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Research lab could replace ATA headquarters

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The vacant former headquarters of ATA Airlines Inc. could soon see new life as a research laboratory.

Locally based Paul Kite Co. has applied for a rezoning of the 16.5-acre site north of the Indianapolis International Airport to allow for non-airport uses. The developer agreed in July to pay the Indianapolis Airport Authority $5.6 million for the property in a deal that’s contingent on zoning approval.

Potential tenants, including a research lab, have expressed interest, but no lease deal has been signed, Paul Kite said Tuesday morning.

“It’s a good site, good location and a nice building,” he said. “Anything around the airport remains attractive for obvious reasons.”

The site, at the southwest corner of Washington Street and Girls School Road, has three buildings, two of them designed for office use and a third for office and warehouse uses. Together, they comprise about 123,000 square feet.

The city’s planning staff has recommended approval of the rezoning as long as the developer agrees to build public sidewalks along the property and dedicate 70 feet of right-of-way along Washington Street to the Department of Public Works for future road improvements.

A Metropolitan Development Commission hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Dec. 16.

ATA, then the nation’s 10th largest passenger carrier, filed for Chapter 11 on April 2, 2008, and ceased operations the next day. The move left 2,300 employees out of a job, including 600 locally.

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