The New Downtown: A Guide to CityWay

This ever-expanding downtown hotspot grew from a parcel of blacktop into one of the city’s most exciting mixed-use developments.
March 2016 Cover - The New Downtown

This article is part of

Indianapolis Monthly’s The New Downtown package, which includes a guide to five hotspots, a few big city problems, and a look at what’s next for the city. For more content on navigating the new downtown, click here.

Joni Mitchell famously sang about paving paradise to put up a parking lot. The reverse happened around South and Delaware streets: A parcel of blacktop became CityWay, a gleaming mixed-use development encompassing the Residences at CityWay, The Alexander hotel, a YMCA, and street-level businesses. Although some of its perks are a bit gimmicky—contemporary music is piped onto the sidewalks, for example—the 95-percent occupancy rate indicates that residents dig its Disney tendencies. (Or at least the 16 floorplan options, up to three bedroom/three-and-a-half bath.) With ground breaking on a seven-building addition later this year, the young-adult playground will grow even bigger by the end of the decade.

Who’s Moving InRunning

On-the-Go Urbanites – CityWay residents are varied, but they all prize their time. From relocating Lilly employees to seasoned downtown tech workers, they appreciate CityWay’s slavish devotion to making life convenient for them. Valet trash pickup, dry-cleaning pickup, room service from The Alexander’s kitchen, complimentary bike rentals, and other cushy amenities allow CityWay residents to spend their time on activities important to them (and quite often, that means working).

Just Passing Through

Yolk (220 E. South St.) does an amazing Pot Roast Benedict and red velvet–cake French toast. But there’s often a wait, so it might be worth your time to spend $24.95 next door for the decadent buffet at Market Table (333 S. Delaware St.).TravelHosting Out-of-towners
Even if your friends and family aren’t staying at The Alexander (333 S. Delaware St.), take them to see the hotel’s excellent art collection. Several pieces tell part of Indy’s backstory. The Madam C.J. Walker comb sculpture is a marvel. BoysNightBoys’ Night Out
Chef JJ Boston isn’t just a wizard with the Big Green Egg; he’s also a top-notch host. His downtown space (42 W. South St.) includes a rooftop garden where the sweet view pairs perfectly with the savory menu. Hit a Pacers game afterward.BreweryBrewery-Hopping
Any craft-beer tour worth its suds stops at Tow Yard Brewing Company (501 Madison Ave.). The Horse Power Double Pale packs hoppy punch, and the dry-rubbed Beer Can Wings rank among the best in the city.

The Madam C.J. Walker comb sculpture at The Alexander.

A Flirt’s Guide to CityWay

• The CityWay Bark Park on the north side of the property provides a surprisingly fertile breeding ground for meet-cute moments.

• The Alexander’s bar, Plat 99 (333 S. Delaware St.), is typically full of attractive people. If it’s an off night, you can always admire the beauty of renowned L.A. designer Jorge Pardo’s swarm of vivid pendant lamps.

• Happy Hour Thursdays (, a few blocks away on Georgia Street, allow residents to mix with other downtowners over cocktails in a laid-back, al fresco environment.

• The brand-new, glassed-in YMCA at CityWay (430 S. Alabama St.) offers a full slate of classes and sports leagues (such as five-on-five indoor soccer, called “futsal”)—a stimulating way to stay fit while meeting other singles.

The Obstacle

The Train Trestles – Bulky tracks with dark underpasses make pedestrians feel uneasy. While most residents regard them as a tolerable quirk of urban living, the trestles isolate CityWay from the action in the nearby Wholesale District and around Lucas Oil Stadium.