City releases $650M estimate for new criminal justice center, other renovations

INDIANAPOLIS -- The city of Indianapolis will be facing a nearly $650 million price tag for its new criminal justice center, according to a preliminary cost estimated released Tuesday.

The estimate, given to the Criminal Justice Planning Council, anticipates $9.5 million for the mental health and addiction assessment and intervention center, $195 million for a new courthouse and $365 million for a new, consolidated jail.

The estimate also includes $74 million for potential off-site renovation projects for other agencies.

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Those numbers do not include the potential cost of construction a new professional building to house the offices of the Marion County prosecutor and public defender. The city says those agencies are currently under long-term leases, and private development may be a viable option in the event that building is eventually needed.

Former Mayor Greg Ballard sent a proposal for a $1 billion criminal justice center to the Indianapolis City-County Council in 2015. That proposal was rejected over concerns it would result in a budget shortfall of tens of millions of dollars each year.

Mayor Joe Hogsett announced last month that the city had selected the former Citizens Energy coke plant in the Twin Aire neighborhood to house the new justice center.

The coke plant building encompasses 112 acres at 2900 Prospect Street. The city will have to conduct an environmental rehabilitation of the site before construction of the criminal justice center could begin.

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