City considering additional $25M in funding for Pan Am Plaza project

A rendering of the proposed redevelopment of at Pan Am Plaza in downtown Indianapolis. (Courtesy of Kite Realty Group Trust and Ratio Architects)

A city commission this week is set to consider providing an additional $25 million to the redevelopment of Pan Am Plaza in downtown Indianapolis.

The allocation, which would come from the city’s downtown consolidated tax-increment financing district, will be considered during a Metropolitan Development Commission meeting on Wednesday.

The $550 million project includes a $125 million expansion of the Indiana Convention Center—which the city is paying for—as well as an 800-room hotel being developed by local developer Kite Realty Group Trust. A second 600-room hotel is planned for a later phase of the project.

The resolution calling for the new funding, part of the commission’s meeting agenda, does not specify what the money would be used for, except to say it would go toward “the payment of expenses associated with the project and other local public improvements furthering the redevelopment of Pan Am Plaza.”

The allocation would not create additional taxes downtown, but instead tap into tax revenue already on-hand in the city’s coffers. Unallocated TIF dollars are generally used for development projects in which the city has a direct interest.

The Pan Am redevelopment was first announced in 2018, but the deal was refined in the wake of the pandemic in 2020, with initial plans for Kite to secure funding and break ground on the project by the end of 2022. Kite has not shared whether it has secured financing for its portion of the project.

The city in 2021 authorized up to $155 million in bonds for its portion of the project, but those have not yet been secured through the Indianapolis Bond Bank. The figure takes into account property acquisition, interest, procurement fees and other legal costs.

However, the MDC on Wednesday will also consider adjusting how much interest the the bonds can carry amid ballooning rates. The same resolution would authorize maximum interest rates of up to 8% rather than the 5% that the project can currently bear. The Indianapolis City-County Council on Monday night approved a similar measure.

Increasing the interest rate will mean higher costs on repayment of the loan, which is expected to take anywhere from 25 to 30 years, depending on terms secured through the Indianapolis Bond Bank.

Both the Department of Metropolitan Development and the Capital Improvement Board, which operates the convention center, declined comment on the resolution. Kite could not be reached for comment.

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12 thoughts on “City considering additional $25M in funding for Pan Am Plaza project

  1. It’s a necessary evil but it looks like Fed policy is killing this opportunity. I hope they will come to terms and start the project because it looks beautiful. Could be another landmark building for downtown.

    1. Jaron W.
      Agreed!
      Hopefully the grandeur of the design and the number of floors will not
      diminish.

      This could be a very awesome addition to our skyline which is badly needed.

    1. Hi Mike,

      Just wanted to note that back in August I included a sentence about that tower in my story on new renderings for the project:

      “Another rendering shows the full scope of the development, including the second-phase hotel and a third tower on the northeast corner of Capitol Avenue and West Louisiana Street. Kite’s [spokesperson] said the tower is a “potential future development opportunity,” but declined to elaborate.

      They haven’t been willing to share any additional details about that component, or why it’s included in renderings but mentioned elsewhere.

      Full story: https://www.ibj.com/articles/kite-expects-to-secure-financing-for-pan-am-plaza-project-by-end-of-year

  2. At this point the city has no choice but to build this project and expand the convention center. The city is at a point of no return. Nashville is building a new stadium for the Titans and have said publicly that they intend to steal Indys largest conventions. Make no mistake about it, the competition is getting stiffer and the city can’t afford to not build this project. Gen Con and other events already said they’ll only return if this project is built. We already lost the NFL combine, who’s next to leave because indy tries to play it safe and conservative all the time?

    1. Kevin P.
      Agreed completely!
      We have to build it to remain competitive.
      Nashville will be a fierce competitor once they build their new facilities.

      Indy must be unapologetically bold and aggressive.

  3. I would also add that indy has been successful at luring sporting events and some conventions here but are now eyeing larger ones. Places like Chicago, LA, Vegas, Miami, ATL and NYC don’t rely so heavily on the same conventions and sporting events indy does because they’re tourist industries are more robust than ours. These cities have several other ways to attract tourist than indy ever could. So they’re totally fine with indy and it’s peer cities fighting over conventions and sporting events. Indy needs to capitalize on things on every opportunity possible and city leaders need to understand that this is an ongoing process that never ends. The city has to keep developing new attentions and shiny new facilities to lure people here vs more attractive destinations. Although a city is a place to live and raise a family, it’s still a place of business and must also be ran like a Fortune 500 company that’s open for business to make money

    1. Robert H.
      I’ve thought that too. Adding a few floors of condos would make the project
      taller and more visible.
      Big shinny objects such as this definitely will stay in people’s minds long after
      their visit.

      New towers and cranes show progress, commitment, and pride.

      What are onevof the main things people remember about visiting their downtowns. It’s always the skyline.

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