The Indianapolis Star is reportedly in negotiations with Simon Property Group to lease approximately half of the 210,000 square feet that has remained vacant since Nordstrom left the Circle Center Mall 2 years ago.
There is no doubt the move would represent an improvement over the current situation, even if it is not the improvement that many would prefer.
Ideally, the space would be filled by a new retailer. But if filling the space comes down to a choice between the IndyStar now and a more suitable retail tenant at some future point that may or may never come, then clearly the IndyStar wins.
Plans for the space reportedly include a newspaper-themed coffee shop on the first floor, in addition to a street-side video studio, exterior ticker board and electronic video. All of these would be welcomed improvement over the building’s stark appearance as it stands right now.
Under the proposed deal, the IndyStar would take the second and third floors, and maintain a small lobby on the first floor, with the remaining space leased out to Indianapolis restaurants and other merchants, including a drugstore, health club and various retailers.
The move would represent a radical departure for the Star, which has occupied its headquarters on Pennsylvania Street for over a century.
Karen Crotchfelt, president and publisher of Star Media, said, “The large floor plates would allow us to create an open and collaborative environment, bringing all our employees together for the common purpose of serving the community,” she said in a statement published Thursday in The Star. “The location would put us in the heart of Indianapolis and creates opportunities for events to interact with our readers. We are looking for a win-win-win situation — for our employees, our customers and Downtown.”
Simon will no doubt benefit from the daily presence of over 700 employees, all potential frequenters of the many local establishments that dot the downtown Indianapolis streets.
The IBJ recently reported that the The Whitsett Group, an Indianapolis-based developer, has plans to construct a mixed-use building on the Star’s soon-to-be-vacated campus at the corner of Delaware and New York streets, principal Joe Whitsett said. The development would consist of 3 new buildings which would house around 500 apartments in addition to retail space for businesses.