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Indy's Bottleworks development continues despite pandemic

Bottleworks rendering.JPG
Posted at 11:28 PM, Jul 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-09 23:28:09-04

INDIANAPOLIS — After years of planning, work to turn the old Coca Cola bottling factory into something brand new is well underway. One piece of the project is preparing to open in the coming months.

"The development as a whole continues to make really great progress," Amy Isbell-Williams, Bottleworks Hotel's general manager, said.

Williams outlined what all the construction will look like when the project is finished.

"It's a 139-key boutique hotel. We'll have nine event spaces totalling over 12,000 square feet of meeting space," Williams said. "that also includes an urban air open courtyard, which is really neat. There's nothing like it in the city."

Indianapolis remains in the middle of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic which raises many new concerns and questions. Williams said the hotel is taking steps to make sure guests will be safe when they open.

"We're taking steps to make sure we can do mobile check-in. We are utilizing a service called Alive," Williams said. "Guests can text the front desk if they need something. They can put it outside the front door and it's a no-contact solution."

All of the businesses in the immediate area of the project are watching the work closely knowing their success will have a positive impact on the area.

"Overall, we thought it would be just a good location with a brand new hotel coming in," Jason Rice, manager of Moonshot Games on Mass Ave., said. "Gen Con is typically the biggest event we have here in Indianapolis. It brings tens of thousands of people. Those people usually book their hotels a year in advance as well."

Rice knows people going to Gen Con will flock to their store for board games and card games. Being situated across from the Bottleworks Hotel puts them in a prime spot.

"If the hotel comes along and if all the Bottleworks facilities open with everything they have planned there, that would be fantastic," Rice said. "Obviously, if they don't, things won't be as good. We're hoping to get by."

That's how many employees of businesses near the new hotel are feeling — cautiously optimistic as the pandemic continues.

Williams said the Bottleworks Hotel will be open toward the end of this year.

"They're going to bring them to that very east end of Mass Ave where maybe people aren't venturing that far but now it's going to be a landmark for people to come to," Williams said.

The Bottleworks Hotel, a food hall, movie theater, along with retail and office space are the first phase of the $300 million Bottleworks District project.