North of South gets a new name: CityWay

The $156 million mixed-use development at Delaware and South streets in Indianapolis has a new name designed to reference both the project's downtown locale and the urban "way of life" it will offer.

The name CityWay is the result of more than a year of work by "various branding companies" to capture the project's "urban and contemporary" flavor, said Brad Chambers, CEO of developer Buckingham Cos., at a groundbreaking event Wednesday morning.

Signs around the project, formerly known as North of South, tout ways the project will allow visitors and residents to work, shop, dine, stay and live the "CityWay."

The complex, to be built primarily on Eli Lilly and Co.-owned parking lots, calls for a boutique 157-room Dolce hotel, a YMCA branch, 320 apartments and 40,000 square feet of retail and office space.

Taxpayers are acting as the project's bank, putting up nearly every dollar used to build it, chiefly by loaning $86 million raised from the sale of municipal bonds.

The developer considered other names, including Midyard, a reference to the site's historic use as a railyard, before settling on CityWay, said Terry Sweeney, director of real estate for Indianapolis Downtown Inc.

All told, about 200 possible names were vetted.

Sweeney and other dignitaries, including Mayor Greg Ballard, Eli Lilly CEO John Lechleiter and City-County Council members, attended the official groundbreaking Wednesday, an event Chambers described as an opportunity to "thank the people" who made the project possible.

Guests gathered in an air-conditioned tent, sipped iced teas and lemonade and snacked on orange-cranberry muffins with turkey and watermelon bites topped with blue cheese, as they waited for remarks and for CityWay-branded shovels to cut into a mound of dirt.

Locally based Buckingham Cos. expects to finish construction in about two years. The hotel should open first, in January 2013, said Scott Travis, Buckingham's senior development executive.

The developer spent more than three years working with Lilly to formulate plans for the project. Buckingham, Lilly and the city announced the effort last September, at which time Buckingham expressed hope it could break ground by the end of 2010.

Lilly, which is partnering with Buckingham on the project, has said CityWay will help connect the Lilly corporate campus with downtown proper and offer amenities that would help the pharmaceutical firm attract and retain employees.

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