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Judge denies airport's objection to competing parking lot

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A Marion County judge has denied a legal challenge by the Indianapolis Airport Authority that would prevent a Cincinnati-based developer from opening a competing parking lot near the airport.

Marion Superior Court Judge Michael Keele last week upheld a Feb. 15 decision by the Metropolitan Development Commission, which gave Chavez Properties approval to build a 2,000-space “Fast Park & Relax” lot at 8550 Stansted Road on a 31-acre site in the Ameriplex development on the city’s west side.

Chavez said the $15 million project will create 45 jobs and it would “soon” begin construction on the development.

The airport has until the end of the month to appeal Keefe’s decision.  

The airport authority filed a complaint to stop the development in March after the MDC voted 6-2 in favor of the project after an emotional three-hour hearing.

Airport officials say they are fearful the project could hurt their parking operation, and they argued a parking lot was not the best use of the land.

The project also had been opposed by nearby Plainfield-based Indy Park Ride & Fly,  the city of Indianapolis and some surrounding residents. It was backed by developers of Ameriplex and other tenants in the business park.
 

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  • Airport concern about parking operator
    The Airport seems to be paranoid regarding the impact of the proposed Fast Park operation in Ameriplex, which has been influenced by the competitor of Fast Park and is now represented by the same attorney used by Park Ride and Fly. Consumer preference for parking off site or at the airport will not be substantially change by having 2,000 or 10,000 parking spaces available. There is a finite market for offsite airport parking. The Park Ride and Fly operation located in Hendricks County has capacity of about 1,800 cars. It was my understanding that Park Ride and Fly runs at about 75 to 80% capacity. If there was more demand, Park Ride and Fly would be closer to 100% and looking to expand. The U.S. takes pride in having a capitalistic free market where companies compete for business, which usually benefits the consumer and rewards the better run companies. Don’t quash our competitive free market, let consumers decide and may the best company prevail. The airport has competitive parking prices and there is no justification for being paranoid in loosing substantial parking revenue.
  • Parking Lot in Ameriplex
    It seemed that the majority of residents viewed a parking lot operation off Ameriplex with a 10' +/-covered garage port as being preferable to a 40' high warehouse building, which would also have a some 250 plus semi-trucks vs cars. Ameriplex completed a traffic study that showed traffic would be significantly below capacity of Ameriplex. There probably would not be business justification two parking lot operations long term as competition will force one of the operators out. Also as a reminder, the Ameriplex parking lot operation would generate some $500,000 in tax revenue for Marion County.
  • Disagree
    As a member of the Decatur Township Civic Council and a resident of the area, I disagree. This is an inappropriate use of the land at this particular location and I do not believe the two offsite parking operations can both survive. We do not need another large PARKING LOT that will slow down the traffic flow along this corridor.
    • Some corrections to note
      The lawsuit challenged the decision by the MDC, not the IAA. The petition before the MDC was supported by the Ameriplex developers and tenants of the industrial park, yes. But widespread support was also evident in the support of the Decatur Township Civic Council, most residents of the abutting neighborhood, and Decatur residents from all over the township who packed the hearing room. This development may not be large by other Township's standards, but Decatur suffers from the location of the airport TIF district that consumes almost all of the Ameriplex Industrial Park. This project is located outside of the TIF and will help build a balanced tax base. In addition, the project is expected to act as a catalyst to spur more commercial development. We have little commercial and great need for a foothold in that arena.

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