Indianapolis developer Dan Jacobs and the Athenaeum Foundation broke ground Wednesday on a new $20 million mixed-use development next to the historic Anthenaeum. It’s being built on what is currently a parking lot on East Street, just about a block off Mass Ave.
Block 20 will have 77 apartments, a restaurant, and a parking garage with 252 spots. Jacobs says the development will help fill a desperate need for additional parking in the area as more property becomes developed around the Mass Ave. and Lockerbie Square neighborhoods.
“With the Athenaeum welcoming 500,000 plus guests annually, made up by YMCA visitors, Rathskeller patrons and attendees to more than 1,700 events, we can certainly use the additional parking,” said Anthenaeum President Craig Mince.
Jacobs also plans to activate a neighboring alley into a showcase for public art and is working with the Arts Council of Indianapolis on the implementation.
“Today, we break ground on a transformational development that will connect the Athenaeum, a national historic landmark, with modern-day development and a dynamic space for public art,” said Jacobs. “Getting to this point required hard work from several organizations and individuals, and I cannot begin to thank everyone enough for their continued commitment.”
The project includes changes to Cleveland Street, giving it a retro look with historic bricks and new stone pavers. That location will serve as the main entrance to the development.
“Additionally, having a building like this right next door, with a re-imagined Cleveland Street between us, enhances our cultural offerings and public amenities. It will be a great addition to the area,” said Mince.
The restaurant space provides nearly 5,800 square feet available for lease with outdoor patio space and mezzanine capabilities. Jacobs is currently in discussions with potential tenants.
Construction is set to officially begin later this month and projected to last into 2021.
Earlier this year, the city approved $4.5 million in developer-backed bonds for Block 20. Proceeds from the bonds will be used to help build the projects, which will be repaid through property taxes generated, with Jacobs responsible for any deficit.