Hilton boutique hotel slated for renovated Consolidated Building

September 10, 2014

A 102-room boutique hotel is in the works for downtown Indianapolis as part of the redevelopment of a historic building at 115 N. Pennsylvania Street.

The hotel, a Home2 Suites by Hilton, is scheduled to be built in what’s known as the annex of the Consolidated Building, which is at the rear of the vacant, 15-story structure.

TWG Development LLC and Ambrose Property Group are investing $16 million to transform most of the century-old, brick and terra cotta Consolidated Building into 98 market-rate apartments, with first-floor retail or restaurant space.

consolidated building 15colThe hotel, a Home2 Suites by Hilton, will operate in the annex of the 15-story Consolidated Building. (Photo: Scott Olson)

The development of the hotel portion of the project is a joint venture between East Lansing, Michigan-based HRC Hotels LLC and Valparaiso-based Good Hospitality Services LLC. HRC and Good plan to invest about $15 million.

The firms are familiar with Indianapolis. They retrofitted a vacant building on South Meridian Street into a 92-room Homewood Suites. In addition, they operate a Homewood Suites on the northwest side and in Plainfield, as well as a Courtyard by Marriott on the northwest side.

HRC and Good Hospitality received franchise approval Tuesday from Hilton, said Jeff Good, who serves as president of both companies.

“There are not a lot of hotels on that side of downtown,” Good said. “We think that’s a natural growth area.”

About 40 Home2 Suites are operating across the United States with dozens more are in the pipeline. The Indianapolis location is the first on the drawing board in the Midwest.

Construction should start the first of next year with completion slated for the first quarter of 2016. Nightly room rates are expected to run between $130 and $140.

Home2 Suites by Hilton is considered a mid-level, extended-stay brand and is a step below the pricier Homewood Suites.

‘It’s a very millennial-type product,” Good said. “It’s pretty hip and humble; it’s a contemporary-type look.”

The hotel’s lobby would front Pennsylvania Street and would take about 3,000 square feet on the ground level. A foyer would be built to provide access to the hotel to the rear. The developers are in discussions with the city about improving Wabash Street, which runs parallel to the annex, adding lighting to make it more inviting.

The seven-floor annex has about 70,000 square feet. It was built in the 1950s, more than four decades after the original portion of the Consolidated Building.

Its last tenant, The Cozy restaurant, left in 2000 along with Downtown Comics, which was in the main part of Consolidated Building. The Consolidated Building’s demise, however, began in 1992, when anchor tenant Indiana Insurance vacated 10 floors and moved to the north side.

The Consolidated was built in 1910 next to the adjacent Lemcke Building, now home to the National Bank of Indianapolis, and was originally called the Lemcke Annex. The building was designed by R.P. Daggett & Co., one of the longest-running architectural firms in the city's history. Though it served primarily as an office building, the structure included a vaudeville theater.

TWG and Ambrose bought the building in late 2012 from an affiliate of New York-based Crown Properties, marking the first time the building had local owners in at least 25 years.

The new name for the building is Penn Street Tower. The architect for both the hotel and apartment project is Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf Architects.

The hotel should complement the apartment project nicely, said Dennis Dye, a TWG principal.

“Jeff and his team have built an excellent operating platform and know the Indianapolis market, as demonstrated by their Homewood Suites facility on South Meridian,” Dye said in an emailed statement. “Having the hotel activity coupled with an additional 98 apartments is just what is needed for this segment of the city.”

Good Hospitality will construct, develop and manage the hotel while HRC Hotels will own it. The Home2 Suites by Hilton will be the 22nd hotel in HRC’s portfolio.

Meanwhile, downtown Indianapolis suddenly is becoming attractive to the boutique-hotel market.

Last month, IBJ reported that Minneapolis, Minnesota-based CSM Corp. wants to build two high-end hotels in a 15-story building on a surface parking lot across from Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Plans call for a total of 286 rooms between two brands, Aloft and Element, according to plans filed with the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission.

CSM is buying the parcel at the corner of Pennsylvania and Georgia streets from local developer Allen Commercial.



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