Update: CVS files renderings

May 16, 2008
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Check out the renderings for a CVS pharmacy at the southeast corner of 16th and Meridian streets. A previous post on the development is here. What do you think? By request, the siteplan is here.

Downtown CVS

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  • I wonder what possessed CVS to break away from their usual cookie-cutter, suburban architectural style to something that looks like it might actually fit in the neighborhood.
  • Ah yes, a lovely, blank, nonpermeable facade. It will be just lovely to look at. It looks like it was designed to fit in with one of those retro-suburban lifestyle center, complete with a fake second floor, except that if this were actually in the suburbs, they would have been required to have windows along the entire first floor streetwall.
  • wow, this is a big surprise.. the style is a little hokey and not sure about the drive-thru though. not awful though!
  • it would be sweet if they actually put apartments upstairs.. what a thought!
  • Cory, you really need to post the site plan with this in order for readers to understand the true depth of its artificial design. What appears to be light colored brick with windows (the middle facade section) along 16th Street is actually a protruding wall that would mask the loading dock. Sure, if you're going to have a loading dock along a primary arterial, you should try to screen it, but why have it there in the first place. All they would need to do to improve this design immensely is to rotate the box 90 degrees clockwise. The loading dock would face the alley, the drive-through would face the parking lot to the south, and the entrance would be midway along the Meridian Street facade. Or as I've heard suggested before they could have an exterior entrance at the corner of 16th & Meridian and one at the SW corner of the building (to serve the parking lot) with an interior corridor leading to a centralized entrance/exit to the floor area of the store.

    Cory, is the City planning staff in love with this design, as proposed?
  • Atleast its not as bad as the Walgreens.
  • I am actually impressed with this. I hate the drive thru just for the fact it screams suburbia but overall it fits the neighborhood really well. Walgreens made a huge mistake designing with the building off the street.
  • not bad.....if there has to be a CVS on that corner, it might as well be that one.......
  • My first reaction is shock that they submitted anything other than their cookie-cutter design. My second reaction is that this is schlock. It's not even good schlock. They've got more fake second story windows than first story windows.
  • Is there any date that IHOP is slated to close or CVS is taking or over or whatnot??
  • Idyllic, I added a link to the siteplan. Thanks for the suggestion. Have you heard what the planners think of this project?
  • This is NOT a new design. This is the exact same design that CVS built in Bloomington about 2 years ago on Walnut St.

    With that said.....it looks great!
  • With all CVS wants and with all the PEOPLE want. this is as good as it gets.
  • I'm happy with the design - regardless of how it's built, someone isn't going to be ecstatic. I think the real good thing though is that more stuff moving into the area - even if you don't necessarily like having a drugstore on that corner, at least the company thinks that the area is a good enough market to invest in and build.
  • What ever happened to the Penn Arts Building down 16th street? I drove by it the other day and it doesn't look like anything is going on.......
  • I like it a well. I'm glad to see they broke away, Walgreens couldn't do that. I like the development in Blomoington. It takes p the bloack and looks like the building had been there and CVS moved into it. I'm just so glad that this is butted up agains the sidewalk.

    Drive down meridian, you dont see every single square inch of facade facing the street as windows. You see brick, limestone, trees. I would much rather this be Brick than I think Windows - I have a feeling they wouldn't keep it clean all the time and too much chance for one to get broken.

    OVerall, good design. Now, this is a long shot, I would love to see the IHOP be directly contiguos or pretty damn close to the ede of the CVS, if not follow along the same lines of brick and right up to the Street!

    Hope it flys!
  • Although I do like this design much better than the typical style we see everywhere else, I just don't understand of all areas in the downtown area/midtwon area necessarily needs this CVS at a corner without providing additional housing or height.
  • i like this but i will miss pancakes! this is a good modern design
  • This is a vast improvement over the Walgreen's across the street. Now - I hope the facade does not along Meridian St. does not get 'urbanized' with graffiti!
  • While it's nice that they broke away from their usual crap, this is pretty fake-looking, for all the reasons others have touched on.

    My only question is: Why does there have to be a drive-thru? That is the epitome of suburban-ness. Is it so much to ask that people get out of their cars in the adjacent parking lot and walk 20 feet?
  • Drive down meridian, you dont see every single square inch of facade facing the street as windows. You see brick, limestone, trees.

    Interesting that you suggest that we drive down Meridian rather than walk it. The reason Meridian holds zero pedestrian interest is for precisely the reasons you've outlined there.
  • Mike said: Drive down meridian, you dont see every single square inch of facade facing the street as windows. You see brick, limestone, trees.


    Interesting that you suggest that we drive down Meridian rather than walk it. Part of the reason Meridian holds zero pedestrian interest is for precisely the reasons you've outlined there.
  • Boooooo.

    What is up with the Wild West Mainstreet theme? Man, that is one cheesy looking building.

    And look, they've already bricked-up most of the windows. That saves some cheapskate developer the trouble 50 years from now.

