Tower House proposal dead

July 29, 2008
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Tower House on MeridianA local accounting firm has bought the Grain Dealers Mutual Insurance building along Meridian Street for its headquarters after a local developer couldn't secure financing for a proposed $50 million redevelopment (shown here). London Witte Group plans to move its offices from OneAmerica Tower and lease out the remaining space. Locally based developer Inner-Urban Homes & Hospitality let an option to buy the building expire after it couldn't land financing, said company president George Nichols. The group had proposed adding a 14-story tower including a six-floor, 130-room hotel and 160 condos, along with 600-car parking garage over retail along Illinois Street. London Witte principals were not available this morning to discuss details of their plans.
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  • Thank heaven. That's one ugly building.
  • Although I would like to see some hotels in that area again to bring some more people to the street, Ablerock is right.....it looked awful
  • I think that development qualifies for clunker status....
  • Not surprised or dissapointed. The only good thing about that project was that it was mixed use in that neighborhood.
  • It would have brought street life beyond 5pm. An office building with no ground-floor commercial or restaurant facility is a dead zone nights and weekends. A hotel-condo-office-restaurant-retail development on that corner would have been a busy place and a good anchor for the whole near north Meridian corridor.

    Perhaps London Witte will be able to attract a restaurant to their building.
  • It seems all new development has a very similar design (which I have no strong feeling
    for or against) but that I know people who read this blog despise so passionatly
    for some reason.
    It makes me think the designers know something we all don't about what will get
    approval and what will not.
  • I agree - all the 'artist renderings' of new projects are looking the same. Why not some 'art deco' looks, classic designs - brick, sconces,
    and interesting vertical lines? These appeal to the nostalgia-retro oriented it can be made to be 'green' and eye appealing as well. Also there is a very little of this style of architecture in the downtown area. These buildings in cities like New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Cincinnati are all revered and preserved for years.
  • I like dps dude's idea.
    It would go well with the structure that was supposed to be renovated in the project.
    I personally thought it looked like a structure out of a brutalist's dream.
    It would have added life but hopefully we can get other developers in this area.
  • cityside, I think pretty much every design gets approved, outside of the historic districts.

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  1. You are correct that Obamacare requires health insurance policies to include richer benefits and protects patients who get sick. That's what I was getting at when I wrote above, "That’s because Obamacare required insurers to take all customers, regardless of their health status, and also established a floor on how skimpy the benefits paid for by health plans could be." I think it's vital to know exactly how much the essential health benefits are costing over previous policies. Unless we know the cost of the law, we can't do a cost-benefit analysis. Taxes were raised in order to offset a 31% rise in health insurance premiums, an increase that paid for richer benefits. Are those richer benefits worth that much or not? That's the question we need to answer. This study at least gets us started on doing so.

  2. *5 employees per floor. Either way its ridiculous.

  3. Jim, thanks for always ready my stuff and providing thoughtful comments. I am sure that someone more familiar with research design and methods could take issue with Kowalski's study. I thought it was of considerable value, however, because so far we have been crediting Obamacare for all the gains in coverage and all price increases, neither of which is entirely fair. This is at least a rigorous attempt to sort things out. Maybe a quixotic attempt, but it's one of the first ones I've seen try to do it in a sophisticated way.

  4. In addition to rewriting history, the paper (or at least your summary of it) ignores that Obamacare policies now must provide "essential health benefits". Maybe Mr Wall has always been insured in a group plan but even group plans had holes you could drive a truck through, like the Colts defensive line last night. Individual plans were even worse. So, when you come up with a study that factors that in, let me know, otherwise the numbers are garbage.

  5. You guys are absolutely right: Cummins should build a massive 80-story high rise, and give each employee 5 floors. Or, I suppose they could always rent out the top floors if they wanted, since downtown office space is bursting at the seams (http://www.ibj.com/article?articleId=49481).

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