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Official declines to rule out airport location for Criminal Justice Complex

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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.  
 

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  1. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

  2. If justice is not found in a court room, it's time to clean house!!! Even judges are accountable to a higher Judge!!!

  3. The small claims system, based on my recent and current usage of it, is not exactly a shining example of justice prevailing. The system appears slow and clunky and people involved seem uninterested in actually serving justice within a reasonable time frame. Any improvement in accountability and performance would gain a vote from me. Speaking of voting, what do the people know about judges and justice from the bench perspective. I think they have a tendency to "vote" for judges based on party affiliation or name coolness factor (like Stoner, for example!). I don't know what to do in my current situation other than grin and bear it, but my case is an example of things working neither smoothly, effectively nor expeditiously. After this experience I'd pay more to have the higher courts hear the case -- if I had the money. Oh the conundrum.

  4. My dear Smith, I was beginning to fear, from your absense, that some Obrien of the Nanny State had you in Room 101. So glad to see you back and speaking truth to power, old chum.

  5. here is one from Reason magazine. these are not my words, but they are legitimate concerns. http://reason.com/blog/2010/03/03/fearmongering-at-the-splc quote: "The Southern Poverty Law Center, which would paint a box of Wheaties as an extremist threat if it thought that would help it raise funds, has issued a new "intelligence report" announcing that "an astonishing 363 new Patriot groups appeared in 2009, with the totals going from 149 groups (including 42 militias) to 512 (127 of them militias) -- a 244% jump." To illustrate how dangerous these groups are, the Center cites some recent arrests of right-wing figures for planning or carrying out violent attacks. But it doesn't demonstrate that any of the arrestees were a part of the Patriot milieu, and indeed it includes some cases involving racist skinheads, who are another movement entirely. As far as the SPLC is concerned, though, skinheads and Birchers and Glenn Beck fans are all tied together in one big ball of scary. The group delights in finding tenuous ties between the tendencies it tracks, then describing its discoveries in as ominous a tone as possible." --- I wonder if all the republicans that belong to the ISBA would like to know who and why this outfit was called upon to receive such accolades. I remember when they were off calling Trent Lott a bigot too. Preposterous that this man was brought to an overwhelmingly republican state to speak. This is a nakedly partisan institution and it was a seriously bad choice.

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