Elevator Hill announcements bring Indy’s tech pockets to the fore
Pockets of tech company concentrations throughout Greater Indianapolis continue to grow and thrive. Some emerged organically around amenities, attractions and anchor tenants, and some came about by design.
There’s no mistaking the impact that the tech ecosystem’s creative, innovative workforce can have on an area. Whether it’s downtown proper, Fletcher Place, Fountain Square or Monon 16, or farther north to Broad Ripple, Fort Ben, Downtown Fishers or Carmel Arts District, tech workers bring with them a cultural appetite that’s proven to be transformational.
The Union 525, for example, was a fairly risky and radical idea for the Indianapolis market when it was launched in 2017. Its success, however, has been undeniable and it’s operated at nearly 100% occupancy from the beginning. Now, the investor partners behind the tech incubator are adding an additional 67,000 square feet in a new building next door.
Elevator Hill embraces past to build future
Out of the former Angie’s List headquarters has sprung a host of new, transformational opportunities. When investor (and Angie’s List co-founder) Bill Oesterle bought the area following Angie’s List’s departure, his goal was to refill it with creative talent and a mix of impactful tenants.
The campus, known as Elevator Hill, has since made steady progress toward that goal with announced tenants including Ball State University’s R. Wayne Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning, the Indy Gaming League, and fast-growing marketplace retailer SupplyKick, a “Best of Tech” Scale-up of the Year Mira Award winner. TechPoint has learned of more tech and tech-enabled companies that are planning to move to Elevator Hill, but they do not yet have signed leases.
“Growth companies–especially tech companies–looking for a new home will probably be attracted to the storied early headquarters of both Angie’s List and ExactTarget, two of the city’s high-profile, homegrown tech successes,” said Matt Waggoner, managing director for JLL, a commercial real estate broker in Indianapolis.
ExactTarget co-founders Scott Dorsey and Chris Baggott confirmed that the company was indeed located in a building that’s now part of Elevator Hill facing Washington Street circa late 2001 through 2002. The company moved to the Morrison Opera Place building briefly before landing at its most well-known location in 2005 on Monument Circle in the Guaranty Building.
Of course, ExactTarget is now Salesforce located in Salesforce Tower on Monument Circle, and Angie’s List is nine blocks west in the heart of downtown occupying 100,000 square feet of shimmering new headquarters, still facing Washington Street and still bringing vibrancy to its surroundings with its workforce and culture.
“I think Elevator Hill will attract more tech companies like SupplyKick because high growth companies need an ‘easy button’ that comes with flexibility and understanding. The fact that Angie’s List left 95% of the campus recently refurbished and fully furnished is appealing for obvious reasons, along with shorter term leases and free parking,” said Matt.
New tenants open doors to increased community involvement
The Elevator Hill campus took a large leap forward this week when Ball State’s CAP: INDY center celebrated its grand opening in the Glass Building. The College of Architecture and Planning moved its Indy extension into Elevator Hill earlier this year and hosts several academic programs as well as the new Center for Civic Design. While the center will initially serve about 30 students, the university has big plans to expand its academic footprint and its engagement with community partners in this exciting new tech pocket or micro-market.
During the grand opening, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said: “There’s a possibility of even more degree programs moving to this area and to this particular campus, and that is music to my ears. I am thrilled to welcome Ball State’s CAP: INDY to its new home here on the Near Eastside. I am especially happy to welcome the Center for Civic Design as an additional way to collaborate on the planning and responsible development of our neighborhoods.
“Now that the Elevator Hill area has found another big tenant to occupy this building, I think we can all agree the Near Eastside is stronger today than it was yesterday. It’s stronger this week than it was last week, and I am absolutely convinced that the Near Eastside will be stronger tomorrow.”
SupplyKick has already relocated its warehousing operations to Elevator Hill, and the rest of the company is expected to follow suit before the end of the year. According to company officials the new space should enable the company to expand even faster.
“As we continue to grow, we realized that we were running out of space. We wanted to find an office space that would foster company culture, growth and allow us to better serve our partners. We also wanted to have adjoining office and warehouse space for us to grow into,” said Peter Lazarz, VP of Marketing at SupplyKick. “Elevator Hill offers the amenities–meeting spaces, outdoor spaces, parking, and gym–that will help us attract talent and grow the business.”