UPDATE: Kite plans retail at Pan Am site

April 7, 2008

A local developer hopes to add restaurants and retail space and possibly a hotel to Pan Am Plaza to capitalize on a growing convention center and the new Lucas Oil Stadium.

Kite Realty Group Trust joined with Sacramento, Calif.-based Coastal Partners LLC to buy the plaza and two adjacent ice skating rinks from Indiana Sports Corp. The Sports Corp. announced the sale today.

Terms of the deal and specific plans for the site were not immediately available, but people familiar with the project say Kite hopes to target restaurants and entertainment uses and also is considering a hotel.

The company hopes to reuse the buildings that now house skating rinks and build a new structure at the plaza's southeast corner, which now is mostly vacant. Coastal already owns the 12-story Pan Am office building at the northwest corner.

Any major redevelopment would require cooperation from Armand Lasky, who owns the parking garage below the plaza. The unusual ownership arrangement helped sink previous efforts to redevelop the plaza, but Lasky said today he talked with Kite and Coastal and plans to do what he can to help.

Last year, Indianapolis-based Browning Investments and a Milwaukee developer proposed building a 44-story hotel on the plaza. But a city selection committee instead chose to back a hotel complex near White River State Park proposed by Merrillville-based White Lodging Services and Indianapolis-based REI Real Estate Services.

To weigh in on options for the site, go to IBJ's real estate blog, Property Lines.


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