Owner of vacant Anthem building on Circle now open to multiple tenants

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The former Anthem Inc. headquarters on Monument Circle. (IBJ photo)

The former Anthem Inc. headquarters on Monument Circle could be divided into multiple suites, as the property’s owner tries to drum up interest among prospective office and retail tenants.

The 213,600-square-foot structure at 120 Monument Circle has been without an anchor tenant since December 2018. The real estate investment firm that owns the property, Massachusetts-based Franklin Street Properties, has generally dismissed the concept of cordoning off parts of the four-story building for use by multiple tenants in favor of finding a single large user.

But over the past several months, that attitude has shifted, said John Vandenbark, an office broker with the Indianapolis office of CBRE representing Franklin Street.

“In an ideal world, it would have been one big tenant,” he said. “Then it became, ‘Well, we need a larger tenant to kick it off.’ So, we will look at a multi-tenant scenario … whereas a year ago we wouldn’t have.”

Vandenbark said the minimum office lease would be about 25,000 square feet—about half a single floor plate in the building. Industry sources have previously told IBJ the asking rate for office space in the building is around $24 per square foot, on par with other prime spots in the downtown market.

Some interested parties—including co-working groups—have looked at the building but ultimately passed because there isn’t enough space for an abundance of window-facing offices along the Circle. That means it might not work as well for a traditional office environment, such as a law firm where every attorney has their own office.

Vandenbark said while there are no specific parameters for offering space for retail uses, any prospective tenant would need to be “an enhancement and a value-add to help draw in a larger office user.”

Those uses would likely be limited to the first floor, he said, although the idea of a high-end restaurant using part or all of the fourth-floor terrace for outdoor dining has not yet been ruled out.

There already are some storefront businesses incorporated into the building, including FedEx Office, H&R Block and Forum Credit Union, occupying a total of about 11,000 square feet. CBRE retail broker Mark Perlstein is assisting on the retail side.

But there could be challenges in wooing retailers to the building.

“There’s always demand, I think, for retail on the Circle. But the issue you’ve got … is [that] parking becomes difficult,” Vandenbark said. However, valet service could be offered for restaurants, or customers could park in garages nearby and walk to the building.

Another strain could be the continued uncertainty associated with the office market. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed many large users of office space to allow employees to work from home.

Vandenbark said leasing part or all of the property could take months or even years. Few companies are in the market for massive amounts of office space at the moment. Even if a lease were signed soon, the building probably would remain vacant until late 2021 or early 2022.

The broker said the the owner is “patient” and has no plans to sell the building, but every potential practical use for the building is being considered.

“They have investors that would like to see (the building) filled and cash flowed—that’s why they hired me,” Vandenbark said.

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8 thoughts on “Owner of vacant Anthem building on Circle now open to multiple tenants

  1. I’ve said for years the City, etc., should offer incentives to make, at least the first floor, multiple street level retail and food-restaurant businesses. For years the city and city planners have whined and cried about not enough store front activity on the circle. This entire quarter of the circle has virtually been dead space for decades, and the northeast quadrant hasn’t been much better. Once this passe’ of redundant protests, and of course the covid virus is over, street level activity and businesses could help with the come back of downtown Indy, and expand life on the circle that we haven’t seen since JC Penny occupied the northwest quadrant!

  2. Great Property and location, but perspective tenants are going to need to be assured the homeless encampment across the street is going to disappear and that the mayor “will” provide proper security.
    IMPD and the MCSD are more than capable with restraints removed.

    1. Bingo and with the way the current residents vote that may be a long time off. Downtown’s may return to the good ole years of the 60s,70s and 80s

  3. There are multiple garages, a BRT station, the Cultural Trail, and a major transit hub within a ten minute walk of this location. Parking is not difficult, nor is it remotely a problem in Downtown. Good grief.

  4. This mayor will eliminate any chance for leasing this space. There are now homeless totaling about 100 that live around the monument. Really, drive around the circle any time of day and you will see drug dealers , individuals passed out on spice, human feces, people with their pants around their ankles, sexual acts. The smell of urine is intense. This mayor is destroying the city. He should b recalled.

    1. Hey those people vote and he doesn’t want to offend them and he is going for the San Francisco vibe.

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