|Bisnow hit the road recently, up historic Route 66 (we listened to a book on tape, why do you ask?) visiting Indianapolis. We found tourism efforts racing ahead, with a $450M Marriott development and $275M convention center expansion, with some Dallas influence, near Lucas Oil Field.
|Sitting in post-Brickyard 400 traffic, we snapped the 34-story JW Marriott tower—at 375 feet, it's the tallest hotel in Indianapolis, and when it opens in February, over 1,600 rooms will make it the largest JW Marriott in the US. The tower is part of the Indianapolis Marriott Place development, which occupies seven acres at the SWC of West and Washington streets downtown. The project includes 1,000 underground parking spaces and a Courtyard, Fairfield, and SpringHill Suites that all opened this past March.
|The Marriott complex serves as the anchor for the Indiana Convention Center, which is undergoing a 420k SF expansion, slated for a February completion. An indoor street-level, climate-controlled connector will link the convention center to Lucas Oil Stadium. Including the stadium, the complex will have 1.2M SF of convention space. The expansion will raise Indy from 33rd to 16th among America's major convention cities in meeting space available, and second only to Atlanta among its 13 peer cities.
|We can't escape Dallas. Look at Lucas Oil Field: Dallas-based HKS designed the $720M football stadium, which opened in 2008 and will host the Super Bowl in 2012. That means HKS-designed stadiums are hosting two consecutive Bowls, with JerryWorld hosting in '11. The 1.8M SF stadium has more than 185k SF of convention space.
|Recent employment gains suggest the Indianapolis economy has begun to mend, but a vigorous recovery of the local office market remains some time off, as businesses continue to trim space requirements, according to Marcus & Millichap. In mid-2009, the new owners of insurance giant Safeco Corp. moved the company out of 330k SF of space downtown. In addition, Eli Lilly and Co. will vacate 465k SF this year at its HQ just south of downtown and consolidate operations at a nearby campus. These vacant Class A blocks will adversely impact fundamentals in the CBD, forcing owners to offer generous concessions, the brokerage reports.