few years ago, but Indycar STILL gets less total viewers than it did just a few years ago when NBC took over Versus. Attendance and ratings cratered with the end of season races (just when the title battle got "interesting" HAH!__________And race in Basilia, where Miles celebrated the "rich history" of Indycar racing there. Rich history? What, 7 events in the 100 years of AOW? Yep, some history. Well, at least its an oval. It's not??? Are you kidding me??? Gosh darn road racin furriners.

  4. PURITY RAY LOAN OFFER........ Have you been denied by your banks,or are you in need of of an urgent loan to pay of your bills we are capable of giving loans @ cheaper rate to interested individuals, student, companies and members of the public in need of finance to settle bills, we do offer considerable loans which you can count on. For more information on our various types of loan,then you will have to contact PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM, to help you achieve your desire LOAN APPLICATION FORM TO BE FILLED BORROWERS INFORMATION * Full name:………………………. * SEX * ……………………………. * Country………………………….. * State:……………………………. * Land:…………………………….. * Occupation:…………………….. * phone number:…………………. * Telephone: ………………………….. * Age:………………………………. * Amount needed as loan:……… * Loan Duration:………………….. * Propose of Loan:……………….. * Annual revenue:………………… * Monthly Income:……………….. * Guarantee:………………………. * Payment: monthly or annually Thank you and God bless Mr Purity Ray PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM we tend to serve you better

  5. Problem: most of the people responding to this article don't know about this service AT ALL! Why? Lack of awareness. This isn't IndyGo. This is CIRTA: might as well be the mattress company because they are asleep at the wheel - something like 3 directors over the last year? Playing with federal grant money is great! This "region" wants commuter rail service, has spent MILLIONS on Transportation studies yet can't even support a commuter bus line? This is largely for suburban riders to get to downtown - not for "service people to work in our hotels and restaurants" ! Get your head out of your backside!! These are professionals, students etc. that don't want to fight traffic, save some money on parking, gas, stress.... if CIRTA would put their federal money into widely promoting the sevive to Greenwood, Fishers & Carmel instead of finding directors and studies - this would be a successful service. Our family uses(d) it daily for the last several years - but the recent uncertainty & now unreliability due to cuts from Carmel has been a problem. Now, costs us an additional $350/month for gas & parking ( $4200/year) plus vehicle wear, service, environmental impact ... YES - this REGION needs this this type of service in order to keep growing and getting the people it needs to fill skilled positions in downtown Indianapolis. Think outside of your own car !!!