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“Maker” Movement Bringing Life Back to Warehouse Districts

Reposted from The Urban Land Institute “Small is beautiful,” that glib 1970s catchphrase, today could be applied to the “maker movement” that is helping transform dilapidated urban industrial zones throughout North America. From Detroit-based Shinola to craft breweries, artisanal food producers, and bespoke jewelry crafters nearly everywhere, modern small-scale manufacturing is breathing new life into long-abandoned warehouses and factories. In a 2015 ULI Fall Meeting session moderator Ilana Preuss of Recast City remarked that it’s “cool to make stuff again.” Small-scale manufacturers are creating jobs with minimal educational requirements and wages that are double those in the service and retail sectors. “They are bringing life to the streets, tapping local power, helping economic resilience, and increasing the value of surrounding properties,” she noted. The new maker movement is having a significant impact in postindustrial Midwest cities like Indianapolis, which has lost some 18,000 auto manufacturing jobs and caused some 8,000 families to abandon their homes. Indiana University’s Adam Thies, who worked until recently as the city’s director of metropolitan development, described the ongoing redevelopment of the Circle City Industrial Complex (CCIC). This 500,000-square-foot (46,500 sq m) structure was built during the 1920s to house the Schwitzer Corporation, an auto parts manufacturer. After the plant closed in the 1960s, parts of it were repurposed to accommodate nonindustrial uses. Click here to read the full article

Photos: Before the Redevelopment

In just a few short weeks, the CCIC will launch its much talked-about redevelopment plan targeting the building's vacant southern tip. This part of the CCIC--more than 120,000 square feet of vacant and condemned warehouse--is the oldest portion of the building, constructed in the early 1920s by Louis Schwitzer, automobile engineer and racing royalty. For decades, this space was bustling with activity, with hundreds of employees producing cooling fans, super chargers, rubber seals, and more on the factory's expansive floor. Today, the space is dark and quiet. The roof has holes, broken glass litters the floors, the remaining windows have collected so much graffiti that they look like stained glass. Still, there's something in here that echoes the building's storied past--remnants of the people and things that once occupied these spaces. (photos by Rachel Ferguson)
sign
Old department sign in upstairs office space.
Light filters in through saw tooth roof in abandoned warehouse
Light filters in through saw tooth roof in abandoned warehouse
"Restricted Area" notice in stairwell
"Restricted Area" notice in stairwell
Colorful graffiti on sawtooth windows
Colorful graffiti on sawtooth windows
A monolithic red door marks the end of public access and the entrance to the soon-to-be redeveloped space
A monolithic red door marks the end of public access and the entrance to the soon-to-be redeveloped space
Water pools beneath a section of broken roof in upstairs offices
Water pools beneath a section of broken roof in upstairs offices

Pogues Run Trail: Connecting Indy’s Near Eastside

500 Feet. 500 feet is a two-minute walk. At an average pace, 500 feet doesn’t burn the calories contained in a single stick of gum; and yet, when Teagen Development purchased the Circle City Industrial Complex, we knew that tiny distance might prove to be a big obstacle. Why? Because 500 feet is the approximate distance between the Circle City Industrial Complex and the confluence of the Cultural Trail and the Monon Trail. From the beginning of our work on this project, we asked ourselves: how do we encourage walkers and bikers to trek that extra .01 mile off the beaten path to visit the CCIC? Our answer came earlier this year in the form of the Pogue’s Run Trail- a walking and biking path designed to connect downtown to some of the great parks and attractions the Near Eastside has to offer, such as IndyParks, Spades Park, Brookside Park, and, of course, the CCIC. Though these attractions were technically walkable and bikeable previously, we have seen time and again (for example, in places like Mass Ave and Fountain Square) that creating a designated pedestrian trail encourages new visitors and promotes vibrant communities where businesses can thrive. While the new trail doesn’t guarantee the success of the CCIC’s pending redevelopment plans, it does make our job of enticing new visitors to make that 500-foot journey much, much easier. Phase 1 of the Pogues Run project is scheduled to begin this week and traffic pylons are already out on Brookside to make way for workers. Construction will extend from 10th and Massachusetts Avenue to 10th and Brookside, then northeast on Brookside Avenue to the Commerce Street bridge over Pogues Run. Work should be completed by September 1st.
trail
A map of the construction area and new trail.
Here are a few things you should know about the construction:
  • Traffic on Brookside Avenue will be restricted to a single lane (closest to the CCIC) during the work. Because this lane is directly adjacent to the CCIC sidewalk, please watch your speed if you are driving and watch for cars if you are walking.
  • The CCIC parking lot will be open as usual. Be aware of workers and construction vehicles when pulling in and out.
  • There will be NO PARKING OR STOPPING in the one remaining travel lane. Violators will be towed immediately.
  • The trail team is conscious of the fact that the CCIC is a commercial building with functioning truck docks. Trucks will still have access to the docks along Brookside during construction. Please contact us if you have any concerns about truck access.
We’re excited about this project and the great benefits it will bring to the CCIC and Near Eastside. Stay tuned for additional updates!

