Indianapolis to pay $4.2M for land to build justice center

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The city of Indianapolis has taken a major step toward building the $572 million criminal justice center in the Twin-Aire neighborhood where the Citizens Energy coke plant once stood.

Mayor Joe Hogsett announced Monday morning that the city has agreed to purchase from Citizens the 140-acre property on the southeast side for a total of $4.2 million.

The city will buy outright certain parcels for $2.1 million and lease others for an additional $2.1 million, taking full ownership once Citizens completes environmental remediation work.

The plant produced coke, a solid carbon material that once was used as fuel, until it closed in 2007. It opened in 1909.

Hogsett, who made the announcement at the Florence Fay School Senior Apartments on nearby English Avenue, said the justice center will be a catalyst not only for the Twin-Aire neighborhood but the entire community.

“The complex that we build will reflect how we value the very well-being of every citizen,” Hogsett said. “And we will build it with one purpose in mind: ensuring that justice in our community is served. And second, that those in need of our help, will indeed receive it.”

The land, at 2950 Prospect St., is now known as Pleasant Run Crossing due to its proximity to Pleasant Run Creek.

City officials expect construction to begin in the summer with completion in 2021.

In July, the City-County Council approved a resolution to pay for up to $20 million in planning and design costs associated with building the new criminal justice center.

City officials this week expect to release a request for qualifications to select a construction team.

Besides remediating the site, Citizens said it will plant more than 1,000 trees on the property. Also, sewage overflow that runs into Pleasant Run Creek will be eliminated as part of the utility’s DigIndy project, a $2 billion investment to improve waterways.

The DigIndy tunnel system is a 28-mile-long network of tunnels being built 250 feet below ground to eliminate sewer overflows to area waterways by 2025.  

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