    It's too bad someone else can't develop this lot with a nice little 5 story mixed-use and just rent out the first floor to CVS. Oh well.
  • Thanks Cory. The staff report does not yet appear on the City's website, but a call to the planning office indicated that the planning staff is recommending approval.

    Despite the fact that the building is at the corner, I don't see how this design is superior to Walgreen's. At least the entrance to the Walgreen's can be identified from the corner. While these have yet to be adopted, in light of the multiple variances requested, one might think that the City would attempt to apply some of the key principles of urban design that are highlighted in the draft of Regional Center Design Guidelines that have been prepared and can be found at the following website http://www.indygov.org/eGov/City/DMD/Planning/Services/Current/ordinance.htm
    under the heading Regional Center Ordinance.

    Just a couple of the basic premises being to provide building entrances directly accessible from the sidewalk, to provide an entrance at the corner when the building is at an intersection, and to provide a minimum of forty percent low-reflectivity glass along the ground level street facades. This design fails miserably.
  • Look, maybe I'm looking at this the wrong way, but I figure with all the empty space and asphalt lots downtown, this development, as trite as it may seem to some, is better than nothing. Would you rather have this or another gravel parking lot downtown? The fact is that SOMEBODY felt this was an appropriate place for SOME sort of development. Perhaps a few years from now, when the synergy is there, somebody will feel it is an appropriate place to REdevelop.
  • Marshall, it sounds like you'd prefer that the City basically have no standards for development, because basically, we should just be happy as can be that some benevolent developer is building is a CVS. Has anybody ever found a City that wasn't able to attract Walgreen's and CVS? They're even in poor neighborhoods where other large scale development is typically rare to non-existent, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but come on. To be excited that someone would bestow upon us a CVS at 16th & Meridian, when now we have to travel the great distance of two blocks north and one block west to engage in mutually beneficial merchant-customer transactions, regardless of the design? Last I checked, there was nothing unique offered at a CVS that can't be found at pretty much any other retailer.

    The attitude that we should feel fortunate to get any development befuddles me, most of all when it's retail. Retail develops because studies show that there are enough people with enough expendable income nearby to allow the company to make a profit. Retailers may make charitable contributions to the communities in which they operate, but they certainly don't do it by building stores in locations that they don't believe will be profitable. However, they will redesign their store to meet the standards of the community in which they wish to do business. Low standards = poor design. Enjoy!
  • Comments like it's better than... or it's as good as it gets... and at least it's not... are pathetic. We (you) need to stop accepting mediocrity - unless we're happy living in YAMS - Yet Another Mediocre (or substitute Midwestern) Shithole.

    Wake up. Take a trip to actually visit and observe a real, world-class city in person. Read. Learn about planning and design and the sociology of urban spaces. The middling acceptance of this contrived, cartoon-like design designed for cars, not people, is why Indy is not world class.

    It's time for to get educated, take the long view, and stand up for Indy.
  • Any of you complainers could have ponied up the money to purchase this land and then you could have built something different. Until you are ready to put your hard earned money on the line, stop complaining about what a developer's buildings look like. Become a developer if you don't like what is being developed in and around Indianapolis.
  • Even though this is in the Regional Center, it is NOT downtown. Those Regional Center guidelines are intended for a downtown district with lots of pedestrian activity. This corner is a waystation near downtown and Methodist Hospital, and most visitors to this area will be in cars. Much as folks might like that to be different, the truth is 35-40,000 cars pass this corner every day on their way somewhere else...and they will continue to do so.

    In 20-30 years, after all those surface lots inside the inner loop of the interstate fill up, then this site will be prime for a more-dense development. Until then, this is a perfectly good placeholder. Just like the Subway, Arby's, and White Castle that everyone loves to hate on South Street.

    These aren't 100-year buildings. The former People's/Reliable/Osco on the site that is to be torn down dates to the late 80's or early 90's. The depreciation schedule for commercial real estate structures just happens to be 27 years...these single-user commercial buildings are 25-year buildings, tops.
  • Interesting that you suggest that we drive down Meridian rather than walk it. Part of the reason Meridian holds zero pedestrian interest is for precisely the reasons you’ve outlined there.

    Unfortunately, the biggest reason is that the sidewalk is narrow and right on the curb of a major artery. Even if there were interesting storefront windows, it's still too threatening to walk with busses whizzing by in the curb lane...three feet away.

    That's another significant difference between this part of town and Downtown: residential-width sidewalks.

    Take a look at the Meridian Street Plan (drafted by Eden Collaborative), at www.focusindy.com, which addresses this issue. Until the streetscape changes, this street won't attract many strolling pedestrians or interesting shops.
  • Right Big Daddy. We should abolish zoning codes altogether (maybe building codes and environmental regulations too), because they tell a property owner what and how they can build. The government has no business telling someone how to develop. Anyone who has any ideas is really just a complainer and should either shut up or build their own buildings. If you're not constructing buildings, then how they are designed is none of your business, no matter how much you might think it affects the adjacent public space that everyone travels and pays taxes to maintain.
  • Thanks for your response Mr. Eastside. However, I don't think I ever once said that we should abolish zoning laws. What I did say is that this forum is full of complainers. As long as a developer does meet zoning laws and the building meets all applicable building codes, the public shouldn't have a say it the design and or the look of the building. Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
  • Me thinks that Big Daddy is a Developer. He sure sounds like a Developer. O and Big Daddy. If I could meet all the zoning laws. Can I put a strip club/day care/rib shack/ Used car lot next to your house. IF I meet all the zoning laws. It sounds like your cool with that.

