INDIANAPOLIS — The city announced today it has selected a bid from a developer to transform two buildings that were part of the old Marion County jail.
Marion County Jail II and the arrestee processing center on the east side of downtown will be converted into a mixed-use development.
“This facility will bridge downtown to near east side arts and cultural destinations,” Mayor Joe Hogsett said.
Hogsett announced today that the facilities will be used in the Cole Motor Redevelopment. t
The project is being developed by 1820 ventures in partnership with the city. It will include more than 100 new apartments along with retail space, an education center and a second location of Broad Ripple’s famed Vogue theatre.
“I have no doubt that once it’s finally completed it will only take historians to remember this as a private jail facility for nearly 25 years,” Hogsett said.
Developer Jeremy Stephenson said a lot went into their plan, including consulting with neighborhood groups and the city. It was one of the reasons Hogsett said they were chosen.
“We sat down with them and we had ideas they had ideas and we came about thinking through things together and really this vision for what’s here today is part of that,” Stephenson said.
Concerns have been raised about flooding the downtown area with too many apartments. However, industry experts say the developers know what they’re doing.
“Developers, apartment owners are very creative, market-driven individuals,” Patrick Tamm with the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association said. “They’re only going to build it, they’re only going to finance it if they believe that deal is going to work.”
Tamm says developing any unused space is good for residents and businesses.
“Anytime you’re able to do that in Indianapolis or anywhere in America, it’s a positive piece,” Tamm said.
Construction on the project is set to start next year, but officials said the completion date is up in the air.
The building is on the National Register of Historic Places because it was originally the Cole Motor Company building. The city says it will have go through a months-long process with the state to get clearance to renovate the building.