Plans in Place For Long-Abandoned Indy Buildings

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(Renderings of plans for the former AT&T building [left] and the Illinois Building [right] courtesy of Keystone Realty Group.) (Renderings of plans for the former AT&T building [left] and the Illinois Building [right] courtesy of Keystone Realty Group.)

The City-County Council in Indianapolis has unanimously approved $16.7 million in economic development tax increment revenue bonds for two high-rise redevelopment projects near the center of the city. Indianapolis-based Keystone Property Group is proposing to invest $80.4 million to transform the former AT&T Inc. building at Meridian and Ohio streets into a mixed-use property and $61.4 million to open an InterContinental brand hotel in the historic Illinois Building at Market and Illinois streets. Both buildings have long been without major tenants.

Prior to the council's vote Monday, Indianapolis Deputy Mayor of Economic Development Angela Smith Jones discussed aspects of the projects she said will benefit the city. "We've been able to secure what is a developer-backed bond, so the developer will be securing by their own guaranty by purchasing the bonds and securing that the project itself will support itself and that will be the way that this project will be successful." Smith Jones said. She added that additional components worked out with Keystone include workforce housing opportunities in the mixed-use project and revenue sharing with the city if hotel profits reach certain levels.

The former AT&T building was last occupied in 2013. Keystone is planning to change four floors into parking, which the building currently doesn't have. Plans call for residential, commercial and office uses, as well as three restaurants in the 21-story tower.

The Illinois Building, aside from some current ground-level restaurants, as been abandoned since 2002. It was previously listed on the Indiana Landmarks' 10 most endangered landmarks list. The hotel proposal calls for 180 rooms, as well as bar and additional restaurant space. Keystone also says it will open a rooftop bar on the nearly 100-year-old building. The project will be Keystone's first hotel development.

Indianapolis Deputy Mayor of Economic Development Angela Smith Jones discussed aspects of the projects she said will benefit the city.
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