Official declines to rule out airport location for Criminal Justice Complex

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Marion Superior judges Monday heard an update on a proposed Criminal Justice Complex, and one asked if “we can put to rest” speculation that the courts and jail would move to a site at Indianapolis International Airport.

“As far as location, no decision has been made,” David Rosenberg, director of enterprise development for the city, responded during a meeting of the general term gathering of Marion Superior Court judges.

But the airport site emerges as the recommended site in a market survey of 14 potential sites conducted for the city by the real-estate services firm CBRE.

“Given criteria outlined previously and the site specific pros and cons, and pursuant to a scoring matrix – it is CBRE’s recommendation that the Indianapolis International Airport be identified as the preferred site for the Criminal Justice Complex.”

The site identified is 35 acres on the airport fringe near West Washington Street, east of Raceway Road. CBRE said the site’s strengths include current control by a municipal corporation, immediate availability and room for future expansion. Its location far from the city center is the chief weakness listed, and the survey notes the development could require approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.

CBRE also evaluated these other sites as a potential location for the Criminal Justice Complex, listing pros and cons for each:

  •     Lafayette Square Mall north of West 38th Street on Lafayette Road
  •     A strip mall site south of Lafayette Square Mall at 3749 Commercial Drive
  •     City-owned South Grove Golf Course at 1800 W. 18th St.
  •     The former Indiana Women’s Prison, now a reentry educational facility, at East New York Street and Randolph streets
  •     The former RCA/Thomson Consumer Electronics site at 604 N. Sherman Drive
  •     The Citizen’s Coke Plant at 2900 Prospect St.
  •     Various commercial properties at Interstate 465 and Pendleton Pike
  •     The former Eastgate Mall site at 401 N. Shadeland Drive
  •     The former Ford Visteon plant at 6900 English Ave.
  •     60 acres near the Marion County Fairgrounds at the northeast corner of Southeastern Avenue and Five Points Road
  •     153 acres north of Southeastern Avenue east of Arlington Avenue
  •     43 acres near Kentucky Avenue and Camby Road
  •     The former General Motors Stamping Plant, 340 S. White River Parkway West Drive.

The CBRE study said it would provide a “backup” preferred site if the city requested. CBRE noted the survey was preliminary and no property owners had been contacted as part of its analysis.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, Marion County Sheriff John Layton and other city and county officials announced plans for a Criminal Justice Complex in December. The initial responses to requests for qualifications from potential developers are due Feb. 11, and Rosenberg told judges the city expected “solid teams from all over the world” to reply.

But some attorneys who practice in the criminal courts aren’t sold on an airport site.

A lawyer who attended a recent presentation to the Indianapolis Bar Association said most preferred the stamping plant location as a site for a Criminal Justice Complex.

The former GM Stamping Plant site is the second-highest scoring of the 14 that CBRE rated on a scoring matrix.

CBRE graded each site on a scale of 1 to 10 for size, location, use, access, speed to development, limitations and impact. The site near the Marion County Fairgrounds ranked third, closely followed by the South Grove Golf Course site and the other site near the fairgrounds along Southeastern Avenue. The former Indiana Women’s Prison site rated lowest.

Marion Superior Executive Committee Chairman Judge David Certo said judges want to understand the needs of the practicing bar but also said the IndyBar for years has been calling for development of a criminal justice complex.

“There are always tradeoffs,” Certo said. “Nobody has offered White River State Park” as a potential site.

The complex is meant to consolidate Marion County Jail facilities, criminal courts, prosecutor, public defender, probation and other court-affiliate public offices that currently are spread around downtown Indianapolis into a central location.

It’s unclear how much a proposed complex could cost, but officials have said the reduction in duplication of services and efficiencies that would be gained would allow for construction of the site without a tax increase.

The request for qualifications sets out parameters for the complex, calling for total construction of facilities covering 1.4 million square feet, or roughly the size of seven to eight typical Wal-Mart Supercenters.

A timeline for the project calls for the City-County Council to receive a proposal from the selected developer in September with groundbreaking early next year and opening in late 2018.

“The process appears to be moving quickly,” Certo said.  


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.