Touring the JW Marriott complex

May 12, 2009
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JW Marriott complexThe developers of the new JW Marriott hotel complex gave photographer Robin Jerstad and me a tour of the $425 million project earlier this month. They say construction is on schedule and coming in under budget. Check out JW Marriott
                              complexa photo gallery from the tour of the four-hotel complex here. A couple of new details we picked up about the 1,623-room facility: The 34-story flagship JW Marriott hotel will feature a farm-to-table Italian restaurant and an upscale sports bar called High Velocity. It also will feature a Hertz rental car outlet. Developer White Lodging, which is partnering with REI Investments on the project, is self-financing the JW Marriott portion of the project but secured bank financing for the other hotels.

Check it out: In the next few days, workers will be placing massive trusses for what will be the largest hotel ballroom in the Midwest, at 40,500 square feet.
  • Nice work Cory. Like I mentioned months ago, this thing will be up and running and the old INB tower will still have exterior panelling to be hung.
  • Is it my imagination, or are they really using those butt-ugly blue glass panels for the exterior? In person, it looks nothing like the original rendering of highly reflective colored panels. I thought it would look more like the glass panels used in Allen Plaza (Scotty's building).
  • One of the early renderings showed multi-colored glass panels. See here. But they later changed to all blue glass. You can see a more recent rendering here. You can also see how the blue will look in a video here.
  • I personally find the all-blue look much more attractive and will look less dated in the future.
  • I like the old multicolored better, but I'm sure budget prevailed...It will look good either way
  • Didn't know this, but the JW Marriott will be the largest Marriott Hotel in the nation. That's pretty impressive for a hotel chain of that size.

    Looks like a solid project. 34 floors is no joke. Hopefully one day those guests staying in the Southern Facing Rooms have something other than a giant Power Plant to look at. If I were Marriott, I'd encourage Indy to wrap or facade those smoke stacks. That is a hideous view. You've got a really cool view of Victory Field and then... wham! A giant set of smoke stacks, kind of hard to ignore that. Other than that, looks great.

    If they could get a project going at the Market Square sight that would bookend Indy's Skyline nicely with the JW too.
  • This project will be up and running in time for the super bowl which is good news. But will Lucas Stadium be in receivership .... For Cryin out Loud
  • A 34 story building is impressive. Can anyone tell me how tall the One America building or the Chase tower are, just to get an idea of the size of this? Working on the southeast side of downtown it is nice to see this structure popping up above the other structures on the west side of downtown.
  • I believe the Chase Tower is 48 stories, while the One America is like 38. Keep in mind these are office towers which typically have higher floor-to-ceiling heights than hotels such as the JW do.
  • The Chase tower is 48 stories I believe.
  • What happened to all the Spicy Pickle restaurants in Indy?

    What about Del Taco opening locations here in Indy? Have those been put on hold?

    Any news on Jack in the Box?
  • This is a great project. The White family have truly put our city in a new league. Thanks.
  • According to Emporis, the JW will be 115 meters when complete, which will make it the 7th tallest buidling in the city. For reference, that's just behind the M&I Building (122m) and just taller than City County (113m).
  • Will any of the restaurants serve fish sticks?
  • Woot! Very nice and exciting. On a side note I hear Firehouse Subs will be opening Indy Locations!! I just moved back from Florida and I love them!
  • One note on aesthetics. To my knowledge, there is not a lot of color in the architecture of downtown Indianapolis. Browns, tans, off whites - yes. But no blue. And with this building literally at the west end of the city it will stand out. This building will have people talking about it's color, size - and the unique look to the city's urban topography.
  • Has anyone heard anything about projects like SoDo? The last time I heard anything was when we found out that Indy will be hosting the Super Bowl. I read that SoDo will be finished by the time we have the Super Bowl here. I was wondering since the economy has had such a down turn if this is still true.
  • To answer all those questions: Go ask your bankers what they did with their bailout money. Wasn't that supposed to free up lending?

    Glendale: Still lots of empty space.
  • dps dude: the new skin on the old INB tower downtown is blue.
  • Wouldn't it be nice for the state to sell the parking garage/empty space across the street from the JW Marriott? They could surely rebuild a parking garage in one of the empty lots the state owns just north of the state house. That space could be used for a future convention center expansion or perhaps a mixed use office tower/hotel/apartment building. Wishful thinking I know.......
  • When will the Friday's reopen at this location.? We missed last year while at the indian market.
  • The Friday's is not scheduled to reopen until the other hotels on the site are completed.
  • Friday's, really? You can buy their stuff in your local market in the freezer section.

    I must say, this project is shaping up much better than I had thought it would. It really will add a lot to the skyline and help to add some density on the west side. HOWEVER, the smaller towers are attrocious and should have the cement panels immediately removed and replaced with something different. I would love for the City to full-out ban EIFS and cement panels within the CBD.
  • Without a downtown TGI Fridays, Indy is just another second-tier city...
  • CoryW: Excellent point. Fridays is like Applebees except, well, except nothing. I cannot believe people eat that crap, unless of course you are stuck in some airport, like I will be tomorrow - I just know it.

    Applebees: You become what you eat!

    :needs more lard:
  • DaHooey - A little down on Friday's eh? Not sure why. And it's much different than Applebees. Anyway, we should be happy that the JW Marriott is still on its feet with the tight credit market. White's is taking a risk here, and they payoff will be there. Indy keeps getting better before our eyes. And once we clear up this CIB mess, Indy should be good to go for a while. Let the CIB thing linger, and it could spell trouble.

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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