Teagen Announces Major Changes for the Circle City Industrial Complex

Teagen Development has announced significant redevelopment plans for the Circle City Industrial Complex (CCIC), located at the intersection of 10th Street and Massachusetts Avenue on the city’s Near Eastside. Teagen is in the process of acquiring the 539,000 square foot property, which currently houses a combination of artists, small businesses, and industrial users. The complex has faced stability issues in previous years, due in part to the 120,000 square feet of vacant and unusable space in the building’s southern end. “Our plan is to redevelop that southern end into viable real estate once again.” says Teagen president, Larry Jones. “We will turn the unused infrastructure into a place where small businesses, retailers, and restaurants can thrive.” Due to begin construction this spring, redevelopment plans include the creation of new light manufacturing, retail and restaurant space. The building’s 10th Street façade will receive a major facelift, including the addition of storefronts and a large patio area. The existing second floor will be transformed into prime office space with views of the downtown skyline. Additionally, a portion of the building will be demolished to create an access drive between Brookside Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue, additional parking, and new retail store frontage. before-after-1024x1024   City initiatives also afford the CCIC unique opportunities. A planned walking and biking path, the Pogue’s Run Trail, will bring foot traffic from the Monon Trail and Mass Ave to the CCIC’s doorstep. Redevelopment plans include an internal trail spur that will allow walkers and bikers to pass through the building to engage with the activities there. The redeveloped area’s anchor tenant will be a new 30,000 square foot maker space, Ruckus, founded by Riley Area Development Corporation in partnership with People for Urban Progress and Pattern, a fashion community advocate. Ruckus will provide small manufacturers and entrepreneurs access to high-end wood shop, metal shop, CNC, and photography equipment on a membership basis. The space will also feature a co-working and event area. “The goal of the maker space is to lower the barriers of entry for inventors, designers, craftsmen, and engineers to bring their creation to market,” says Riley’s executive director, Eric Strickland. “Ruckus is part of a national Maker Movement that is boosting small businesses and accelerating innovation in product development and small scale manufacturing.” Pattern director Polina Osherov anticipates increased opportunities for Central Indiana’s fashion community with the opening of the new maker space. “Once Ruckus is up and running, the goal is to incubate small fashion makers and eventually attract a larger fabrication shop known as a “cut-and-sew facility” to the building,” she says. “I don’t have any idea how big it will be, but the Makerspace will really build traffic and demand for a facility that can stay open year round, be busy, and be profitable.” The Circle City Industrial Complex establishes the gateway to the Mass Ave/Brookside Industrial Corridor, 480 +/- acres of urban industrial development northeast of downtown. With the decline of manufacturing in recent decades, many of the buildings in this area have been plagued by vacancy, underutilization and deteriorating infrastructure. The corridor was the focus of a 2014 Urban Land Institute (ULI) Daniel Rose Center panel study in cooperation with the City of Indianapolis, resulting in recommendations for comprehensive redevelopment strategies. The panel also helped shape redevelopment plans for the CCIC. View the entire redevelopment plan online at www.teagen.com/press About Teagen Development Teagen Development specializes in innovative urban redevelopment projects in Downtown Indianapolis. Since its inception in 1990, Teagen Development has focused on the restoration and revitalization of downtown neighborhoods through creative re-use. By keeping a pulse on efforts by individuals, neighborhood groups, and the City of Indianapolis, Teagen has been at the forefront of development in some of the city’s most vibrant areas: Massachusetts Avenue, Chatham Arch, Fountain Square, and most recently, the Mass Ave/Brookside Industrial Corridor. More information at www.teagen.com

Indianapolis Business Journal: Sprawling Cottage Home industrial complex attracts buyer

Published 1/20/15 - IBJ.com by Scott Olson A local developer has agreed to buy a large industrial complex near Massachusetts Avenue and plans to convert part of the building into retail and restaurant space. Teagan Development Inc. is buying the 539,000-square-foot building from the National Bank of Indianapolis and expects to take possession within a few months, company President Larry Jones said. Known as the Circle City Industrial Complex, the sprawling property is bounded by Brookside and Massachusetts avenues near 10th Street. The area, which serves as the entrance to the Cottage Home neighborhood, is beginning to experience a rebirth, thanks to a couple of residential projects. “This building and this location have the bones for what I call the next overnight sensation,” Jones said. “It’s an area where the residents of Cottage Home have put 25-plus years into turning that neighborhood around.” READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT IBJ.COM