What's old is new again

February 22, 2008
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Flagstar Bank Sign On this nasty Friday, I've got a few updates on previous posts. Hope everyone has a nice weekend. Here goes:

What was Flagstar thinking?

Flagstar Bank has added yet another sign outside its new home downtown at One North Penn. The sign atop the building wasn't well received by Property Lines readers. And the new, blade-style sign has small letters facing sideways (see image). Does this look good? Branch manager Dawn Beery said local employees didn't get any say in the sign decisions; those calls were made at the bank's headquarters in Troy, Mich.

Downtown Dunkin a done deal?

Dunkin Donuts has filed permits for its new location in the old Panda Express at Washington and Pennsylvania streets downtown. The chain will take 1,700 square feet in the building and is considering design options for the structure. One option is a retro-style design that incorporates the old Roselyn Bakery sign and includes neon Dunkin signs on a stainless steel facade. Another new tenant, print supplier Cartridge World, is taking the former Jewelry Doctor space in the same building. The original post is here.

Groundbreaking set for Cosmopolitan

Flaherty & Collins Properties plans a March 4 formal groundbreaking for its $33 million Cosmopolitan on the Canal. The project calls for 218 apartments, 18,000 square feet of retail space and a 338-space parking garage on a site bordered by the canal, Senate Avenue, Michigan Street and North Street. The project won $2.7 million in city incentives.

Sexy time coming soon

The Mass Ave restaurant formerly known as Scholar's Inn is on schedule to open in March, said Lyle Feigenbaum, who owns S.I. with his wife. A renovation began in January to transform the space into Scholar’s Inn Restaurant & Lounge, or S.I., which also stands for Sexy & Intimate. S.I. also is getting a new chef: Jake Brenchley. A soft opening is set for March 12 with a grand opening of March 21.

  • mmm donuts
  • I think the retro style would be neat down there in that building. Cory flex your development power muscle and tell them to go retro! Also - FLASGSTAR! What are you thinking. And how did the MDC allow this to even be allowed. UGGGH I'm getting sick of the lack of attention paid to little details such as this that make people think - god this city is backwards (literrally in regards to the sign!)
  • Thanks Cory on the Dunkin Donuts info
  • At least on the blade they used the same font for both words. That's an improvement over the other one.
  • The Flagstar sign is one of the worst...don't the corporate junkies at the bank understand we're trying to keep our city beautiful?!? Maybe the golfball sized snow we're getting today will knock it down.

    Any word on if S.I--or whatever their name is--will still have 1/2 priced martini night?
  • I'm thinking there already in the ground with Cosmopolitan. I drive pass this block every day and they are in the ground and poring foundations. It's a little late for a ground breaking.

    WHY O WHY would they but a sign like this up. Looks like they used an old pole sign. THE LETTERS SHOULD BE UPRIGHT!!!. See Huntington sign in background. This show what happens when somebody that’s NEVER BEEN IN THIS CITY makes a decisions. MDC must be voting with one hand and taking the money in the other.

    Dunkin Donuts Retro store would ROCK!!! That corner. And a BIG ROTATING DONUT IN NEON. LOVING IT.....

    S.I. Sexy & Intimate??? Why dose my mind hear sticky & dirty. Kind of like when I hear the words Brads Gold Club.
  • I hope Flagstar does not forget to put a Flashing red LED Open Sign in the windows. Maybe both on Washington and Penn.

    Great job...

    PS: Maybe on Friday's they can have a persond dressed up as Rich Uncle Pennybags. You know the Monopoly Guy, he can stand at the intersection I have read that is great advertising.
  • I think if I posted my initial reactions to the Flastar sign, your comment filter probably wouldn't let me through.
  • Bring on the donuts! I'm excited to hear about the possibility of a retro look. Now we just need a Dunkin in midtown....like 49th and College.
  • Flagstar is robbing(had a different word in mind) that building of its beauty! First with the butt-ugly sign on its top covering up stonework and details and not to mention its butt ugly and then they put this on the corner?! This makes no sense! The words are side ways and look stupid! Flagstar obviously has no aesthetic taste or care for historic buildings or just good looks at all and is totally insulting not only the world of good architecture but the locals by ruining the exterior of a peice of our local culture. I shall never bank there.
  • Any way we can petition the Dunkin Donut dignitaries for the revolving neon donut sign that bob mentions?
  • The photo showing both the Huntington and Flagstar signs couldn't say any more.

    I hope the Flagstar management sees it. When I read that Flagstar had also submitted for approval of a blade sign, I was thinking of how sleek and well-designed the Huntington sign turned out to be. I thought oh, Flagstar can really redeem themselves after that mistake up top.

    Wrong again.

