Bottleworks’ second phase moving ahead with no residential but greater emphasis on office space

The second phase of the Bottleworks District project will include a red-brick triangular building at the corner of Massachusetts and College avenues (see right side of rendering) and then a multifacade office building that runs north along College Avenue (left side of rendering). (Rendering courtesy of Hendricks Commercial Properties)

The developer of the massive Bottleworks District along downtown’s Mass Ave plans to break ground next summer on the nearly $100 million second phase of the project, with a larger focus on office space than originally planned.

The second phase, which was delayed due to the pandemic, will feature about 250,000 square feet of new leasable space—most of it for office users. Initial plans for the phase called for about 60 apartment units, but those were converted to office space due to increased demand, according to Wisconsin-based developer Hendricks Commercial Properties.

“We’ve been pleasantly surprised with the amount of office interest we’ve had—it’s kind of been counterintuitive from the narrative that’s out there more globally about what the workplace looks like post-pandemic,” said Gavin Thomas, vice president of development for Hendricks.

“I think a lot of these companies are looking at where they want to be long-term, and we’re fortunate that a lot of them are looking at Bottleworks,” Thomas said.

Hendricks also began to question whether the 60 apartment units were financially feasible.

The second phase will include a five-story, 120,000-square-foot building at the northeast corner of College and Massachusetts avenues. Another 90,000-square foot, multi-facade building is planned for the southeast corner of Ninth Street and College Avenue. The buildings are expected to feature retailers at street level.

Hendricks also plans to double the size of the Bottleworks parking garage, from 274 spaces to about 550. It’s expected to be tucked behind phase two and parts of the first phase—thus out of view from outside the development.

No office leases have yet been finalized for either of the new buildings, but discussions are ongoing for each available space. Thomas said the first lease could be signed as early as Thanksgiving, with more expected to follow in December.

The smaller office building will have floor plates ranging from 1,800 square feet for the shorter portion of the structure to as much as 13,200 square feet on the upper end. The northernmost portion of the property will be about four stories, with five-story middle and southern sections. Floor plates on the bigger building at College and Massachusetts will be about 21,000 square feet.

Retail spaces on the structures will range from about 1,500 square feet to 5,400 square feet, with 10 openings on the infill property and seven on the corner building.

Hendricks on Wednesday will seek approval for its planned changes to Bottleworks phase two from the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission, largely focused on minor cosmetic changes and a height increase of about six inches to the infill building.

“We don’t want to anything for granted, but … it’s almost like ‘Where’s Waldo?’ with what’s changed on this,” Thomas said. “It was more of a structural change where they had to put the steel in differently. So that’s that was driving that change more than anything else—just the practical buildout of office versus residential.”

Thomas said the second phase alone is likely to take about three years to build, with construction commencing in mid-2022 at a tentative cost of nearly $100 million. The entirety of Bottleworks was originally expected to cost about $300 million—a figure he said Hendricks is already nearing with its investments in the first two phases.

“It’s going to bed pushing $100 million investment on [phase two], so we’re very close to $300 [million] already, meaning it will likely be more than that once we completely build up the site,” he said. “But full build-out will take another seven to 10 years.”

The second phase will begin with the corner building, with work set for the infill buildings along College Avenue about one year later. The staggered approach allows for easier construction amid what Thomas described as “challenges with the site” pertaining to construction logistics.

Hendricks plans to begin building the residential component of Bottleworks with about 200 apartment units at about the same time that work continues on the latter part of phase two. The apartment buildings would be located north of phase two and west of the existing Garage Food Hall, south of 10th Street.

Eppstein Uhen Architects and Ratio are the architectural firms on the project.

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25 thoughts on “Bottleworks’ second phase moving ahead with no residential but greater emphasis on office space

    1. As an owner of office buildings in Indianapolis, I agree with Hendrick’s assessment that there is currently not any issue filling quality, well-located office space. Companies everywhere are evaluating their office needs, but as they do they will continue to choose places like Bottleworks regardless of whether they are increasing or decreasing the amount of space they lease. If there is any shakeout in the commercial office space market it will be at the lower end of the market.

  1. Quite interesting that the developer selects office space while the national trend in demand is down.

    Granted, sound sub-Market analysis coupled with local area understanding, trends and projections must be recognized. Would be interesting to review the supporting business case for office development.

    Eschewing appartment development is understandable given ongoing competitive central city construction. Yet is Indy poised for a yet to be revealed demand for office space?

    1. hahahaha so true. These developers are professionals with years of experience. They don’t make $100M mistakes.

    2. Yes, and reading between the lines, it seems like the prospective tenants might be locals relocating to Bottleworks because they like the space or the landlord or the deal better. It’s not Hendricks problem if their tenants leave other spaces vacant around town.

    3. HUH? What does FOX News have to do with this, Robert H? I don’t see any mention of FOX News in the original article or comments posted to it. Do you have an insatiable fetish about FOX News?

