The Indianapolis office of the Mexican Consulate will more than quadruple in size when it moves in January from Union Station to the former Pierson Printing Co. building at 333 S. East St.
The Consulate has been a tenant at the city-owned Union Station since it opened an office here in November 2002.
It occupies 2,357 square feet on the ground floor of the station near its entrance off of South Meridian Street. The East Street building, which the Consulate bought in February from Dean Durrett of Sterling Custom Homes for $790,000, is about 12,000 square feet.
About 25 percent of the space in the new building will be used as a waiting area for the Consulate’s clients, who now must wait in a hallway at Union Station, said Kurt Faulkner, vice president of business development for Garcia Construction Group Inc. Garcia won the design/build contract for the project in July and hired Odle McGuire & Shook as project architect.
Another benefit of the new building is its location on a bus line, said Faulkner, who noted that many of the Mexican nationals who go to the Consulate arrive via public transportation. The Consulate offers a variety of assistance to Mexican citizens, including civil rights advocacy, legal advocacy, GED programs, tax assistance and passports.
Surface parking at the new building, though limited, also was a draw for the Consulate, Faulkner said. “Mostly what the Consulate needs is parking spaces for staff.”
Faulkner said interior demolition work on the building started a few weeks ago.
Juan Solana, the Mexican Consul for Indianapolis, said the space in Union Station was too small from the beginning. He said the move signals the Consulate's long-term commitment to Indianapolis. Some of the space in the new building will be used as a community gathering space for such things as art shows, Solana said.
Mary Hauser, director of property management for Browning Investments Inc., which has managed Union Station for the city for nine years, said the city learned Oct. 15 of the Consulate’s plans to terminate its lease.
When the Consulate leaves, Union Station will have almost 14,000 square feet of space available for lease, Hauser said. The Consulate’s space is probably best suited for office use because it doesn’t have direct access to the street, she said. Remaining available space, which totals about 11,500 square feet, has direct access to Louisiana Street and is being marketed for retail or office use, she said. The asking price for space in Union Station is between $12 and $16 per square foot.
The historic train station, which fell into disrepair after rail travel fell out of favor, was renovated in the 1980s to house retail space and a hotel. Most of its retail tenants left long ago, but the Crowne Plaza Hotel that anchors the west end of the station is still its largest tenant, occupying almost 154,000 square feet of the 275,000-square-foot station.
Other large tenants include the engineering firm R.W. Armstrong, which occupies almost 65,000 square feet, and Music for All, which takes about 20,000 square feet. Occupancy at the station is about 95 percent.