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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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  1. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

  2. Shouldn't this be a museum

  3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

  4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

  5. Build the resevoir. If built this will provide jobs and a reason to visit Anderson. The city needs to do something to differentiate itself from other cities in the area. Kudos to people with vision that are backing this project.

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