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May. 17, 2013

Whitsett Plans to Convert 190,000 SF Former Indianapolis Star HQ into Apartments

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

The Whitsett Group is planning to redevelop the Indianapolis Star’s downtown headquarters into apartments. According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, the company has recently acquired the 190,000-square-foot property at 307 N. Pennsylvania Street and its 500-space parking garage from Star’s parent company, Virginia-based Gannett Co. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Dubbed Pulliam Square, the mixed-use redevelopment project will bring 500 apartments contained in three buildings, along with a small retail component. Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf Architects is in charge with the plan’s preliminary design. Construction is expected to begin next summer, once the newspaper finalizes its move to a smaller location downtown.

Upon completion, Whitsett’s project will become one of the largest residential developments in downtown Indianapolis. According to Tikijian Associates, the 525-unit Riley Towers currently ranks as the area’s largest apartment complex, followed by Lockefield Gardens (493 units) and The Gardens on Canal Court (421 units).

In other news, the Indianapolis Business Journal reports that Eli Lilly and Co. has sold the Rolls-Royce Meridian Center in downtown Indianapolis to American Realty Capital for a reported $90 million. The complex had been on the market for about a year.

“The firm was interested in the property due to its long-term lease and high-quality tenant, and it’s in a central business location,” Lilly spokesman Ed Sagebiel told the newspaper.

Located on South Meridian Street, the building is fully occupied by aircraft engine maker Rolls Royce Corp. The company signed a long-term lease for the 405,000-square-foot property in March 2011 and invested about $20 million in renovations.

Formerly known as the Faris Campus, the Rolls-Royce Meridian Center offers more than 320,000 square feet of office space, a 48,000-square-foot fitness center, a cafeteria, a conference center and more than 2,000 parking spaces. In 2001, Lilly invested $58 million to develop the complex.

Photo credits: Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf Architects

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