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Old June 2nd, 2007, 05:19 PM   #881
Unionstation13
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Originally Posted by billionbucks View Post
there is a law, its called eminent domain. Poor people don't have to sell their homes if the don't want to - until the government says the development will benefit the area better... and in this case, it isn't being used. The near east side will never become denser unless the gas stations, family dollars, etc are taken out. Otherwise, the house revitilization is what is best for the area. Take it from someone who grew up there. The Arsenal area, Woodruff, Oriental St., west to the traintracks - That area has already been revitilized (or is on its way) and it's beautiful. When the ramps are changed, then the east side on the other side of the highway is overdue for a boom... but east of the highway and tracks is already set on it's own path. The investment into streetscape, sidewalks, and roads from the city show they are expecting it to grow like Fall Creek did. The near eastside will be like the Old Northside when finished... and no one wants to take out the old northside for dense development. As much as we all like density, cities need breaks for urban neighborhoods. Indianapolis has perfect examples of such.

Before we talk about making existing, heavily populated, neighborhoods denser... lets talk about getting rid of those ugly surface parking lots in downtown indy
I just want those filled with urban designs, HELL, even a bunch of 757 would do, just get rid of those parking lots! One tricky thing is when you get thin parking lots, like the one on meridian between that religiouse supplies store(they need to get that store moved, the building is neat though) and that one brick building, those parking lots probably wont get filled for awhile, nobody wants to build such small structures. The neighborhoods of Indianapolis will continue to boom, untill it comes to a point where the entire central township is restored, developed fully. I would love it if we could restore the near eastside, while keeping the hispanic population there, I like having a diverse population so close to downtown, and if they are pushed out to a farther neighborhood, that would suck! If neighborhoods around downtown are developed fully, then downtown developers will have no choice than to construct denser structures, better designed, becuase people will be more demanding.
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 07:12 PM   #882
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By the way, outside of downtown and a couple of other key districts, I don't think significant densification is necessarily even desirable in Indy. It is certainly physically possible. I witnessed large numbers of small, single family home demolished in Seattle to make way for multi-story condo buildings, for example. But fundamentally Indy is built in scale like a very large small town. It would be better to try to figure out how to work with that, to make it into an advantage, rather than trying to convert Indy into San Francisco or something. And as I said, the people of Indianapolis clearly want nothing but single family homes anywhere near them.

Still, I think the highly conservative (even even regressive in a way) attitude of even the urban pioneers in Indy is a serious handicap for the city. It is emblematic of a larger civic attitude that results in things like the Hotel Mundane and a general lack of good architecture.
I agree with what you're saying about preserving the less dense yet still urban neighborhoods of the near-eastside. However, I think what is definately key to the area is getting rid of strip-mall style developments along such corridors as 10th street, Washington St. If new developments are simply built without drastic set backs, it will be much more inviting for pedestrians.

I think if we want to talk about the potential for density outside of the downtown core, then we should really look at Meridian St. There are numerous lots and old buildings that could be replaced with mid-rise mixed use projects. Similarily, along Capitol between 16th Street and Michigan Street, there are almost nothing but vacant lots and old one-storey store fronts that could be replaced with much higher density developments. These areas make more sense for an emphasis on density since there are almost no truly historic structures or large amounts of single-family homes that would have to be replaced.

Last edited by cityfan; June 2nd, 2007 at 07:57 PM.
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 07:17 PM   #883
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cityfan, I agree 100%
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 07:24 PM   #884
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development montague!

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Originally Posted by Unionstation13 View Post
Is there any way to fully restore the near eastside and make it an amazing area while retaining the current population?
I don't know what area you're talking about specifically, but there are always state or federal grants available for "economic development", which to these political structures means an intervention from our nations housing and urban development commission (Sec. 8 or Hope 6). Unfortunately, that would require the City to use eminent domain on those neighborhoods to implement whatever plan they create for the area.

I think that if the residents of an area were concerned with the state of their community, they would take care of it themselves. And you've got to recognize that other people come from different cultures, especially if you're talking about a Mexican community. The things you think are wrong doings to buildings are common place and beautiful to them, so no matter what I'll bet any thing they do on their own isn't going to be very appealing to some of us.



I agree that the parking lots downtown, especially the five or six northwest of the circle on Indiana Avenue, are an issue. But there are a few ways to go about encouraging growth there. Clearly, there is an enormous demand for parking, otherwise these lots would have been built on already, right? Okay, so any plans there must include enough parking to both offset current and future demand (given that we're going to develop these lots). I prefer underground so we don't have to look at it at all. But you can also put it on floors 2 through whatever above retail on ground floor and under residences or offices. Sound good? Okay, now for actually encouraging these developments... (#1) the City can buy them for probably several million from whomever owns them... (#2) a private developer with these plans could buy them for several million... (#3) public or private incentives could influence the current owner to develop. Number three seems most likely to me... any ideas how to accomplish this or anything I haven't thought of that would help?

