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Brokers fear criminal justice complex could harm downtown Indianapolis

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Creating a new criminal justice complex outside of downtown Indianapolis will mean big changes for the Mile Square, and some real estate brokers think the transition will be painful.

The southeast quadrant of downtown will lose criminal courts, two jails, prosecutors' and public defenders' offices, community corrections offices, and possibly bail bondsmen and criminal-practice lawyers’ offices. Mayor Greg Ballard’s deputies believe developers will readily fill the void, but real estate brokers for office space are worried.

Downtown constituents heard both views Thursday afternoon in a forum presented by Indianapolis Downtown Inc.

“I believe there’s going to be an infill effect between Angie’s List and downtown,” Kurt Fullbeck, Ballard's senior policy advisor for economic development, told the small gathering at The Platform office space, next door to City Market. The Angie's List corporate campus is located along East Washington Street, just east of Interstates 65 and 70.

“People want to be downtown," Fullbeck said. "It’s coming slower than the brokers would like.”

While demand for downtown apartments is strong, the office market is anemic. The vacancy rate is more than 21 percent, and 2013 was the fifth year in a row of negative absorption rates, said Jon Owens, managing director at Cassidy Turley, who sat on the panel with Fullbeck.

Owens noted that the market has added no new, leasable office space in 20 years.  

Lawyers are a big factor in the current market. Two office buildings, the Gold Building and 251 E. Ohio St., would take major hits with the exodus of the public defenders' and prosecutors' offices, Owens said.

Fullbeck pointed out that it will take three years to build out the criminal justic complex, which Ballard has recommended situating on the former General Motors stamping plant site west of the White River. That would provide time to work with the owners of the Gold Building and 251 E. Ohio St., he said.

Fullbeck said the request for proposals from developers, due out this month, will not include office space for the Marion County prosecutor and public defender. That space will be built under a separate procurement process, which he said will allow the developer to decide whether to build additional leasable space for other users, such as jail-service providers.

Office real estate brokers aren’t the only ones who are worried. City Market has become a thriving hub for food vendors, thanks largely to lunchtime foot traffic from the City-County Building and other offices that house criminal justice-related functions.

“We have experienced a certain renaissance. We want to know the recuperation plan and the back-fill plan, because it does drive a lot of the market,” said Stevie Stoesz, City Market manager.

Gus Miller of Olympia Asset Management said he wouldn't mind seeing the offices of Marion County Community Corrections, which works with people on home detention, depart downtown. But if civil courts eventually move, too, that could upset the downtown “ecosystem,” he said.

“Savory, unsavory, whatever the characters are, they’re spending money downtown,” said Rick Trimpe, vice president at CBRE, who represents the owners of the Gold Building and 251 E. Ohio St.
 

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  • WAKE UP!!!
    Am I the only one who sees that the City is essentially giving away the MSA site AND giving millions to build new buildings on the site when this site would be the perfect place for the Justice Complex? Across from City-County, check; keeping it centrally located, check, etc. It's my understanding that the GM site must be purchased by the City from Motors Liquidation Company. STOP WASTING WHAT WE ALREADY HAVE AND OUR TAX DOLLARS! The Ballard Administration has not been known for it's common sense...never voted for him and never will!

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  1. Wishing Mary Willis only God's best, and superhuman strength, as she attempts to right a ship that too often strays far off course. May she never suffer this personal affect, as some do who attempt to change a broken system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QojajMsd2nE

  2. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  3. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  4. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  5. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

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