The city of Indianapolis and a Louisville-based luxury hotel developer have unveiled a $55 million plan to breathe new life into a historic building. 21c Hotels is looking to turn the Old City Hall property into a free contemporary art museum and 150-room hotel with restaurant and event space. Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard says the announcement shows the city is ready to compete globally for talent. The early-20th Century-era building hasn't had a regular tenant for more than six years.

Sources: City of Indianapolis, 21c Hotels

February 26, 2015

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – 21c Museum Hotels announces its intent to redevelop Old City Hall in downtown Indianapolis following the approval of city and other financing incentives. The project will include the rehabilitation of Old City Hall and the construction of a new addition on the adjacent parcel into a 21c Museum Hotel and unique tenant space. 21c welcomes the opportunity to re-energize this iconic building, creating a vibrant public space and supporting the revitalization efforts underway in the Market East district.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this innovative plan to revitalize Old City Hall,” said Craig Greenberg, President of 21c Museum Hotels. “Like the city of Indianapolis, we believe that the arts can both energize a city, and also catalyze further economic development. 21c welcomes the opportunity to support the city's arts and cultural organizations and to make Old City Hall a hub for the arts once again.”

21c and the accompanying tenant space are positioned to add to the dynamic cultural and commercial life of the Market East district. Welcoming locals and visitors alike, 21c's proposed design program includes a contemporary art museum open free of charge to the public. The property will feature rotating exhibitions that reflect the global nature of art today, as well as site-specific installations and cultural programming. 21c’s museum program is led by VP, Museum Director Alice Gray Stites. The property will also feature a boutique hotel with approximately 150 rooms, guest suites with private terraces on the rooftop, art-filled meeting and event spaces and a unique chef-driven food and beverage concept showcasing local and regional farmers and producers. The tenant space will occupy the second, third and fourth floors of Old City Hall. 21c will manage the tenant spaces and work with the City to lease space to arts-related tenants. The property will be designed by New York-based architects Deborah Berke Partners. Berke’s firm was also recently selected to design the distribution headquarters for Indiana-based diesel engine manufacturer Cummins in downtown Indianapolis. This will be Berke’s ninth project with 21c since designing the first property, which opened in downtown Louisville in 2006.

The total project cost is expected to be approximately $55 million. 21c will secure approximately $29 million in project financing, which includes equity and debt. The company will also work closely with the City to apply for an $11.3 million federal loan through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Section 108 program, which will require city council approval. 21c will also be requesting city approval for a $9.1 million city-assisted investment that will be repaid by 21c through annual minimum guaranteed payments. Other sources of financing include federal historic tax credits.

About 21c Museum Hotels

21c Museum Hotels, the award-winning Louisville, Kentucky-based boutique hotel and restaurant group, was founded by contemporary art collectors and preservationists Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson. The couple opened the first 21c Museum Hotel in 2006 along downtown Louisville’s West Main Street, rehabilitating a series of 19th century warehouses. Much more than just a place to spend the night, 21c is an inventive union of genuine hospitality, careful design and culinary creativity — all anchored by a contemporary art museum with thought-provoking exhibitions, interactive site specific art installations and a full roster of cultural programming. 21c currently operates hotels in Louisville, KY; Cincinnati, OH and Bentonville, AR. Hotels are under construction in Durham, NC (opening first quarter of 2015); Lexington, KY and Oklahoma City, OK. Projects are under development in Kansas City, MO and Nashville, TN. The company is equally focused on creating unique, chef-driven restaurants that are as much a part of the community as the hotel. Currently, 21c operates a diverse roster of restaurants including Proof on Main, located in 21c Louisville; Metropole, located in 21c Cincinnati; The Hive, located in 21c Bentonville and Garage Bar in Louisville, KY.

Source: 21c Museum Hotels

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