Home Publisher's Point of View CityWay Project Extends Beyond the Alexander Hotel

CityWay Project Extends Beyond the Alexander Hotel


Developers with an interest in green mixed-use development should follow the $155 million, 14-acre CityWay project in downtown Indianapolis. The project spans eight blocks of former Eli Lilly parking lots and includes the 209-room Alexander Hotel, apartments, office space and restaurants. A YMCA fitness facility also is planned. The boutique hotel, which will qualify for LEED certification, is being developed by Buckingham Companies in partnership with the City of Indianapolis, State of Indiana, Eli Lilly and Co., and the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis. The Alexander, an art hotel, will be managed by Dolce Hotels and Resorts and filled with art commissioned by the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Unique to this project is its “green neighborhood” approach to development, unlike many hotel projects that are green islands in “brown” developments. The CityWay neighborhood will offer plentiful green space, energy and water efficiency, a recycling program, enhanced indoor environmental quality, carpooling and electric vehicle support. CityWay is within walking distance of many of Indianapolis’ largest employers and cultural districts. The buildings have been designed to maximize the use of natural light, and pedestrian pathways will be provided, including a connection to the Indianapolis Cultural Trail.

Water efficient fixtures will reduce hotel water use by more than 20 percent. LED light fixtures, energy efficient appliances and occupancy controls will reduce energy consumption. Where possible, the project has used local resources to reduce the environmental impacts resulting from transportation of building materials. Low-emitting materials, including adhesives, paints and flooring, will ensure a high level of indoor air quality (IAQ). A sophisticated carbon-dioxide monitoring system will also add to IAQ.

Cistern Will Collect Rainwater

Through the installation of a storm water collection system, CityWay will reduce storm water runoff, as well as virtually eliminate the need to use potable water for landscape irrigation. The hotel roof drain system will collect in a 2,500 gallon cistern that will be used to irrigate vegetation throughout the hotel site. In addition, any storm water on the site that is not reused or infiltrated through the use of rain gardens will be treated and discharged directly into Pogue’s Run, a dedicated City storm water system, thereby reducing the impact on the City’s combined sewer system.

CityWay will integrate an easily-accessible recycling program for paper, corrugated cardboard, glass, plastics and metals in multiple locations throughout the community. Furthermore, sustainable practices are being used during construction, such as reusing crushed concrete and asphalt from the former parking lot and on-site demolition as clean backfill and base for the new building foundations. During excavation of the site, chunks of limestone used in old building foundations were uncovered. These will be used to build retaining walls and decorative landscaping.

As mentioned, the Alexander will be rich with art. The chairwoman of contemporary art at the Indianapolis Museum of Art has commissioned art for the public spaces of the hotel. In exchange Buckingham Companies will pay the museum a curatorial fee of $350,000. One artist will provide a colorful LED sculpture for the plaza outside. Another has been commissioned to create a bird-themed sculpture from cut-up vinyl LPs. More than 20 artists will be represented.

CityWay will provide new jobs—2,800 temporary and permanent—and have an economic impact of $350 million during its first five years.

CityWay is a win-win for the environment, the local Indianapolis hotel community, and the Indianapolis economy as well. To learn more about the project, click here.

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