City puts land north of downtown back up for bid

March 25, 2014
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The city of Indianapolis again is seeking proposals to develop land north of downtown after the first attempt failed last year.

MLK 16th RFP 225pxThe Department of Metropolitan Development issued a request for proposals due by 11:30 a.m. April 16. A minimum bid of $497,250 must be submitted for the 2.4 acres near 16th and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. streets.

Bidders must provide a development plan for “an integrated mixed use development” with access to 16th Street that has the support of the adjacent neighborhoods.

That clause may be the most important statement included in the RFP.

That’s because Opus Development Corp.’s failed proposal to buy the land from the city hinged heavily on its ability to purchase and demolish a series of nearby homes to make its plan work.

The company ultimately gave up, and in May scrapped its controversial plan for a development that would have been anchored by a Meijer store.

Opus encountered stiff resistance from residents of the Flanner House neighborhood, who received a boost from Indiana Landmarks. The historic preservation group included the Flanner House district on last year’s “10 Most Endangered” list due to the prospect of Opus’ redevelopment.

Opus had offered to pay $600,000 for the vacant piece of land and also needed to buy 35 homes in the neighborhood to make way for the Meijer.

Because the property may contain environmental contamination, bidders are “strongly encouraged” to review historical reports from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, according to the RFP.

Bid packets can be picked up at Room 2042 in the City-County Building.

The DMD will open and consider the bids at the Metropolitan Development Commission’s April 16 meeting.

It warns in bold lettering in the RFP that it will not consider the sale of the parcel for use as a convenience store, gas station or payday-type loan office.

 

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  • IPS Bus Facility
    The city should strongly consider this location for relocating the IPS bus garage off Mass Ave. There's a reason UPS has their large distribution center just down 16th St from there: it provides great access to large N/S and E/W roads and has good expressway access nearby.
    • IPS?
      Now, wouldn't that be an attractive addition to the neighborhood?
    • IPS
      I'm pretty sure 2.4 acres would not be enough room for the IPS bus garage but I could be wrong.
    • Flanner House
      Just curious, what is so historic about Flanner House? Is it because its old? Looks like a rundown area to me.
      • Historic
        It's historic for what it represents to two generations of Indianapolis residents. Here is a brief overview from Historic Landmarks: 'The district’s 181 houses were built between 1950 and 1959 through an innovative self-help cooperative. African American families, who found it hard to secure conventional mortgages in the segregated city, helped build their own homes. More than half are still owned by the builders or their descendants.' Here is a link for an extended article explaining the significance of this neighborhood from IUPUI Professor Paul Mullins. http://paulmullins.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/race-and-suburban-homogeneity-the-flanner-house-homes-and-post-urban-african-america/
      • Closer to 6 acres
        I don't know if the bus garage would fit, but the 2.4 acre RFP here is only for the non-contiguous DMD-owned parcels. Adding up ALL the vacant land around that corner nets about 4.4 acres. The total jumps to almost 6 acres if they vacated the completely pointless remnant of Brighton Blvd and a mostly dirt alley. This corner is also littered with brownfields (some of them very nasty from what I've heard) that would need to be cleaned up if they want to do mixed-use with residential. It might be wiser to do something like a bus garage that wouldn't require as extensive remediation.

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      1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

      2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

      3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

      4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

      5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

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