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Indiana court rules against Oaktree Apartments owner in demolition case

Posted: 2:11 PM, Sep 25, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-25 14:38:11-04
City can purchase beleaguered Oaktree Apartments, council rules

INDIANAPOLIS — It appears the long saga between Oaktree Apartments and the city of Indianapolis is actually nearing its end.

The apartment complex near the intersection of 42nd Street and Post Road has been beset by crime, fires and vandalism since its last residents were evicted in 2014.

The city is embroiled in two lawsuits with the owners of the complex, Indy Diamond LLC.

The first lawsuit is related to a demolition order for the complex. The second is related to the city’s fight to gain possession of the property through eminent domain.

In 2018, a judge ordered Indy Diamond to tear the complex down, but it hasn’t happened. Last week, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a prior ruling in favor of the city to allow a demolition order. The deadline for Indy Diamond to appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court has passed and the city is waiting on the court decision to be certified, an Indianapolis representative said Wednesday.

“The trial court had inherent authority to enter a demolition order as a sanction for Indy Diamond’s contempt, and Indy Diamond has been afforded ample due process in this matter,” the court opinion states.

A hearing was scheduled for Monday in the lawsuit related to the eminent domain. At that time, Indy Diamond withdrew its objections, possibly signaling an upcoming conclusion, according to online court records.

Indianapolis Deputy Mayor of Community Development said the city isn’t in a large hurry to get the site redeveloped into something else but is eager to get the complex demolished. The next steps for the city are to announce a winning bid for the demolition and get the utilities turned off, Bennett said.

The listed lead attorney for Indy Diamond did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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