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Indianapolis considers future of 28-story city offices tower

September 5, 2021 GMT

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis officials will be asking developers for potential new uses for the 28-story City-County Building as about half of it will be vacated in the coming months with the opening of a new criminal justice complex.

City officials want proposals that include housing for the 59-year-old tower as much office space has become available in downtown Indianapolis since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the request for information from developers, officials also want to know about potential requests for city subsidies, the I ndianapolis Business Journal reported.

Deputy Mayor Jeff Bennett said converting at least part of the building to residential use could make the city’s downtown a more “resilient” area.

“We’re over-reliant upon workforce and convention visitors, tourists,” Bennett said. “That’s 150,000 to 250,000 people a day during normal times. But when they’re all gone, restaurants and other service businesses can’t make it on carryout only.”

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The first phases of the new $600 million criminal justice complex a few miles southeast of downtown are expected to open in December. The complex includes a new Marion County jail and an 11-story tower housing the county courts and the sheriff’s office.

City leaders haven’t decided whether other offices will remain in the City-County Building or move to other locations. Those under consideration include the nearby old City Hall building that was built in 1910 is now vacant after uses that included housing the Indiana State Museum for years.