My latest just went up at Urban Indy. It focuses on the CityWay mixed-used development in downtown Indianapolis, which includes a few hundred apartments, multiple restaurants, a hotel, and a multi-level YMCA.That’s phase one, at least. Now the developer is embarking on Phase Two, which will double the apartment units (to nearly 500), add some office space, more parking in a garage, an office building, and a relocated historic livery stable that the team hopes will serve as a fashionable retail/restaurant.
It’s great to see more density and mixed-use, but this time around, the retail proposal is somewhat lacking–all the more disappointing because so much of this phase sits along the Cultural Trail, Indy’s premier grade-separated, urban cycle/pedestrian path. But it’s probably just as much a financial decision as it is an urban design and aesthetic shortcoming, and while the developer of CityWay clearly has to build a model that works from a financing standpoint, it still means a long-term blight on the streetscape in a city that has more than its share. But there could still be clever solutions amidst the dross! Here’s hoping…tune in to Urban Indy and see what might be in store.