VISIONARY—Nigel Parkinson stands in front of his nearly completed Hotel Indigo and plaza development in East Liberty, tentatively scheduled to open in late December or early January. (Photo by J.L. Martello)

In 2007, even before there was a Target on Penn Avenue in East Liberty, developer Nigel Parkinson looked at a group of abandoned buildings a block from the main thoroughfare and saw something entirely different—an attraction that would help inject a new vitality into the neighborhood.

“Back then nobody saw it—that vision,” he said, walking past workmen installing drywall in one hallway. “I had a vision to create a lifestyle, and Indigo liked that.”

Back then was also before the real estate debt bubble burst taking the broader market with it into deep recession and putting a hold on Parkinson’s financing.

Now, seven years later, his Hotel Indigo—a 135-room boutique hotel, built on the bones of four of those buildings now joined together—is nearing completion. If all goes according to plan, it will open for business in January, and perhaps even sooner.

Parkinson, whose construction firm does the bulk of its work in and around Washington, D.C., purchased a total of six building in 2007 for nearly $4 million, three of them; the Consad building, the Whitfield building, the Governors Hotel and a new edition will comprise the Indigo.

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