The Cole campus, seen looking west towards downtown along Market Street. (Courtesy of the City of Indianapolis)
The firm spearheading ambitious redevelopment plans for the former Angie’s List campus east of downtown – now known as Elevator Hill – is the city’s choice to handle the Old Jail II and the Arrest Processing Center next door.
The Department of Metropolitan Development announced Wednesday that it has selected 1820 Ventures LLC’s proposed $120 million overhaul of properties in a project that includes apartments, educational elements, an event center, retail space at the retail and coworking office space.
The project — which 1820 and city officials call Cole Campus after original tenant Cole Motor Car Co. — would complement the $275 million in investment already planned for the Elevator Hill corridor.
This is the second proposed reuse of city-owned properties in as many months, following the city’s selection of Gershman Partners and Citimark for the City Market East development in July. The city is trying to offload almost 19 acres of property in the coming years.
“This is a very visible place…so there’s an opportunity there to do something really meaningful,” said Jeremy Stephenson, managing partner of 1820 Ventures. “What we’re doing is thinking bolder, especially with the challenge of perception as a prison – there’s an element that means we have to push further so that we can change the perception and the mindset of people. people around what is possible” for the property.
The project is co-designed by Indianapolis firms DKGR Architects and Meticulous Design and Architecture, the latter being a tenant at Elevator Hill.
FA Wilhelm Co. Inc., Taylor Bros. Construction Co. and American Structurepoint were chosen to manage the construction.
The 1.66-acre site, between a set of elevated CSX railroad tracks and Interstate 65/70, totals 280,000 square feet of building space. Jail II is approximately 180,000 square feet, while APC is 100,000 square feet.
The Jail II building is expected to feature 110 to 140 apartments – a mix of affordable and one-, two- and three-bedroom units – as well as a rooftop terrace and amenities including a dog park and center Fitness.
The first floor of this building is expected to have 15,000 square feet of space reserved for an Indianapolis Public Schools Early Years Center, accommodating up to 300 children, and another 10,000 square feet of flexible space for a new Ball State University Career Pathway Center.
The details of these partnerships are still being finalized, although Stephenson said the educational component, in his mind, is essential to the growth of the neighborhood and the city center as a whole,
The Prison II structure will also have several storefronts along Washington and Market streets focused on local tenants.
The Arrest Processing Center property would house a new 60,000 square foot concert and event venue from The Vogue Operators at Broad Ripple, which would be located on the third and fourth floors and could accommodate 500 to 3,000 people. . The first floor would have 40 parking spaces and retail spaces, while the second floor would house the approximately 30,000 square foot coworking space.
Both buildings would see improvements to their facades, including the return of large, historically accurate windows, as well as new signage announcing major tenants and apartments. Several pieces of public art would also be displayed throughout campus.
Stephenson said a parking garage should be built next to the project, which would be shared by Elevator Hill and the Cole project. Surface parking with 100 spaces will also be accessible to users.
Under the Elevator Hill and Cole projects, Market Street is expected to become a pedestrian-oriented multi-modal route, while Washington Street, which will eventually have a new bus rapid transit route, will have a strong emphasis on vehicle traffic.
As part of the development, 1820 Ventures plans to formally offer to purchase the two buildings: Jail II at 730 E. Washington St. for $5.07 million and the Arrest Processing Center at 752 E. Market St. for $2.28 million.
DMD Director Scarlett Andrews told IBJ that the details of the deal will need to be worked out, but the city is not expected to own the properties as the project moves forward.
“It was important for us to think about it being completely private development and private funding going forward,” she said. “We are still determining the actual final disposition mechanism, but we expect them to be private property.”
The properties have been controlled by the city since 1996, when they were converted into prisons. The buildings were originally constructed between 1911 and 1922 and housed the Cole Motor Car Co. before its dissolution in 1925. Over the past century the property has been used by a variety of tenants, namely Service Supply Co. , which was a major supplier of industrial fasteners in the United States in the mid-20th century.
Andrews added that the project is meant to serve as a gateway to the east side of Indianapolis, connecting downtown to an area that has long been separated by freeway and railroad tracks.
1820 Ventures’ project was selected from proposals by Third Street Ventures and TWG Development LLC, which each offered similar uses – apartments, offices and retail, as well as parking features. TWG’s $63.6 million project called for approximately 200 apartments in total and the construction of three additional floors above the existing APC building, as well as more than 300 parking spaces. Third Street’s proposal, which would have been for a $77 million project, called for approximately 111 units of Prison II and the entire APC to be configured as offices and parking on the first floor.
City officials said 1820 Ventures was the only company to deeply involve neighborhood organizations such as the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association and the Cole-Noble Commercial Arts District, which Stephenson said he believes is essential to the city’s plans. group for the site.
“If you think of what [this area] has been, and what it is today, it is about to change a lot…in a very short time,” he said. “What we’re trying to do from a usage perspective is provide them with what they need, because they have different needs, from a usage perspective. This project is going to be here much longer than we are going to be here.
Scotty Z. Wilson, President of the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association, said, “We see this project as an opportunity to help bridge the gap between downtown and the near east. One site, one block at a time, we hope this will bring us closer to reimagining the potential of Indianapolis’ urban communities.
Cole-Noble District President Jill White was a member of the selection committee that ultimately chose the 1820 Ventures project. She said that none of the other developers contacted her to discuss their plans.
“We were excited when Jeremy… came to us, before the project was even submitted to the city, and they asked for comments,” White said. “They implemented some of these things in their planning process and then came back to us and told us what they were able to learn from what we said. I think their plan suits us really well.
The group also involved the Englewood Community Development Corp., and Stephenson personally met with the grandson of Cole Motor Co. founder Joe Cole to learn more about the buildings history and their significance to Indianapolis.
The decision, he said, “was partly practical, and then it was a bit emotional.”
Cole still owns the building where Sun King Brewing is located on the corner of College Avenue, but sold the industrial buildings to Service Supply in the 1960s.
The project is expected to be primarily privately funded, with some funding coming from members of Fred Abel LLC, a group of 20 local investors that owns the Elevator Hill campus. The band members’ involvement has yet to be finalized, but Stephenson said it will be on an individual basis. IBJ Media co-owners Nate Feltman, Mickey Maurer and Bob Schloss are all members of The Fred Abel Group. The development could also appeal to outside investors, Stephenson said.
1820 Ventures is expected to work with the city to determine potential incentives for the project over the coming months, likely in the form of developer-backed tax increment funding bonds in the same vein as other developments. have received in recent years. The project may also be eligible for historic federal credits, state redevelopment credits, and new business tax credits.
Stephenson said that while his company will continue to guide the vision for the neighborhood, he looks forward to continuing to engage with the community and other groups who want a voice in the direction it is taking.
“Who are we bringing into the room who can help create ideas?” he said. “We’re not the only creators of ideas – in fact, most of them come from other people who are much better than us. So what can we do to somehow put that in the picture?
A preliminary schedule for the project calls for full construction of the APC and Jail II buildings to begin in early 2023.