Okay so what I'd propose is to increase the activities of surrounding areas. The neighboring high-rise buildings probably won't change unless you sell air rights starting above the 40th floor. Or you could do the same for the nearby apartments and offices along the canal and further north/west on Indiana, Capitol, and Senate. Also along these three rights of way, you'll probably come across a bunch of other empty lots nearby these parking lots... so densely develop those and you'll see even more tremendous pressure on the owners of the parking lots to develop because at some point the property value for those lots will raise, which forces the owner to raise the cost of parking there and eventually people will stop parking there and the lot becomes useless except for development!

I'm a big fan of transit too, so maybe if Indianapolis sets up a heavier-than-bus transit system (I prefer rail), we would naturally see a decrease in the number of people parking at these lots... which again will raise the cost to the owner who passes the burden onto people who park there, and again we see fewer people affording these spaces. Then more pressure for development!

PS, I know it was an older (albeit hot on the table) topic, but I made a google map for possible light rail corridors using existing rail lines and sometimes roadways and riversides... if you care to see it, please view and leave me some comments about it...
http://maps.google.com
I'm open for intelligible suggestions, but please do not change the map, thanks
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 07:44 PM   #885
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I'd like to see parking lots go too, but truthfully, I'm ok with vacant lots if they sit until a quality development comes along. Too often the city seems over eager to build on a plot of land, leading to substandard projects. It is much easier to redevelop a parking lot than a brand new multi-million building.
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 07:57 PM   #886
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arenn View Post
I'd like to see parking lots go too, but truthfully, I'm ok with vacant lots if they sit until a quality development comes along. Too often the city seems over eager to build on a plot of land, leading to substandard projects. It is much easier to redevelop a parking lot than a brand new multi-million building.
The City can only deny a building permit or restrict development through zoning, they legally don't have any say in what gets built on these lots. They'd have to eminent domain the land, and we all know if that happened we'd see vacant lots for years to come until they decide to sell them.

A similar situation is being fought over in New York City with the WTC site. The City wanted Freedom Tower, but the land owner wanted the worlds tallest building. The City denied his building permit for the worlds tallest, so he took his project and money to Dubai, where he's already constructing his building. Honestly, Cities just need to gain some humility and accept that capitalism runs the States rather than trying to fight it.
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 08:00 PM   #887
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cityfan View Post
I agree with what you're saying about preserving the less dense yet still urban neighborhoods of the near-eastside. However, I think what is definately key to the area is getting rid of strip-mall style developments along such corridors as 10th street, Washington St. If new developments are simply built without drastic set backs, it will be much more inviting for pedestrians.

I think if we want to talk about the potential for density outside of the downtown core, then we should really look at Meridian St. There are numerous lots and old buildings that could be replaced with mid-rise mixed use projects. Similarily, along Capitol between 16th Street and Michigan Street, there are almost nothing but vacant lots and old one-storey store fronts that could be replaced with much higher density developments. These areas make more sense for an emphasis on density since there are almost no truly historic structures or large amounts of single-family homes that would have to be replaced.
the one story low density structures from the 30s, are completely odd looking,
theres alot of grand structures on meridian that are good examples of amazing urban design, and they sit next to mcdonalds and Ihops.
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 08:13 PM   #888
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brian, the city can easily deny lots of projects using a variety of tactics. I typically don't approve of most of them, but it can be done. In particular, most projects downtown require a variance of some sort to make work because of the outdated zoning rules.

But what I'm really talking about is just withdrawing city support from these projects. Little of any scope gets done in downtown Indy without tax incentives of some sort. In fact, much of the worst development was as a result of city-led RFP efforts. Just turn of the tap of abatements and TIF money, and most of these bad projects would dry up of their own accord.
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 09:13 PM   #889
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Originally Posted by arenn View Post
It's unlikely we'll see real density increases anywhere in Indianapolis. It is almost universally opposed. The minute a few houses in a neighborhood get rehabbed, the neighbors petition for a historic district, which will soon be granted, ensuring that it stays as low density has possible thanks to the IHPC process. This is already spreading east of downtown with Cottage Home next up for the treatment.

