IndyGo purchases former Celadon offices for $3M

Celadon’s 1985 Building (the year the company was founded) is one of four structures on an 11-acre tract at 9503 E. 33rd St. (IBJ photo/Eric Learned)

IndyGo has purchased the former Celadon Group Inc. headquarters for $3 million.

The east-side property, at 9503 E. 33rd St. off Post Road, includes three buildings totaling 110,910 square feet on a 10-acre parcel.

This was one of numerous Celadon-owned parcels that went up for sale after the trucking company filed for bankruptcy in December 2019. IndyGo closed on the purchase of the site Thursday, according to paperwork filed as part of the bankruptcy case.

The east-side property will serve as an additional location for IndyGo, which also plans to retain its current headquarters at 1501 W. Washington St., said IndyGo spokeswoman Faith Chadwick.

IndyGo’s board voted in August to seek appraisals and negotiate the purchase of the former Celadon site. The property had been listed at $4 million, but because it is a public entity, IndyGo is prohibited from paying more than the appraised value if it acquires real estate.

Chadwick said IndyGo is currently working on design and renovation plans for the site, but she did not say when the transit agency might be ready to move into the new location.

IndyGo, which has outgrown its West Washington Street headquarters, has been searching for additional space for months. Other sites that IndyGo has considered include Celadon’s former trucking school at 9050 E. 33rd St., as well as a property at 3049 Post Road, the former Harrison College site at 550 E. Washington St., and 2425 W. Michigan St. in the Haughville neighborhood.

IndyGo’s staff and its bus fleet have grown over the years with the launch of the Red Line and other route changes. The situation worsened when the pandemic hit because existing office space is not sufficient to allow for social distancing, IndyGo says.

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7 thoughts on “IndyGo purchases former Celadon offices for $3M

  1. IndyGo is another inefficiently run government entity. During the pandemic, private companies are controlling their real estate costs and maintaining social distancing by requiring employees to work remotely. But IndyGo spends $3M to purchase more real estate. They are allowed to continue to spend money they don’t have.

    1. Or a great strategic move to purchase a real estate asset at a discounted price. Furthermore, I doubt many of IndyGo’s employees have the luxury of working from home. Kinda hard to fix a bus from the comfort of your own couch.
      I call this forwarding thinking and it gives the system a central and east location, which could go a long way in creating efficiencies.

    2. They didn’t borrow the money. They used cash they had on hand to purchase the property. And, they got an excellent deal. The property was assessed at almost $7 million, and they paid less than half that. Moreover, IndyGo needs the additional space for their bus fleet, maintenance, and administration. Plenty of private businesses have continued to make capital investments this year. Aside from your general disdain for any government entity, do you have any concrete and substantiated reasons to provide why IndyGo should not have purchased the property?

  2. Transit tax collection is expected to drop 10% next year and then again in 2022. Passenger revenue, which accounts for 10% of IndyGo operating revenue is estimated to drop to 5% as ridership declines. “We could have a gap of over $30 million,” IndyGo CFO Bart Brown told board members at a July 27 meeting. The Indianapolis Public Transportation Foundation has raised $70,527 since receiving not-for-profit status in June 2019. But under the law passed in 2014, it’s supposed to be raising at least $6 million in private donations per year.

    Under the current circumstances I don’t think they should be spending money. There will be additional costs for design and renovation of the property too. Perhaps they need maintenance facilities, but I question the need for additional office/admin space at this time.

    1. The transit law passed in 2014 needs to be amended to eliminate the private fundraising requirement. No other public transit system relies on private fundraising for a major portion of its budget. And, even before the pandemic with the most aggressive fundraising efforts, there was never any possible chance in hell IndyGo would raise anywhere close to $6 million a year in private contributions. Why? Because no corporation or charitable foundation or philanthropist is going to donate to a public entity to run a freaking bus system when they will rightfully assume it is a government function that should be fully paid for by tax dollars and fares. “Let’s see, should I donate to the Red Cross, the local food bank, the art museum, or the bus system? Oh, gee, decisions, decisions…” It is long past time for the General Assembly to get out of local affairs, and let local government and its residents decide for themselves how they wish to spend their local tax dollars.

      As for the short-fall in passenger revenue, it is an issue every transit system in the country is facing. And, hopefully, Congress will finally due the right thing and help state and local governments, including transit agencies (there is actually some money allocated in the new stimulus bill that is in limbo), with support during this economic crisis. Only the federal government has the ability to print money, and a downturn is the exact time to start printing it and handing it out. In any event, a need is still a need, and a good deal is still a good deal. The old Celadon site was a bargain, and since IndyGo had the cash to buy it, it made sense to purchase it, rather than let the opportunity slip away. And, most of the site will be used for maintenance and fleet storage, and it is already designed for it since Celadon used a large portion of the property for that purpose.

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