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Gathyr Apartments: A Harmonious Blend of History and Modernity

by: Jack Quigley
Photo courtesy of The Addison Group
Photo courtesy of The Addison Group
Photo courtesy of The Addison Group
Photo courtesy of The Addison Group
Photo courtesy of The Addison Group
Photo courtesy of The Addison Group
Photo courtesy of The Addison Group
Photo courtesy of The Addison Group
Photo courtesy of The Addison Group
Photo courtesy of The Addison Group
Photo courtesy of The Addison Group
Photo courtesy of The Addison Group
Photo courtesy of The Addison Group
Photo courtesy of The Addison Group
Photo courtesy of The Addison Group
Photo courtesy of The Addison Group
Photo courtesy of The Addison Group
Photo courtesy of The Addison Group
Photo courtesy of The Addison Group
Photo courtesy of The Addison Group
When Angie’s List vacated its 13.5-acre property on the near-eastside of Indianapolis five years ago, Holy Cross residents were left to wonder if the once-bustling campus in the heart of their neighborhood would ever recapture the allure it once had as one of downtown’s most attractive corporate destinations.

But while some viewed the abandoned Angie’s List campus as a daunting assortment of vacant buildings and empty surface lots after the company left town in 2018, Jeremy Stephenson, Managing Partner at 1820 Ventures saw opportunity.

“Elevator Hill has maintained a distinct character because it's been this unique corporate campus for many years,” Stephenson said. “And it’s still a part of this Holy Cross neighborhood. We thought this was a unique opportunity to think about stitching a neighborhood back together in a way.”

Gathyr Apartments, the flagship development for a reimagined Elevator Hill campus, redefines urban living with its unique blend of modern design, community spirit, and a nod to the historic Holy Cross Neighborhood. This $21 million project, situated on the 1100 block of East Market Street, occupies 0.71 acres within the 18-acre Elevator Hill Campus.

But Gathyr is more than just an apartment complex; it's a symbol of preserving a neighborhood's character while providing an inclusive and eclectic space for its residents. Gathyr marks a critical step in the creation of a new downtown district that hopes to soon rival nearby destinations like Bottleworks and Mass Ave.

Preserving the Holy Cross Neighborhood
Gathyr is meticulously designed to harmonize with the Holy Cross neighborhood, respecting its history and scale. The project team, led by Stephenson and DKGR architect John Albrecht, embraced the challenge of blending new construction with the historic buildings present in the area.
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“Paramount in the design process was being contextual to the neighborhood,” Albrecht said. “Holy Cross is a great, old, and prideful neighborhood, and we wanted Gathyr to be more pedestrian and neighborhood friendly as opposed to this big, powerful, commercial complex that drops into a neighborhood but doesn't respect what's already there.”

While the greater vision for Elevator Hill calls for the preservation of older structures such as the firehouse on Washington Street, Gathyr introduces a more contemporary aesthetic along Market Street. As the first new construction project to break ground at Elevator Hill, Gathyr incorporates design features that pay homage to existing architectural elements in the neighborhood.

“This project was more about preserving the scale and spirit of the neighborhood rather than preserving an actual structure,” Albrecht said. “Big, bold gable forms on the west façade of Gathyr are symbolic of the other forms and buildings in the area that we’re preserving.”

The design also draws inspiration from the old Anheuser Busch distributor near the railroad, infusing a touch of rustic charm into Gathyr's exterior architecture using COR-TEN steel.

Albrecht added, “We tried to use an unexpected mixture of furnishings, warm color tones, and big, broad windows off the sidewalk – along with a little grove of apple trees just to the west of the building that we preserved during construction, to make that first-floor space feel like you're sitting in a living room or a family room rather than just a nice luxury apartment.”

Gathyr's design is not just about preserving the neighborhood's visual character but also creating a sense of community. Residents can enjoy local products from Elevator Hill tenants, including Circle City Kombucha and Tinker Street coffee, within the apartment complex, fostering a stronger sense of connection to the neighborhood.

Creating Eclectic Spaces
Gathyr's interior spaces are designed to reflect the spirit of the Holy Cross neighborhood and pay homage to the late Bill Osterle, Former CEO and Founder of Angie's List, whose larger-than-life personality played a pivotal role in the development of Elevator Hill.

“Bill was a really close friend of mine. He had a very eclectic, fun, and engaging personality,” Stephenson said. “We wanted to incorporate the feel of what Bill helped establish into the interiors of Gathyr.”

Gathyr’s design incorporates a purposeful mishmash of elements, blending contemporary pieces with antique items to create a unique atmosphere. The project team even sourced furniture and art from the local Midland Arts & Antiques Market to introduce a historic feel into the modern living spaces.

Beyond just providing living spaces, Gathyr offers a variety of communal areas designed to encourage residents to connect. The building's public spaces include a wooden bar, cozy couches, study areas, and even hanging chairs with borrowed books – all designed to create a welcoming environment which promotes social interaction and community building.

A standout feature at Gathyr is its rooftop experience, which offers stunning and unique skyline views of Indianapolis. The rooftop provides panoramic views from east to west, allowing residents to enjoy the downtown skyline while still feeling part of the neighborhood.

"The roof deck is in the middle of the gable form that you see in the main entry corner of the building with openings,” Albrecht said, “so it's all very naturally lit with breezes and those vistas and views."

Envisioning the Future of Elevator Hill
Gathyr Apartments is not just a standalone project; it is part of a broader vision for Elevator Hill and the Holy Cross neighborhood's revitalization. The project represents the potential of Elevator Hill, an area that holds promise for a new district near downtown Indianapolis.

Albrecht highlighted the vision for Elevator Hill, saying, "It's really exciting. It could be a really great thing. A lot of people who are paying attention get that. But I think people who aren't fully paying attention maybe don't realize that.”

Albrecht added, “The fact that Elevator Hill as a whole is actually a bit larger than Bottleworks, and a bit closer to the city center than Bottleworks is, making it more visually connected, gives it that same level of potential as far as a new district near downtown."

In addition to Gathyr, 1820 Ventures, and DKGR are working alongside Elevator Hill architectural firm Meticulous on redeveloping the historic Cole Motor building on the Elevator Hill campus, transforming a vacant jail into a new space that honors the history of the site while bringing it into the future. The City of Indianapolis is also beginning to rebuild Market Street, with projects slated for completion in Fall of 2024 which feature widened sidewalks, added bike stations, and new utilities.

The Gathyr project is a testament to the power of strong relationships and collaboration in the real estate industry. Stephenson and Albrecht, with their years of experience and close friendship, have successfully brought Gathyr Apartments to life, and their vision extends to revitalizing Elevator Hill and Market Street, enhancing the vibrancy of the entire neighborhood.

Gathyr Apartments offers more than just luxury living spaces; it is a celebration of the rich history of the Holy Cross neighborhood and the promise of a bright future for Elevator Hill in downtown Indianapolis. As the city continues to grow and evolve, Gathyr stands as a beacon of hope and connection, a testament to the potential of urban development done right.

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