The city has reached a preliminary agreement to lease 12,600 square feet in the basement of Union Station for a new restaurant and nightclub. The lease is with The Arantee Group, one of the owners of 6 Lounge & Restaurant on Meridian Street. The new club would take space in the basement of Union Station along Illinois Street. The space, last occupied by Iron Horse, has been vacant 12 years, said Mary Hauser, an asset manager with Browning Investments. Browning is the listing agent and property manager for the 231,000-square-foot Union Station, which is now 95 percent occupied. The preliminary deal calls for up to $300,000 in landlord improvements and a 10-year lease that averages $10.30 per square foot.
Two years ago, the ATC fined The Arantee Group for four violations at the 6 Lounge related to impermissible alcohol sales and violating restaurant/food services requirements. Dare I ask who owns The Arantee Group? And isn't it about time the City unloaded Union Station and sold it to a private developer?
UPDATE: The Star is reporting that The Arantee Group wants to operate a "private bar and restaurant" in this publicly-owned building. Sound familiar? Jeff Swiatek writes:
A private bar and restaurant may open in the basement of Indianapolis' Union Station.
Operators calling themselves Arantee Group propose to lease 12,600 square feet underneath the grand hall. The space has been vacant since the Iron Horse moved out 12 years ago.
"They want to use it as a private facility" that probably wouldn't open to the public, said Jo Lynn Garing, a spokeswoman for the Indianapolis Bond Bank, which handles leasing in the city-owned station complex.
The city Metropolitan Development Commission is scheduled to vote today on authorizing the bond bank to spend up to $300,000 to renovate the basement space for the new use.Arantee Group's main partner is nightclub operator Ravi Arantee, said Garing.
The historic train station was converted into a festival marketplace in the mid-1980s and has experienced a series of ups and downs. Most of the former retail space is now leased for office use and a banquet hall. Events held this decade include the 2001 World Police and Fire Games.