IBJ: InterContinental Hotel set to open this fall, bringing downtown another luxury lodging option

Mickey Shuey

More than a decade after acquiring the historic Illinois Building, developer Keystone Group is just months away from opening a 170-room InterContinental Hotel at the site, a project that will bring a fourth option in the luxury lodging category to downtown.

The $101 million project at 17 W. Market St. will include a rooftop bar with views of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument and just enough meeting space for executive events as well as smaller high-end weddings, fundraisers and social events.

The opening—expected to happen in October—will arrive more than six years after Keystone first proposed using the former office building for a hotel, and it follows years of starts and stops related to the pandemic as well as the company’s efforts to maintain the building’s historic significance.

Alexandra Miller, Keystone’s senior director of communications and public relations, said the company took the time to register the property as a landmark because “preserving the magnificence of the building was important to us.”

“Developing a luxury experience takes time, too,” she said. “Keystone took the time to deliver a top-of-the-line product and deliver it right. The pandemic and post COVID issues touched every industry and arguably hit hospitality the hardest.”

Built in 1925, the building is one of several on or near Monument Circle designed by Rubush and Hunter, one of the city’s top architectural firms in the early 20th century. Other prominent Rubush and Hunter buildings include the Columbia Club and the Circle Tower.

Keystone bought the property in 2013, after it was listed a Top 10 endangered property by Indiana Landmarks. The building—which had housed a food court on the ground floor and office space above—was emptied by previous owner HGD Mansur in 2002, leaving it without any tenants and no public plan for the space. Indiana Landmarks officials were worried at the time that the building might be torn down.

Three years after acquiring the building, Keystone secured Hyde Park Steakhouse and Giordano’s Pizza as ground-floor retail tenants. It was negotiating at the time to put a Canopy by Hilton hotel on the upper floors. But that deal fell through, clearing the way for Keystone to announce the InterContinental project in 2018.

At the same time, Keystone announced a redevelopment of the AT&T office tower at 220 N. Meridian St. Together, the projects were expected to cost $141 million, with $16.7 million contributed by the city through tax-increment financing.

Of that total, the Illinois Building was expected to cost about $61 million, with the remaining $80 million earmarked for the remake of the AT&T building into the 220 Meridian apartment tower, which opened its first apartments in 2022 and will be fully completed in 2025.

But the price of renovating the Illinois Building jumped as Keystone has sought to deliver what it expects will be the city’s most high-end hotel—and as prices increased during the construction delays.