City ‘full speed ahead’ on Oaktree apartments demolition

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Indianapolis officials said Wednesday they expect to move forward with demolishing a blighted northeast-side apartment complex, after the owner of the property failed to request a last-ditch hearing by the state’s high court.

The city has sought to clean up the Indy Diamond LLC-owned Oaktree Apartments complex, at the southeast corner of 42nd Street and Post Road, for several years.

This May, the city filed suit to claim the 336-unit abandoned apartment complex through eminent domain, the latest in a series of legal steps the city has taken since 2013 to try to clean up the property.

Throughout its effort to acquire and demolish the buildings, the city has argued the complex is a threat to public health, safety and welfare. The blighted 19-acre property has been vacant since 2014.

In August, the Indiana Court of Appeals backed the city—affirming a ruling by lower courts—in its efforts to take possession of the property.

A Monday deadline for Indy Diamond LLC to request a review by the Indiana Supreme Court came and went without any notice of plans to do so, said Donnie Morgan, the city’s chief corporation counsel.

The party who loses at the Court of Appeals—in this case, Indy Diamond—generally has 30 days to request a hearing from the high court, and if they do not the ruling stands.

Morgan said the ruling still must be certified, but indicated that should occur in the coming weeks. IBJ was unable to immediately reach representatives of Indy Diamond for comment.

Jeff Bennett, deputy mayor of community development, in a meeting with reporters Wednesday said the city is not in a hurry to redevelop the site, and is instead focused on remediating and clearing the site.

“We’re full speed ahead,” he said.

He said the city plans to be ready to tear down the site once it can coordinate with utility providers to cut off all service to the complex.

Bennett said he believes the site could be a good opportunity for redevelopment, given its proximity to the proposed IndyGo Purple Line rapid bus transit route.

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