Attorney renovates bank near criminal justice center campus, seeks office tenants

A former bank building along Southeastern Avenue soon could be home to several law offices and other professional practices hoping to stake out space near the city's $572 million Criminal Justice Center.

The former PNC Bank branch at 5645 E. Raymond St. has been remodeled and divvied into 11 office spaces for attorneys, accountants and others who might want a space with a straight shot along Southeastern to the criminal justice campus, located less than three miles to the northwest in the Twin Aire neighborhood.

The center is expected to open in 2022. It will include a myriad of city services and law enforcement functions currently housed in the City-County Building and Market East District, including jails, courts and offices for prosecutors, public defenders, probation officials and the Marion County Clerk.

The 2,600-square-foot former PNC bank building will serve as the office for Dean-Webster Legal LLC, a small civil and family practice owned by Deanna Dean-Webster. She and her husband, David Webster, purchased the 1.7-acre parcel last September for $205,600 (as Sterling Property Group LLC). They've been renovating the space since October with an eye to signing tenants who also have business at the criminal justice center.

"We think firms are going to start moving down to this area, or at least opening satellite offices, as part of this switch," she said. "It's important we be where our clients need us."

Formerly located at 50 S. Meridian St., Dean-Webster's practice is set to occupy one of the offices near the rear of the building, as well as a conference room.

“This was a move that really made sense for the business, and we are wanting to lease out space to other practices or businesses that could benefit from having an office in this area,” Dean-Webster said.

Updates to the building include a 220-square-foot addition in place of two of the three former drive-thru lanes along the back of the building, as well as new common spaces, three conference rooms and a kitchenette.

New carpet has been laid throughout the building, and four of the offices will come furnished. The offices for lease range from about 100 to 120 square feet, with each having access to common spaces. The rent for each office is expected to be about $600 per month.

Dean-Webster declined to reveal the budget for revamping the building.

Certain elements of the former bank have been maintained, including the night deposit box, which is in one office, and the former bank vault area, which serves as part of another.

Dean-Webster said the building is expected to be move-in ready by April 1, though she said she doesn't expect a big influx of tenants until the justice center campus opens in 2022.

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