Indianapolis Airport Authority ready to expedite teardown process for former airport

Plan could improve odds of finding new tenant

INDIANAPOLIS - The Indianapolis Airport Authority has expedited the timetable for tearing down the sprawling passenger terminal that was once the center of Indiana's largest airport in hopes it will improve the chances of finding a business to move in.

The Indianapolis Business Journal reported the former passenger terminal and administration building at the Indianapolis International Airport could be razed by the end of 2013. The original plan called for the terminal to be demolished in phases.

Airport director of planning and project management Susan Zellers told the airport authority board last week that a blank slate approach would substantially increase its marketability. The authority says it will cost $11.3 million to demolish the two buildings.

In its real estate marketing plan, the authority has broken up the terminal site and its vast sea of surface parking lots into distinct parcels that could be suitable for multiple tenants. But airport officials haven’t given up hope of landing a single, mega-size tenant.

The 315-acre site on the eastern end of the airport near Interstate 465 offers direct airfield access. So it’s a natural for an air cargo hub, aircraft repair facility or perhaps even as an aircraft factory.

Currently, the largest single tenant at the airport is FedEx, which operates its No. 2 U.S. cargo hub on the southeast side of the airport. One “fantasy” tenant would be another big cargo carrier such as United Parcel Service, although UPS already operates its primary U.S. air hub in nearby Louisville.

The terminal is no longer needed because a new $1.1 billion terminal opened in 2008.

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