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Incentives, long-term leases urged for airport development

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The Indianapolis Airport Authority board on Friday is set to approve a long-term land-use plan that will help steer future development in and around Indianapolis International Airport and its five smaller fields for decades to come.

Last year the authority hired international aviation consultancy Landrum & Brown to develop the plan, with input from local government and business leaders.

Those leaders during meetings last month raised a number of issues, including the need for some types of financial incentives to compete with those offered by other communities, such as tax abatements.

Another theme was that the authority, when it leases land for development, grant long-term leases–in some cases 55 years–so developers can better secure financing and boost investment interest, according to a memo prepared for Friday’s meeting.

“It is the intent of the IAA to lease, not sell, land development sites and to look to the private sector development community to assume financial risk on future development opportunity,” said the memo.

The resolution the board will consider Friday states that “wherever and whenever practicable” the authority will return designated airport real estate, developed for non-aviation purposes, to the tax rolls.

For years jurisdictions such as Decatur Township have complained that the expanding airport land holdings, which are tax-exempt, has hurt its tax base.

The ordinance also states that the authority may consider offering incentives for real estate development, including incentives in cooperation with other government entities.

Preliminary portions of the report released last fall were not particularly revolutionary, echoing existing development trends over the last several years. For example, the site of the old airport terminal, just west of Interstate 465, is recommended for airport-centered usage, given its close proximity to runways.

The potential for development themes that take into consideration high-speed rail or commuter rail connections with the airport are also explored.

On the south side of the airport, the plan notes that the authority has long-term future plans for a third parallel runway, and notes the potential for air cargo-related businesses to cluster there.

What may be more interesting are extensive revenue and cost projections for the next 30 years, which will be included in the final version of the report.

Airport officials today declined to release a copy of the final plan to be considered by the board Friday, saying it was still being amended.

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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