  2. Dear CCP trolls,

    I don’t watch Fox News and I don’t need them to tell me that companies are adopting remote or hybrid work models, yes even in Indy, so companies are reducing their office footprints, which will obviously impact demand. Maybe if you did more than attend Bernie or Antifa rallies, you’d know that.

    1. Reading between the lines, it seems like the prospective tenants might be locals relocating to Bottleworks because they like the space or the landlord or the deal better. It’s not Hendricks problem if their tenants leave other spaces vacant around town.

      Tenants might even be downsizing into Bottleworks…until specific tenant announcements come we won’t know for sure.

    2. Apparently believing in the market’s ability to identify market needs makes us “CCP trolls”. Such a statement would make any reasonable person believe that you have your head far down worse rabbit holes than Fox News. We are expressing confidence in a private company to make its $100m investment in an effective way. Hendrick’s has a strong history of getting ahead of market trends in Indianapolis, so there is no reason to think that they are wrong now. Rooting against Hendrick’s here is more communist than rooting for it.

      In the Indianapolis, skyscraper office space is doing poorly (and has been before COVID), but we have been seeing many large downtown towers successfully get converted into apartments and hotels. Downtown office space that is closer to street level and in walk-able areas has been doing well; the market is strong and will remain strong for this type of office space.

      The national trend of businesses switching to hybrid and work-from-home situations is complicated and nuanced. This is something that will mostly impact cities with bigger, more expensive city centers. The Chicagos, New Yorks, and LAs. Indianapolis as a whole benefits in that it is the type of place that people moving from these bigger cities would move to. Downtown Indianapolis benefits in that it is relatively affordable, it has a strong residential presence, and it takes just 30 minutes to get there from any suburb of Indy and just 15 minutes from the airport. So while existing companies may reduce their office space use, it is the perfect place for any business switching to a hybrid model to move their office.

      Further – to go on a tangent – nobody knows just how far industry will swing to remote and hybrid work. There have already been productivity problems in some industries and work-life balance issues in others. These problems will be further realized as time goes on, and there will be some notable reversion to the mean as we emerge from COVID.

    3. I highly doubt many “Antifa” rally-goers would bother to read the IBJ, nor do I think the CCP is wasting its resources trolling in the comment section of a local business journal for a midsized Midwestern city. So, putting crazy aside, I have been impressed with the Bottleworks development to date, and this looks like a good addition. The office development is looking at the longer term horizon. Even the most pro-remote working models, as well as current business leases show there will be continued, even if reduced, demand for commercial office space. As others have noted, the project probably plans to target local tenants who wish to relocate from older office space downtown.

    4. Not sure which suburbs you think are only 30 minutes from Downtown. Maybe Lawrence and Eagle Creek and Old Greenwood, but anything farther out is more like 45-50 minutes by the time you add parking and walk-in time. Longer with road construction delays.

  3. Great project to anchor that corner. They probably already have tenants such a good location. Mass Ave has a completely different vibe than downtown.

  4. Reading the comments you can see there’s local pride in Indy and most have a good understanding how economic development works specifically here in Indy.Im very impressed the locals concerns but understanding of how these developments work.Indy is definitely on national developers radar and its just a matter of how much development Indy would like to have.Caution,Nashville Tenn has seen an astronomical amount of development downtown but the downside is that a city that was once affordable to live in has become less and less affordable and this could be a blue print for Indy.I think if done correctly and with the understanding of what fits for Indy specifically,then Indy could grow at a comfortable rate and still remain affordable for everybody.

    1. As vacant lots and parking lots yield to new multi-use buildings, there will be fewer and fewer available lots on which to build. The demand-supply equation will shift, resulting in higher costs to build and higher costs to lease. Then, at some point, downtown will be a place for the upper class to live, work, and play. It’s how market forces work.

    2. Downtown and downtown-adjacent (e.g., Mass Ave) are already unaffordable places to live for the majority of people. There are a number of previously relatively affordable apartments that were “updated” and then listed for hundreds more, not to mention the expensive newly built luxury apartments. Wish I could still live there, but my building was flipped four years ago.

  5. All I can say is, I was down there 2 weeks ago for dinner (my first time to Bottleworks) and I was very impressed. The food options, the hotel, the ease of parking, the lighting, and the overall energy and atmosphere that was present was fantastic. I really enjoyed it snf I will be back! So, give credit where credit is deserved. If they hit a home run on the office development then congrats. If they swing and miss…it is Hendricks’ strike out, not mine. Good luck!

  6. As an owner of office buildings, I agree with Hendrick’s assessment that there is currently not any issue filling quality, well-located office space. Companies everywhere are evaluating their office needs, but as they do they will continue to choose places like Bottleworks regardless of whether they are increasing or decreasing the amount of space they lease. If there is any shakeout in the commercial office space market it will be at the lower end of the market.

  7. Most of the commentary has been thoughtful and correct…just don’t understand why people have to interject national political tropes or stereotypes to make a point?

  8. It is nice to see this infill development along Mass Ave. especially this triangular site. There still are several triangular parcels available for development all down Mass Ave. These unique sites developed will create interesting building forms and help anchor these corners.

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