City picks former GM site for new criminal justice complex

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The city of Indianapolis announced Friday 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.



  • The CCB couldn't contain the Jail, the Court, the Prosecutors, and the Public Defenders.
    Susan, the CCB was was designed to have 8-12 courts back in the early 1960's. Marion County now has over 30 courts jammed into the CCB. When I say jammed I mean some of them got put into what used to be broom closets. The prosecutors are currently housed in the Gold Building a black north. I don't know if the Public Defenders are housed there too or in the CCB. The jail is spread out among 3 buildings. The CCB was NEVER designed for that much volume of court traffic. This proposed complex would is designed to handled that much volume. Don't worry about the CCB. It will still be there and used by various non-criminal justice departments, the City County Counsel, and the mayor. Many agencies that have people in other buildings may finally be able to move into the CCB and that could save some money by not having to pay rent.
  • What is wrong with the City County Building???
    Again - what exactly is wrong with the City County building??? That end of the city just explodes with activity and business because of the traffic going and coming from the City County building. What will they do with that building that was just built in 1965 I think. It was considered state of the art. It's only 49 years old. We are building and discarding structures at an alarming rate here in Indianapolis. Most don't even last 30 years then we're on to another one. Where is all of this money coming from????
    • Central State
      Ballard admin sold all that acreage about four years ago for I believe one million dollars. Would have been perfect. Another leap by Ballard before you look.
    • Not Sherman
      There is already a state corrections facility on the Near East Side. The area doesn't need another jail. And Sherman & Michigan is not nearly as well served by transit as the GM site...which is almost adjacent to the IndyGo garage.
    • I agree with Bob
      They should build at the Sherman/Michigan St location and help that area buildup. The infrastructure is already there, served by Indygo and would be a boost to local businesses in that area. Oh well we know the soccer stadium is going on the GM stamping site also....maybe offer the Sherman street location for soccer stadium?
    • Trust
      The property is owned by the RACER trust, but the trust's only interest is getting the most money for the property, not what might or might not be the best use of the property.
    • Not the best option.
      I still say 604 Sherman would have been a much better choice. I'm also confused does the city have final say on this or could RACER tell them to go take a flying leap?
      • Waiting for Ballard naysayers and crybabies to get started.....
        Looks like im a little late to the party. If you are going to whine and complain then offer viable alternative solutions.
      • 3decades of study
        Really does this show how government moves at a snails PAC
      • Across from the Indy zoo
        Great caged criminals across from caged animals.

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