$28M golf facility in works for downtown Indianapolis

flying Tee
A riverside Flying Tee facility in Jenks, Oklahoma. (Photo by Shane Bevel courtesy of Prince Alexander Architecture)

A local development partnership plans to develop a $28 million golf and entertainment venue along the White River near downtown Indianapolis.

The venue is expected to be a franchise of Flying Tee—a competitor of Topgolf, which opened a venue in Fishers in 2017.

MWA Masterbuilders LLC and Indy Golf Party LLC plan to start construction on the project in mid-2021 on land immediately west of the river, north of West Morris Street.

The $28 million project price includes land-acquisition costs, which the developer did not disclose. By comparison, Topgolf spent between $18 million to $25 million to develop its Fishers venue, but it did receive some infrastructure incentives from the city to lower its costs.

Steve Alexander, a partner in MWA, said the development team expects the economy and local tourism will recover from the coronavirus pandemic during the time the project is under construction.

“We’re going to see recovery in the economy and tourism … [despite] the temporary diversion that COVID has brought to the growth of downtown’s entertainment industry,” he said.

The venue is expected to have tee boxes on multiple stories, full-service dining, conference rooms, private event space and a pro shop. Specific designs for the project have not been finalized.

Players will be able to participate in a variety of golf games centered on accuracy and distance. Each tee box will come equipped with television screens to help players track their shots and game performances.

Flying Tee, headquartered in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area, is one of several companies that hopes to compete with Topgolf, which has about 60 venues across the United States.

The company’s flagship location in Tulsa is a three-story, 60-bay venue allowing guests to play virtual versions of famous courses, play games, or practice their swing. That facility is now managed by GolfSuites.

It’s unknown how many locations Flying Tee has in the works around the United States.

The property slated for the Indianapolis development is along South White River Parkway West Drive, adjacent to the White River Trail and a wooded buffer along the river. Alexander declined to specify an exact address, as rezoning applications aren’t expected to be filed with the city until next week.

The site is south of Interstate 70 and is about one mile southwest of Lucas Oil Stadium. Alexander said the property is under contract, but is currently occupied by industrial users.

Alexander, who is also the designer on the project through MWA affiliate Prince Alexander Architects, said “people are going to be shocked” by how well the facility meshes with the waterfront of the White River.

“To to be able to bring something this big, and this dramatic and responsive to people’s desire to be outdoors is fantastic,” Alexander said. “But the other unique aspect is its proximity to the outdoors.”

Additional details about MWA Masterbuilders and Indy Golf Party could not be found, as the companies are not yet included in the state’s business database. Alexander said the partnership includes businesspeople from other downtown ventures, including the Tru by Hilton hotel now under construction, adding that ownership details will be made public in the coming weeks.

Construction on the golf facility is expected to be completed by mid-2022.

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39 thoughts on “$28M golf facility in works for downtown Indianapolis

  1. This is could be a really nice addition for downtown, no need to drive to the northside. Could generate some decent revenue for the city from food & alcohol sales. Hoping they do not screw this up.

  2. Hopefully this come to fruition! I am not very confident that it will with the way downtown is and the Mayor and his administration do nothing to fix the issues. It’s filthy, dangerous, and full of homeless people. It’s a shame that all the hard work of the people that got downtown Indy to where it was, was swept away in less than six months due to an incompetent Mayor. Sad that the downtown has been set back 10+ years!!!

    1. Ha! First, of all downtown is not nearly as bad as all the Chicken Littles make it out to be. Second, there is this thing global pandemic called Covid-19, which is is the real reason you find closed stores and an economic malaise downtown. You cannot have over 30 million out of work in this country and expect no consequences. Also, do any of you people have ever the vaguest idea of what is going on in the rest of the country? Pretty much EVERY downtown in cities across the nation are experiencing similar issues. As our fearless national leader recently said, “It is what it is.” Until there is a unified national response put in place to the pandemic, you can expect more of the same.

    2. Where are you Chris B? You need to tell IBJ they need to correct their current article about marketing downtown and why people don’t come downtown anymore. Tell them about your superior knowledge over the experts.

  3. Do you go downtown? It isn’t nearly as bad as you are depicting it. If you had watched the RNC last night you might believe otherwise though…

    1. Uh, maybe suggest solutions instead of either posting hysterical comments or complaining? Also, again, this is a NATIONAL issue, it is not anything unique to Indianapolis. Cities across the country are experiencing exactly the same issues, and many of them are in far worse shape than Indianapolis.

    2. Christopher P, stop clutching your peatks and blaming everything on covid 19. That is really getting old. Did Clovidhave an effect on downtown…of course, did the rioting and burning of buildings downtown that was inflamed by all 4 major networks with live streaming have an effect? Of course and it had a major effect more than the non stop covid be cause it is local coverage even by that disgrace they call indpls star. Put your head in the sand as much as you want but 90% of perception turns into reality for people. Blame media for stoking the fire.