    And you guys want to make that corner WORSE with a tacky Dunkin' sign? Gimme a break.
  • I don't know if I should laugh or cry about the Flagstar sign; and why did the city allow it? Doesn't the city get/have to review signage in the downtown area? (I don't know the ordinances but can't believe a city this size would not have some input and control.) With a little luck, Flagstar won't be in town very long and we can get the signs removed. I'm with Helen ... I won't bank there. As for Dunkin Donuts, Bob is right-on, a retro store would rock. (But let's not copy the donut sign in LA - brain fade, I can't remember the name of the store - starts with a D?)
  • Flagstar: whoever it was you hired that decided your signs on the building look good should be fired. What are you all thinking? Such a travesty.
  • Can you people really not see the irony of these posts? People talk about how awful the Flagstar sign is, and then express their desire for the Dunkin sign on the same corner to be as huge and gaudy as possible.
  • Cory, any news on Penn Centre?
  • I see many posts blaming Flagstar executives for the obvious signage drawbacks, but the City is also at fault. There is certainly a need for some type of architectural/design oversight committee that is led by folks with the proper credentials.
  • I agree, Kevin.
  • Architectural oversight committee? That is an apparatus of a suburban HOA. Cities are made up of individual buildings with their own designs. Nobody should be telling building owners how they can or can't make their building look.

    People look down their noses at (for example) Carmel's efforts to create a certain consistent aesthetic with their downtown, then suggest that Indy do the exact same thing.
  • right on Dave. Enough of the there oughtta be a law mentality. Welcome to America, Helen. You know Land of the Free not Land of the reviewed and approved.
  • theres a difference between trying to control the way buildings look and sign rules. If someone wants to build a big glass striped building with a big hand flipping the bird good for them! But disgracing historic highrsies with such ugly signs should not be allowed.
  • But you see, they had to get a variance for this blade sign because it exceeds the allowable size for a projecting sign for any building downtown. Thus, even if you believe the planning staff shouldn't have 86'ed this sign design per the administrative Regional Center review, certainly one might agree that good design should be a criteria from granting a variance from the zoning ordinance (Sign Regulations).

    Case number 2007DV3052
    PetitionType VARIANCE
    Disposition AP
    Final Decision Date 2007-08-21 00:00:00.0
    Exp. Date Temp. App.
    Petitioner Name ONE NORTH PENN LLC
    Comments BY NANCY LONG - VARIANCE OF DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS of the Sign Regulations to provide for a 40-square foot projecting, lower-level building identification sign (maximum 24-square foot projecting sign permitted), between the heights of 17 feet and 48 feet (lower-level building identification signs not permitted above 26 feet in height), on the southwest corner of the building, being the third lower-level building identification sign for the same tenant on a corner lot (maximum one lower-level building identification sign permitted per tenant, per street frontage).
    Staff Rec. AP
    Entry Date 2007-08-15 00:00:00.0
    Staff Planner JYORK
    MDC Date
    Variance Type DV
    BZA Date 2007-09-25 00:00:00.0
    Zoning CBD1 RC
    Conditions N
    HOV Date
    Board 3
    IHPC Date
    Hearing Date
  • I like the retro idea! The old neon sign is really cool
  • PS - For anyone that is confused - there is a big difference between the retro
    neon sign and the ugly flagstar sign. Dont get yourselves confused and try
    to point how ironic it must be.
  • People like me work hard to get rid of those huge pole signs (like the Roselyn sign). If you have any doubt about a forest of them contributing to urban blight, just drive up Keystone Avenue from 38th to Glendale.

    I'm not anti-sign, I'm anti-blight. At the intersection of two 25-mph streets downtown there is no need for a sign scaled to be read from a passing car a quarter-mile away at 65 mph. Also, there is a different community standard regarding light pollution today.

    As posters on this blog are often wont to point out, just because it's old doesn't mean we should keep it.
  • What about the building owners that allowed the Flagstar sign?
    They're the ones that ultimately allowed. Does Acorn own that building?
  • When you say Acorn! Acorn just manages the building but does not own the building.
  • I am glad nobody listens to any of the poters on this message board. All that the majority of the posters on here do is complain about buildings. I for one think the Flagstar sign looks good downtown and hope we get more signs similar. Just keep complaining about the buildings and signs, because in the big picture nobody cares. Unless you own the building, its really no concern of yours.
  • I, too, want to know about Penn Centre.
  • My fat Indiana belly can't wait for Dunkin' Doughnuts.
  • The purpose of a sign is to attract attention. If Flagstar had put up an ordinary sign, they wouldn't be getting nearly as much publicity. If you really want signs like the one at Flagstar to go away, then ignore it.

    Sign? What sign? is the best revenge.
  • dunkin is a long over due wait for that corner.
  • Please, Brad, no - no chain stores at 49th and Penn. On College, maybe, on Keystone, definitely. But not at 49th and Penn.
  • Have any of you actually tried to apply for a sign permit? The City doesn't really care what you put on your sign as long as it doesn't offend the delicate sensibilities of the people around here. All the City cares about is placement and size.

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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. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim