Library begins plans to pull branch out of Glendale mall

May 29, 2014
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The Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library board has decided it will no longer operate branches without ground-level access.

Glendale branch 225pxSo library officials are beginning to explore moving the 25,000-square-foot branch in Glendale Town Center out of the shopping mall at 6101 N. Keystone Avenue, even though the location is one of the library system’s most popular.

The branch on the second floor of the mall still attracts roughly 250,000 visitors annually. But library CEO Jackie Nytes is concerned about the location's declining traffic at a time when overall attendance at the system's 24 branches increased 1.6 percent last year.

“It’s hidden away and hard to reach,” she said of the Glendale branch. “It’s one elevator up and down the hallway.”

The branch won’t be moving anytime soon, as the library’s lease at Glendale doesn’t expire until 2022. But by starting the search for new space now, the library can start raising money to purchase land in the area and construct a new branch.

It’s possible the branch could be built on property within the mall’s boundaries, Nytes said. Mall owner Kite Realty Group Trust Inc. seems to agree, saying it plans to “assist the library in assessing a potential stand-alone branch location within the perimeter” of the mall property.

“Strategically, we need to be in the neighborhood,” Nytes said. “We need to be on the ground floor, we need accessible parking and we have to own the building.”

The library pays Kite $189,000 in yearly rent. The amount represents 42 percent of the $448,000 in rent the library pays for its four branches that lease space, making Glendale the most expensive branch to operate, Nytes said. Other branches that lease space are Brightwood, Flanner House and Fountain Square.

This isn’t the first time the library said it planned to move out of the mall. It considered leaving in 2007, about the time Kite began redeveloping the enclosed mall into an open-air version. The library stayed after the two parties reached more agreeable terms.

The Glendale branch opened in 2000, a year after Kite bought Glendale from Chicago-based Equity Properties & Development LP for $20 million. It spent another $11 million into the redevelopment.
 

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  • IMCPL is awesome
    The IMCPL system is the one thing this city gets right. I absolutely love the Indianapolis libraries, and it is one of those few areas where I can see what I get for all my taxdollars. Only qualm is my home branch (Central) needs to beef up the security and remove the scary loiterers who yell at me and ask for money when I enter/exit.
    • Spell Check much?
      Some needs to go to the "Library" and get a dictionary: The libary stayed after the two parties reached more agreeable terms.
      • Working on it!
        Thank you for being a strong user of your public libraries. We are also aware of the challenges at Central with folks on the front steps and have our security team trying hard to flush out the inappropriate behavior! We will keep working on it!
        • re Spell Check
          Uh, Brian - I think you mean - Some "one"? Practice what you preach...
        • Nice to see…
          It's very nice to see that some top-level executives interact with the everyday people who patronize their establishments. If that's really Ms. Nytes' comment above, BRAVO and ENCORE! We want more participation from all over the top hemispheres of businesses We, the People frequent! I love to see that; it's good relationship building! Well done, watching your brand's feedback.
          • Love the Glendale Branch
            I'm so happy to hear the new location will have ground-level access. That will make a quick stop so much easier! I used the Broad Ripple branch more often than I do the Glendale one because it was simple to get in and out. I love our library!
            • Outlot
              A library branch would be an awesome buffer/reuse of Glendale's "great outback parking lot" on the east side of Rural Street, perhaps as the ground floor of a parking garage with some apartments wrapped around it? ;)
              • Love the current Glendale Branch
                While I understand the challenges of getting into the space I do love the size. We live closer to the Nora branch but choose to use the Glendale branch because of the size. If you decide to relocate please consider making it larger than the "typical" branch.
              • library taxes
                My wife and I use the Glendale library frequently, and hope that this branch remains nearby. I appreciate the services the branch provides, but have long questioned why the library provides some of the services it does. I have no objection to patrons using computers for research, news, e-mails, school projects and the like. I fail to see the benefit of providing computers solely to allow people to play games at taxpayer expense. Likewise, I also question why the library provides such an extensive DVD selection. Some may say what is the difference, really, between providing books, magazines, or movies and/or TV shows? Well, look at your property tax statement. We, as an example, will pay approx. $137 this year in taxes just for the library... how much of this money is going just to provide free gaming and movies for others? Maybe there needs to be a fee for services above and beyond traditional library services?
                • Totally agree....
                  This is exactly the spot I was thinking about when they said they want ground level in this same area... there is PLENTY of space in that lot for a building, the parking and still have plenty of overflow parking left over.
                • Amazing library system
                  The Marion County library system is amazing and I'm so happy to see that overall usage is on the rise. Great job on thinking ahead and considering accessibility. My kids are already asking me when we can sign up for the summer reading program since it was such a hit with them last year.
                • Friend of Fr. Tom M
                  Hurrah for you Jackie--we have met as late dear Tom Murphy{"do{" some of us, Dave C. Greg Z threw at Columbia Club --clearly under my real name. But let me become the institutional memory for your long overdue closing of the ill-conceived, over costly inaccessible Glendale Branch!!! Don't bother looking for a "new" location--move it back to a rent-free, toddler to teen, handicap accessible location where it Never should have been moved from--a long-handled lie shoved down the throats of the thousands who petitioned to keep it where it belonged in Broad Ripple Park. WHY? a)close to BRS where and who could benefit more than the ill-conceived idea to send students to a MALL? (Strike One!) b)safe to the door parking and access to a book drop where librarians could empty from the safety of inside (contrast to Glendale where in snow,heat,storm librarians must elevator huge bins of returns in, plus where little old ladies like me are at risk from mall malefactors who can "trap" and rob a car by blocking from rear and front (it happened to an 80 year old--me--saved only by hard hats leaving for the day who heard my desperate horn-honking as 2 sets of thugs were trapping me (Strike 2!) and, last, I have halcyon memories of young mothers with toddlers able to safely walk from parked car to door without being at risk of speeding or backing up cars alongside generic cane-users safely exiting their car to walk into a ground level nearby entrance (Strike 3!) The public were fed a lie by the then-let's prop up private developers Mayor who said (correctly) that the library needed to expand (true) but that there was "no way to expand in its park location!!!!!! No Way? Look at the location. There were actually 5 directions perfect for easy expansion into city-owned ground --No RENT! It could have expanded into spacious empty ground to the north,east, west, south--NEWS to the duped public who bought into Mayor's let's-prop-up-Glendale private developer backers scam. Oh, yes, and in one other direction expansion possible--UP--so that out grown l story Norman Rockwell branch that served old and young minus elevators, escalators and mall parking lot perils could have been built FOR FAR LESS TAX DOLLARSTHAN HAVE BEEN POURED INTO THE INACCESSIBLE GLENDALE UPSTAIRS NIGHTMARE. Does memory serve you that each of its reincarnations have been based NOT on architectural usage but on exploitive marketing blue prints. First, Let's put it where the user has to park in perilous mall lot, risk safety to return items to an outdoor at-risk hidden box a mugger's or high jacker's heaven. And, one on foot, put it not on the accessible lower level --to serve elderly,disabled,parents with toddlers and keep teens from the mall. If you remember initiaslly it was located to force patrons to walk by as many retail locations as possible, in a balcony where a smelly food court and noisy mall events invaded the open balcony location--serviced by escalators, elevators again located from a retail marketing perspective. IT DIDN'T WORK. GLENDALE KEPT CHANGING LOCATIONS--SITES--AT WHAT MULTI-MILLION COSTS TO TODAY'S HIDDEN LOCATION! Today you can fire a shotgun through the lower level--where the library could have been. And so as Mary Queen of Scots summed up at her beheading "My End is My Beginning." Move the branch library to where it never should have been moved from! I END WITH A PREPOSITION AND A PROPOSITION.
                • ? and Comment
                  Question first, and no snark intended. I just can't remember that far back... Why was the library moved from Broad Ripple Park? We want to avoid making those same mistakes again, whatever they were. To Steve with questions about use of tax money - there is a debate within the library community about the value of a library providing non-literary, non-research resources to their constituents. Is it consistent with the mission of a library to make pulp paperback fiction available? I believe they group DVDs and CDs, and computer access into the same general category of non-literary materials. I'd love to hear a librarian's comments on the topic. In my opinion as a heavy user of IMCPL, particularly the e-collection, I believe libraries should make CDs, DVDs, pulp fiction :) and computer access available to all - All these different media contribute to the education and awareness of modern users. Access to computers is particularly important for lower income and senior visitors. I'm always happy to walk into Glendale and see the space used as a Community Center, with people talking, reading, flipping through magazines, head bopping to Ipods, and even kids gaming online, as well as browsing the stacks. That means the library is truly a gathering place for the community and is fulfilling its mission. I really love IMCPL - truly a leading public library in the Nation. And I'm not a librarian, nor do I play one on TV.
                • More taxpayer dollars spent
                  The library had a beautiful free-standing facility it built at Broad Ripple Park before the lure to a mall site was thought a better location. Lots of taxpayer money was spent on each site especially at the mall to make it a state of the art facility. And now they want something new and different. The library system is underfunded thanks to our City County Counsel. Many branches run on skeleton staffs spread too thin. Staff is not often replaced when there are hiring freezes. How great it would be to see a greater sense of fiscal responsibility on toward more educational programs, media, resources and reading material than another spending spree on a newer location. Make attempts to strengthen what you have before chasing costly ideas and greener pastures.
                • Library is Worth The Investment
                  Steve, I am not sure I understand your comment about either DVDs or video games. With respect to movies, the Indianapolis Public Library, like nearly every public library in the nation, has offered movies rentals for several decades (perhaps even longer than you have been alive). I remember renting movies from the library over 30 years ago. The purchase of DVDs simply reflects a change in the medium in which movies are stored. A DVD is not different from a book in the sense that they both may contain either educational, entertainment, or research material. As for people playing video games on the computers, so long as they are not monopolizing the computers and preventing others who need them for other activities, I have no problem with it. The computers are already paid for and the Internet access is a recurring cost, regardless of what people use the computers for. Most of the taxes paid for the library system go to pay employee salaries and benefits and for building maintenance and capital expenditures. So, banning DVDS or game would have a negligible effect on taxes. More importantly, you have failed provide a compelling argument why DVDs or games should be treated any differently from the other educational, entertainment, or research material the library circulates to warrant subjecting them to some separate fee. Moving away from this issue, I would just like to see that Indianapolis Public Library is one of the few government services the city can be proud of, and is worth every penny spent on it, and then some. Indianapolis has crappy roads, shabby public parks, antiquated sewers, a shocking lack of sidewalks even in older established neighborhoods, too many lousy public schools, and a list of other deficiences. Indianapolis is the poster child of what cheapness gets you--i.e. a nearly third-world city in some respects. I would say considering all that, your $137, which is the cost of one nice dinner at a restaurant, to get a first-class library system is money well spent.
                  • Good
                    The location is inconvenient. I hate to wait until 2022, as I tend to avoid this branch, which is closest to me.
                  • mission to the poor
                    I'm a semi-regular patron of the Central Library and it seems to me that by far the most utilized service there is the free internet access (predominantly used by the poor), and the second most utilized service is the free shelter, sitting/resting space, and restrooms (used predominantly by the homeless). I'm not complaining, but wondering 1) if those most-utilized services are specifically addressed in the Library's mission statement, and 2) if the library, as a major service provider to these populations, actively partners with other organizations (such as HIP, CHIP, Horizon House, the missions and shelters, etc.) who serve the same populations?
                  • @ Kevin Dowe
                    The thing is, "free shelter and sitting/resting space and restrooms" is not a service the library is supposed to be providing. When I go into Central for some place to READ (the purpose of the library), the seats are often occupied by less-than-hygienic folks using the chairs to sleep, without ever picking up a book.
                    • Bravo!
                      Bravo Chris! I agree 100% with your comments. While I'm here, I'd like to put in a good word for the College Avenue branch. Convenient, clean, helpful and friendly. And I agree that the Glendale branch needs a more accessible location while remaining in its current vicinity.
                    • Spell Check
                      Hoist on your own petard?
                    • Libraries are public buildings
                      Library Lover, a public building is open to the entire public, and it may not exclude someone simply because they are homeless or "unhygienic." Any member of the public may enter a library during its regular operating hours, even if that person just wants to sit in a chair and stare all day. So, long as a person is not being loud or disruptive, there is nothing legally the library can do to prevent a homeless people from coming in to the library to sit. Similarly, public restrooms must legally be open to the entire public, including homeless people. Again, so long as a homeless person is not destroying the facilities or engaging in some illegal activity in the restrooms, the library may not legally prevent them from entering a public restroom. I know some of us would like to live in privileged little bubble world where we can avoid anything that offends are sensibilities, but that is not the world we live in, nor will it ever be. The law is quite clear that a public building is open to the entire public.
                      • 8 years
                        8 years is a long time. Who knows what will end up happening. My only comment is that I will actually be sad to see it move. I love the location and the selection at Glendale. I actually live two blocks from the College location and rarely if ever go in. I thought about having my holds sent there but I just never find anything good as I browse, so I would rather drive out to Glendale.
                      • The opposite of Simon
                        I get my holds at the College branch, but have never stepped in the Glendale branch. It's not really a conscious decision to avoid the Glendale branch (I go to Glendale to visit other businesses frequently), but I think I just don't even recognize it as a library. I mean, I know it's there, but somehow it just doesn't register as really being a library, being in an old commercial space, sorta hidden behind O'Charley's and obscured by being significantly below the Target and Lowe's entrances. Whatever happens, I hope that if there's a new library, it's built with direct access to the sidewalk. While Kite's redevelopment of Glendale is better than what was there previously, it's a shame that in the 21st century the City saw fit to contribute millions to the project without even requiring the inclusion of sidewalks along the entire perimeter of the site. You never see anyone walking on the narrow sidewalk on the east side of the street wedged right up against the curb. Why? Because absolutely nobody wants to walk on a narrow sidewalk where cars are passing at fast speeds just a foot or two away. Another example of pedestrians being an afterthought in design of Indianapolis's public and private spaces. Let's please stop getting it wrong, and make the library more safely and attractively accessible to everyone, including those not arriving in cars.
                      • Corruption
                        Of course, if they would have left the branch at Broad Ripple Park, instead of moving it to the mall to support public funding of the mall redevelopment, we wouldn't have this problem. Kite got 6.5 million of public cash and a long-term lease from IMCPL to redevelop Glendale, and we lost the Broad Ripple location. If the Broad Ripple building was becoming dated, there was certainly the land to raze it and build another. Ample parking, too, and walking grounds. It was a mistake to leave Broad Ripple Park. Just desserts, though. They ruined Broad Ripple Avenue by making it a narrow cow path, so now nobody can get to Glendale Mall or any business on BRA.
                      • @Chris
                        Chris, at which law school are you a first year student?
                        • It is I!
                          Yes Professor Lyle, this is really Jackie here, and I learn a lot from the feedback on articles like this! There is no one way to know what the community thinks and values these days, so one has to pan a lot of gravel looking for the golden advice where ever it may be offered!
                        • Speaking The Truth
                          Barry, I long ago graduated from school. Do do you care to dispute what I wrote? Based on your snarky comment, I assume the answer is no and that you have nothing substantive to contribute. Take it elsewhere.
                        • What world are YOU living in?
                          Come on--how many of us can gather up that much money for a "nice dinner?" For many of us, the $15-$20 range is a stretch!!!! I just paid $7 for a burrito at Taco Bell and THAT was a huge splurge. Don't assume that library patrons have that kind of money!
                          • Living In the Real World
                            Professor, if you are one, you would do well to read carefully what others wrote. First, most people can afford $137 for a nice dinner, as the term implies a dinner for a special occasion. Even my father who taught for years at IPS, and I know made much less than a college professor, was able to take my mother out for a special anniversary dinner. More importantly, I find it a bit disconcerting that someone in the education field would miss the main point of a post, and latched on to one small portion of it. Also, I find it laughable that as a professor you claim a $7 burrito to be a "splurge" when fast-food joints that sell burritos and other simple food have a large portion of their customer base made up of working-class people that make far less money than college professors--if they can afford it, so can you. But, I digress. My main point, which you seem to have overlooked, is that the library is one of the few government services in Indianapolis that actually works and functions at a level that would be respected and perhaps even envied by individuals living in other cities, and it offers this high-quality service efficiently and at the cost of a very low tax burden.
                          • walkable library
                            It was a mistake to move to the Glendale location,but learning from it would indicate that the public library should be on publicly owned property, in a space designed to be enlarged. Children's space should be separated from adult reading space, but not on a different floor (as in the earlier Guilford location.) There should be natural light and accessibility for neighborhood residents to walk or bike without trying to cross major streets. I wish the library could move sooner than 2022, but when it does move, plan on not moving again.

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                          1. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

                          2. If you only knew....

                          3. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

                          4. The facts contained in your post make your position so much more credible than those based on sheer emotion. Thanks for enlightening us.

                          5. Please consider a couple of economic realities: First, retail is more consolidated now than it was when malls like this were built. There used to be many department stores. Now, in essence, there is one--Macy's. Right off, you've eliminated the need for multiple anchor stores in malls. And in-line retailers have consolidated or folded or have stopped building new stores because so much of their business is now online. The Limited, for example, Next, malls are closing all over the country, even some of the former gems are now derelict.Times change. And finally, as the income level of any particular area declines, so do the retail offerings. Sad, but true.

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