Downtown Cummins building to be 9 stories instead of 10

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The height of Cummins Inc.’s global distribution business headquarters under construction in downtown Indianapolis has been shaved from 10 stories to nine.

The city’s Regional Center Hearing Examiner approved the change Thursday.

Sally Leyes, a spokeswoman for the Columbus-based engine maker, said the reduction makes the layout of the building more efficient, by moving a conference center from the top floor to space on the second.

“It was more of a functional decision,” she said. “There’s still plenty of space for our commitment to our 400 employees.”

Reducing the size will not affect the project’s estimated cost of $30 million, Leyes said.

Cummins officials said the building's square footage will remain about 176,000 square feet overall, with 10,000 square feet designated for first-floor retail and the rest for office.

Because the site is within the Regional Center overlay district, the project needs to comply with Regional Center Urban Design guidelines.  The city’s Metropolitan Development Commission could sign off on the change Sept. 16.

Cummins unveiled the design of the building in December. It is being built on four acres where Market Square Arena previously stood. The property is bounded by Market, Alabama, Washington and New Jersey streets. Cummins agreed to buy the property from the city for $4.3 million.

The hearing examiner also approved Cummins’ request to move the parking garage farther back from East Washington Street, on the south side of the property, to provide for potential future development.

The building is expected to open in late 2016. New York-based Deborah Berke Partners is the architect for the project.

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