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Stutz Business Center owner purchases Canterbury Hotel

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Turner Woodard, owner of the Stutz Business Center, announced Monday afternoon that he has closed on the purchase of the upscale Canterbury Hotel on South Illinois Street in downtown Indianapolis.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Woodard bought the historic hotel, built in 1928, from the Fortunato family of suburban Chicago. Donald L. Fortunato, who died last June, had been seeking a buyer for several years. His sons, Donald Jr. and Joe, made the sale to Woodard.

Fortunato helped redevelop the luxury hotel in the early 1980s. He told IBJ in September 2007 that he was close to selling the 12-story, 99-room hotel, but the sale wasn't completed.

Local businessman Fred Klipsch and an investment group participated in discussions a few years ago to buy the hotel, but decided not to go forward with a transaction.
 
Woodard said in a press release that the Canterbury fits his vision of turning around companies and making them profitable. The hotel has struggled in recent years as upscale rivals such as the Conrad Indianapolis, which opened in 2006, have become more attractive to visitors.

In September, The Restaurant at the Canterbury Hotel, stopped serving lunch, after sales declined about 15 percent from the previous year.

Yet, Woodard said the aging structure presents an opportunity that newer hotels cannot match.

“The Canterbury is a jewel box-style hotel,” he said in the statement. “In a world filled with cookie-cutter products and services, there still remains a significant segment of the population searching for original ideas and experiences.”

Woodard said he plans to redevelop the hotel in a “bit more of a contemporary, yet a comfortable Polo/Ralph Lauren-theme experience.”

Rooms at the Canterbury range from $159 to $1,599 a night.

Woodard has a history of turning around older commercial properties, including the Stutz Motorcar Co. building at 100 N. Capitol Ave., which he bought in 1993, and the Ideal Motor Car Co. building at 217 W. 10th St., which he bought in 2001. Both are part of the Stutz Business Center, which was 95-percent occupied as of August 2009.

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  1. If I were a developer I would be looking at the Fountain Square and Fletcher Place neighborhoods instead of Broad Ripple. I would avoid the dysfunctional BRVA with all of their headaches. It's like deciding between a Blackberry or an iPhone 5s smartphone. BR is greatly in need of updates. It has become stale and outdated. Whereas Fountain Square, Fletcher Place and Mass Ave have become the "new" Broad Ripples. Every time I see people on the strip in BR on the weekend I want to ask them, "How is it you are not familiar with Fountain Square or Mass Ave? You have choices and you choose BR?" Long vacant storefronts like the old Scholar's Inn Bake House and ZA, both on prominent corners, hurt the village's image. Many business on the strip could use updated facades. Cigarette butt covered sidewalks and graffiti covered walls don't help either. The whole strip just looks like it needs to be power washed. I know there is more to the BRV than the 700-1100 blocks of Broad Ripple Ave, but that is what people see when they think of BR. It will always be a nice place live, but is quickly becoming a not-so-nice place to visit.

  2. I sure hope so and would gladly join a law suit against them. They flat out rob people and their little punk scam artist telephone losers actually enjoy it. I would love to run into one of them some day!!

  3. Biggest scam ever!! Took 307 out of my bank ac count. Never received a single call! They prey on new small business and flat out rob them! Do not sign up with these thieves. I filed a complaint with the ftc. I suggest doing the same ic they robbed you too.

  4. Woohoo! We're #200!!! Absolutely disgusting. Bring on the congestion. Indianapolis NEEDS it.

  5. So Westfield invested about $30M in developing Grand Park and attendance to date is good enough that local hotel can't meet the demand. Carmel invested $180M in the Palladium - which generates zero hotel demand for its casino acts. Which Mayor made the better decision?

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