You may have been walking on Mass Ave and seen it. You may have been driving in your car on I-70, glanced to the right, and seen it. That is right, I am talking about the old Coca-Cola Bottling Company building on Massachusetts Avenue. This Great Depression-era building oozes with Art Deco elegance, from its posh terra cotta exterior to its dazzling circular marble staircase. This 1931 building is now owned by Hendricks Commercial Properties, an entity yearning to rework and repurpose this Indianapolis gem.
Over the years, the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. building has undergone many changes. The property was originally owned by Lee E. and James S. Yuncker. In 1931, they decided to build the main building with the help of the Indianapolis design firm, Rubush and Hunter. Rubush and Hunter, at the time, were well known for designing Indianapolis landmarks such as the Colombia Club and the Circle Theatre, better known as the Hilbert Circle Theatre. The bottling plant continued to grow throughout the years and at one point was considered, “the largest Coca-Cola bottling plant in the world.”
The story did not end there however. In 1964, James S. Yunker died and the plant came under the ownership of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The plant moved to the West side of town and owner Tony Hulman stored his vintage automobiles in the Coca-Cola plant. In 1968, the plant again changed ownership, but this time to Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS). IPS used the plant for a variety of functions over the years including: school bus storage, IPS Service Center, and the central kitchen for school sack lunches. Finally, Hendricks Commercial Properties acquired the building in 2017 with the purpose of creating the Bottleworks District.
What will this repurposing encompass you ask? Picture a 30,000-square foot food hall, 175,729 square feet of office space, a 146-key hotel, and 143,340 square feet of retail space, 227 residential units and an eight-screen movie theater. Bottleworks was designed with the goal of creating a build-your-own experience. A focal point of the experience will be the grand food hall, named “The Garage.” This former garage will house an artisan market of sorts, featuring local, “chefs and craftsmen,” vendors. If entertainment is what you are craving, you could always mosey on over to the movie theater that will show local and internationally acclaimed films. Of course, there will be a myriad of retail shops poised to tickle your fancy along the way. If you are interested in staying at Bottleworks, you could either stay at the hotel operated by West Elm or buy/rent within the residential units. If that was not enough, you could also work in Bottleworks, with plenty of office space available.
The Bottleworks team has already begun to break ground on the project and construction is underway. As Bottleworks always says, “Fill Every Moment;” we, at F.C. Tucker certainly hope they do!
If you are interested in more information concerning any aspect of Bottleworks, visit their website at: https://www.bottleworksdistrict.com/.