The city of Indianapolis announced April 25 that it is asking development teams to use part of the former GM Stamping Plant property west of downtown in its proposals for a new criminal justice center.
The city had already designated the property as its preferred site in March, but finalized the decision after receiving more input.
“After hosting six public meetings, consulting with dozens of stakeholders, and upon the unanimous recommendation of key users of the facility, the city today informed pre-qualified development teams to begin design of a new Marion County Justice Center on approximately 40 acres in the northwestern corner of the GM Stamping Plant location,” the Mayor’s Office said in a prepared statement.
The project, which will replace existing facilities in disparate locations in the southeast quadrant of downtown, could cost as much as $500 million.
The three development teams have been asked to design plans that include 34 criminal court/hearing rooms and offices for the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and the Probation Department.
The center is expected to include a 3,500-bed detention facility (an increase of 1,100 beds from current capacity), 750 community correction beds (a 250-bed increase), 1,500 parking spaces and room for future expansion.
Ballard's team chose the GM property from a list of 14 potential sites, some suggested by the administration and others identified by a consultant, Gordon Hendry of CBRE. Using city-imposed criteria, Hendry analyzed and ranked each property.
An airport property southeast of Raceway Road and West Washington Street received the top rating, and the GM site had the second-highest score.
The city said the GM site is the preferred location of the Marion County Sheriff, Superior Court Executive Committee, Superior Court Criminal Term, Circuit Court, Prosecutor, Public Defender, Community Corrections, and Indianapolis Bar Association.
“The City appreciates the input received from many people and three decades of study on this project,” Mayor Greg Ballard said in a prepared statement. “The many stakeholders of this facility agree the GM site offers better access for the general public, can be developed at less cost, and will produce significant private development opportunities in the surrounding area.”
The GM property is owned by a court-created entity, the RACER Trust, which is responsible for cleaning up contamination and finding new uses. RACER officials say they’ve received five development proposals but won’t disclose details.
The city would use 40 acres in the northwest corner of the 110-acre site, leaving the land that overlooks the White River open to another developer.