It's ironic to find that it is actually suburbs like Carmel, and outlying areas like Keystone Crossing, that are more progressive and more willing to change than city neighborhoods, where the residents' preference is to encase things in amber circa 1920.
I think you're exactly right to a point; however, I feel that most projects are opposed by a very vocal minority, who show up at hearings to oppose projects of any density. I would be very much of favor of greater density where I live (Fountain Square), and I think a lot of people around me would. However, I would fear that only the opposition would show and be heard. I wish people had to get variances to tear down buildings and make parking lots.
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 09:44 PM   #890
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I want to see Indianapolis revitalize its inner-city neighborhoods, develop the parking lots downtown, and build a comprehensive rail transit system. I look forward to enoying all of this with my grandkids (I'm 22 right now).
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Old June 3rd, 2007, 01:11 AM   #891
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMD_Landscape View Post
I think you're exactly right to a point; however, I feel that most projects are opposed by a very vocal minority, who show up at hearings to oppose projects of any density. I would be very much of favor of greater density where I live (Fountain Square), and I think a lot of people around me would. However, I would fear that only the opposition would show and be heard. I wish people had to get variances to tear down buildings and make parking lots.
if the city people where much more vocal, we probably would have more historic structures, including the MCC still standing.
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Old June 3rd, 2007, 07:51 AM   #892
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I think there is an apartment building called the "Esplanade" on Central or Penn.. Van Rooy maybe? I can't believe these people live in a median!
My brother lives there, at 30th and Penn. It was a Van Rooy property, now it's owned by a couple of guys that are slowly renovating all the units to high-end apartments.

Also, I was driving today on highway 1 from San Francisco to Monterey and drove through Santa Cruz. That town has an interesting "main street" feel along 1 that Indy could learn from. Almost everything along that road is only one story, but it's all built to the road and creates a vibrant feeling. Hell, even the Taco Bell is constructed almost to the sidewalk and the small space between the building and the sidewalk is an outdoor eating area that adds to the vibrancy of the area. You don't have to have height to have vibrant street-level atmosphere.
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Old June 3rd, 2007, 08:06 AM   #893
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My brother lives there, at 30th and Penn. It was a Van Rooy property, now it's owned by a couple of guys that are slowly renovating all the units to high-end apartments.

Also, I was driving today on highway 1 from San Francisco to Monterey and drove through Santa Cruz. That town has an interesting "main street" feel along 1 that Indy could learn from. Almost everything along that road is only one story, but it's all built to the road and creates a vibrant feeling. Hell, even the Taco Bell is constructed almost to the sidewalk and the small space between the building and the sidewalk is an outdoor eating area that adds to the vibrancy of the area. You don't have to have height to have vibrant street-level atmosphere.
I love Santa Cruz! It does have a great main street, it reminds me a lot of Broad Ripple actually, which is a great example of one-storey street vibrancy.
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Old June 3rd, 2007, 08:14 AM   #894
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I was reading the Cleveland Development News thread and came across this project:



Since high rise towers most likely will never be built, I think this is the perfect example of the types of projects that can bridge that horrible gap of barren-parking-lot-wasteland between IUPUI and the CBD in Indy.
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Old June 3rd, 2007, 10:19 AM   #895
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agreed. that looks nice
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Old June 3rd, 2007, 03:42 PM   #896
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that would rock =(
Hopefully they get filled soon.
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Old June 3rd, 2007, 06:37 PM   #897
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Also, I was driving today on highway 1 from San Francisco to Monterey and drove through Santa Cruz. That town has an interesting "main street" feel along 1 that Indy could learn from. Almost everything along that road is only one story, but it's all built to the road and creates a vibrant feeling. Hell, even the Taco Bell is constructed almost to the sidewalk and the small space between the building and the sidewalk is an outdoor eating area that adds to the vibrancy of the area. You don't have to have height to have vibrant street-level atmosphere.
Agree totally the height is not the end-all/be-all. Height != density. What's more, skyscrapers in Indianapolis make extremely inefficient use of land, often taking up an entire city block, and are actually negatives on the street level urban fabric. This is very, very different from cities like NYC and SF where no parking is constructed and the only land occupied is the footprint of the building itself.
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Old June 3rd, 2007, 10:21 PM   #898
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sounds like a sweet fantasy
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Old June 4th, 2007, 05:01 PM   #899
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Article on east side rejuvenation

http://www.intakeweekly.com/articles...-6781-160.html
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Old June 4th, 2007, 05:22 PM   #900
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Agree totally the height is not the end-all/be-all. Height != density. What's more, skyscrapers in Indianapolis make extremely inefficient use of land, often taking up an entire city block, and are actually negatives on the street level urban fabric. This is very, very different from cities like NYC and SF where no parking is constructed and the only land occupied is the footprint of the building itself.
I agree that skyscrapers that take up an entire city block are detrimental but I would say that these aren't the rule by any means. I can only think of three that do this (Regions, OneAmerica, CCB) and these are all bland, older towers.

Now, I think that quite a few of our talls fit in very nicely with the streetscape:
300 North Meridian
Chase Tower
Conrad Hotel
Market Tower
First Indiana
"Gold" Building
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