    3. Yeah Chris B, Covid 19 caused buildings to be boarded up, vandalized, burned and looted. I don’t watch FOX news, never have and never will but I’m a realist and if you didn’t see destruction coming after the George Floyd incident then you are as delusional as Mayor Hogwash. He should have activated the National Guard and instituted a curfew immediately but that horse has already left the barn. You can blame the media for it its “sensationalism” with everything in todays current environment and social media adding fuel to the fire. It will be a long time before downtown returns to the vitality it once had. Good luck buying something downtown and investing your money wanting a good return on your investment.
      You can keep telling yourself that everything is due to Covid 19 but people living in the real world do know what is happening.

    4. Rhea, Covid-19 did in fact cause buildings to be boarded up because businesses have gone out-of-business not just in Indianapolis, but across the country as a result of Covid-19 and the various related business restrictions put in place because of it. Do you think Congress passed $3 trillion in economic relief because Covid-19 had no effect on the economy? You do realize that the relief programs like the small business PPP loans predate any rioting? Also, are you still hung up on what happened during a couple of days almost three months ago in Indianapolis? If you are so obsessed with riots, go to Kenosha, Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, or Chicago.

      It is hilarious to me that you do not see any contradiction in screeching about how allegedly dangerous downtown is while admitting in the same post that you went downtown for lunch. So, either you are crazy and you believe getting lunch at a restaurant is worth putting yourself in danger, or you are exaggerating about how bad things are downtown–which one is it?

      Finally, if you think something needs to be done, then state specifically what you think needs to be done now (not what you think should have been done in the past). You just whining about how bad things are is both boring and unproductive, and just makes you come across as a tiresome complainer.

    5. Chris B, you have a reading comprehension problem. I never once stated that I felt unsafe downtown so put the histrionic writing aside. I simply stated facts and you aren’t willing to accept them. Whether the “peaceful protest” happened yesterday or 3 months ago is irrelevant. The fact is they did, they had a impact on people’s perception of what downtown is right now and it is not a favorable impression. I’m still trying to support downtown businesses but I can’t do it alone and until the circle is cleaned up. Graffiti painted over them that perception will remain. The news channels just ran a piece on crime on the canal. Is that due to covid?
      Yes Covid is a real thing but it has become the catch all for everything that happens now.

    1. Never mind, I skimmed right over it. Looks like the land right beside I-70 and Kentucky Avenue, near the Biltwell. I don’t think there’s an exit there, and the White River Trail runs right through that spot. Might be a bit inconvenient to get to.

  4. I believe this will be a great venue for downtown! The city will bounce back! We can’t just give up….” When your going through hell … just keep going” (Winston Churchill) Something to look forward to in 2022!

  5. Nice to see someone optimistic about the future of this beautiful city. Great cities don’t build themselves, forward thinking individuals willing to put in the hard work make cities thrive. Personally, I’m excited and wish them luck.

    1. This is an excellent opportunity to open something downtown. They should commence construction on the new hotel downtown because it will br ready for the return of conventions in 2022.

  6. Yes Grant S, I do go downtown and what did he post that isn’t true? People being stopped by gun toting BLM members? Plywood still up over windows with graffiti on them, homeless and drug users lounging about. Went down for lunch today at Yard House and it was a ghost town inside. Not sure how much longer they will be able to hang on. Entire downtown deserted. Telling the truth makes someone racist I see according to A.T. Good luck with that.

  7. Oh, geez, here we go with the whacko Handmaid’s Tale contingent chiming in with their overheated rhetoric and wild delusions that the global Covid-19 pandemic is made up. We have over 30 million people out of work in this country and over 180,000 dead and counting—that is why downtown is experiencing problems, not because of imaginary “Marxist” foes. Go back to watching Kimberly Guilfoyle on tv screeching at an empty room.

  8. To all the people that think I do not come downtown on a regular basis, your wrong! I have been coming downtown every work day for 40 years and what has taken place in the last six months is way beyond the virus. If the Mayor was not in rehab when the riots took place, hoefully he was taking a class on how to be a leader and a good Mayor. Obviously that is not the case! The only building in downtown Indianapolis that was being protected during the riots, was the City County Building. I own property downtown and have paid taxes on this property for over 20 years and am offended that no privately owned realeaste was protected during the riots. Who do you think deserves protection? I would argue all property owners desrve protection at a minimum.

  9. So some of you would have us believe that the Covid 19 pandemic is the reason for businesses being boarded up and no one coming downtown.
    Funny that businesses in the safety of the suburbs are doing good business and haven’t boarded up any places that have been burned and looted.
    This project will never get off the ground. Downtown has now been set back years under the inept leadership of Hogwash and the BLM Marxist thuggery. Very sad.

  10. I for one enjoy the boarded up windows and closed businesses.
    The deserted streets are a playground for our lovely “passive solicitors”.
    Long live the democratic utopia that Mayor Joe has created. The feces and urine on our sidewalks will help with the “greening” of our community.

  11. From IBJ’s Moderator: We welcome comments and realize there are some strong feelings about downtown’s situation right now, but please avoid getting personal with other readers and using racist descriptions. Thank you.

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