    Its self absorbed people like BD that makes this City look like hot piles of ………

    IT”S ALL ABOUT HIM. 24/7
  • Big Daddy, this blog is a place to discuss real estate and development of said real estate. In these discussions the pros and cons of each project are discussed. In some projects, the cons outweigh the pros.

    The tone you label complaining is critiquing. There is a difference. There is nothing wrong with critiquing structures and desiring a more-excellent, well-designed city.
  • Because this site is located within the Regional Center (which includes the North Meridian Corridor up to 30th Street) any new development must be in compliance with the following standards. Obviously, some of these requirements are vague and subjective, which makes it difficult to say definitively whether any particular design should be approved or denied. Even though the Regional Center review is an administrative review not requiring a public hearing, the public should still feel welcome to comment, because anyone can appeal the City's decision to grant Regional Center approval, thus, resulting in a public hearing on the matter.

    I think requirement # 3 would give the City staff the leverage to require a building entrance along the street. The Comprehensive Plan recommends using new urbanism development techniques. It can certainly be argued that not having an entrance from the sidewalk in an urban area in the most dense corridor radiating from the edge of downtown would not meet this requirement.

    from the City's website: http://www.indygov.org/NR/rdonlyres/85E8B853-4EFC-403A-8602-1020B95EAFAA/0/ch735otherdistricts.pdf
    Details of such a development, including use, signage, building
    facade treatment, street furnishings and landscaping within the right-ofway,
    landscape treatment on the site, development intensity and massing
    of structure shall be so designed to:
    1. Be in conformity with the Regional Center Plan for
    Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, and the North Meridian
    Street Corridor Development Plan, adopted by the Metropolitan
    Development Commission's Resolution 82-CPS-R-4, April 15,
    1982, 82-CPS-R-1, January 6, 1982; and
    2. Create a superior land development plan, in conformity with
    the Comprehensive Plan for Marion County, Indiana;
    3. Create and maintain a desirable, efficient and economical
    use of land with high functional and aesthetic value, attractiveness
    and compatibility of land uses, within the Regional Center, the
    North Meridian Corridor, applicable zoning district and within
    adjacent uses;
    4. Provide adequate access, parking and loading areas;
    5. Provide adequate on-site vehicular circulation integrated with
    traffic control and existing and planned public streets in the
    vicinity;
    6. Provide adequately for sanitation, drainage and public
    utilities;
    7. Allocate adequate sites for all uses proposed - the design,
    character, grade, location, and orientation thereof to be
    appropriate for the uses proposed, logically related to existing and
    proposed topographical and other conditions;
    8. Create and maintain clear sight lines which enhance the
    views of parks and landmarks in the Regional Center and North
    Meridian Street Corridor for pedestrians and motorists;
    9. Be compatible in construction material, scale, color and
    pattern with the existing environment.
  • Word on the street is that the zoning variances were approved.
  • Where is the IHOP going to go? This looks like it takes the whole block of Meridian.

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  1. The $104K to CRC would go toward debts service on $486M of existing debt they already have from other things outside this project. Keystone buys the bonds for 3.8M from CRC, and CRC in turn pays for the parking and site work, and some time later CRC buys them back (with interest) from the projected annual property tax revenue from the entire TIF district (est. $415K / yr. from just this property, plus more from all the other property in the TIF district), which in theory would be about a 10-year term, give-or-take. CRC is basically betting on the future, that property values will increase, driving up the tax revenue to the limit of the annual increase cap on commercial property (I think that's 3%). It should be noted that Keystone can't print money (unlike the Federal Treasury) so commercial property tax can only come from consumers, in this case the apartment renters and consumers of the goods and services offered by the ground floor retailers, and employees in the form of lower non-mandatory compensation items, such as bonuses, benefits, 401K match, etc.

  2. $3B would hurt Lilly's bottom line if there were no insurance or Indemnity Agreement, but there is no way that large an award will be upheld on appeal. What's surprising is that the trial judge refused to reduce it. She must have thought there was evidence of a flagrant, unconscionable coverup and wanted to send a message.

  3. As a self-employed individual, I always saw outrageous price increases every year in a health insurance plan with preexisting condition costs -- something most employed groups never had to worry about. With spouse, I saw ALL Indiana "free market answer" plans' premiums raise 25%-45% each year.

  4. It's not who you chose to build it's how they build it. Architects and engineers decide how and what to use to build. builders just do the work. Architects & engineers still think the tarp over the escalators out at airport will hold for third time when it snows, ice storms.

  5. http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/duke-energy-customers-angry-about-money-for-nothing

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