Vision takes shape for Canal ‘bridge’

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Canal HotelKansas-based LodgeWorks LP continues to refine its proposal for a hotel project that would include a bridge over the Central Canal. The proposal, designed by Chicago-based ASC Architects, calls for:

  • A four-story bridge over the Canal that would include a two-story lobby, along with hotel rooms on the third and fourth floors.

  • A gazebo, garden and cascading waterfall on the west side of the Canal, just south of the bridge. The waterfall would empty into the canal under the sidewalk.

  • A main hotel entrance on the eastern edge of the Indiana History Center parking lot. The proposal would require reconfiguration of the lot but most spots would remain.

  • A patio for a restaurant and cafe on the west side of the Canal and patio for meeting facilities on the east side.
  • In its proposal, LodgeWorks writes: “We came to an understanding that the Canal District had no focal point. It has a soul but no heart. LodgeWorks proposes to build a hotel over the Central Canal, thereby creating another striking symbol for the city of Indianapolis.” The company owns or operates 17 hotels, mainly on the coasts. This would be its first in Indiana.

    The plan is one of two proposals for a one-acre state-owned property along the Canal between Ohio and New York streets. Browning Investments and Dora Brothers Hospitality are pitching a hotel and retail space. Your turn: An environmental group is lobbying to preserve the land as open space instead. Should it be developed? If so, which proposal do you like?

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