Carmel hires firm for City Center hotel, conference center designs

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The Carmel Redevelopment Commission has hired the same architectural firm that designed the Palladium to explore what a hotel at City Center should look like.

The CRC has agreed to pay Washington, D.C.-based David M. Schwarz Architects Inc. up to nearly $25,000 to create initial designs for a potential hotel and separate conference center at City Center.

Corrie Meyer, executive director of the CRC, said a hotel has always been in the plans for City Center but the timeline for the project had been unknown. With several other City Center buildings underway or recently finished, like The Mezz/Monon Lofts and The Nash Building, the city wanted to keep momentum going.

The hotel would be located between the Monon Trail and Veterans Way, southwest of the existing City Center. (Zoom in on the map above and click on the individual structures for information.) Meyer said initially a 40-room boutique hotel was included in City Center plans, but market research has shown a 140-room hotel could be successful there.

She said Pedcor Cos., the development company behind City Center and the future hotel, is conducting research to determine the right size of the potential hotel. The designs from David M. Schwarz Architects will reflect the results.

“We are hiring them because we want them to set the design aesthetics,” Meyer said.

The architectural firm will also create modified designs for the Windsor building, which was initially expected to be a four-story structure with luxury apartments and commercial office or retail space. It’s expected to be under construction in 2017 and would be located to the east of the Monon Trail and south of the future hotel.

Meyer said the updated design will consider what the facility could look like as a conference center instead of a mixed-use residential and commercial building.

The architects will also consider including the proposed Wren building as part of the hotel. The Wren building is expected to be a 88,000-square-foot, seven-story structure with luxury apartments and commercial and retail space. Construction is slated to start in fall 2016.

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