February 19, 2016

Indianapolis Airport Authority Delays Vote On Proposed Medical Complex

Renderings of the medical campus that would be built at the old Indianapolis Airport. - Athlete's Business Network

Renderings of the medical campus that would be built at the old Indianapolis Airport.

Athlete's Business Network

The Indianapolis Airport Authority has delayed its vote on a proposal to build a $500 million sports medical complex at the site of the former airport terminal.

At a press conference earlier this week, airport board members announced that the Athlete’s Business Network had been selected to build at the old airport.

The developer’s plans call for five medical office buildings specializing in brain injuries, concussions and post traumatic stress disorder. There would also be two hotels and a 20,000 seat stadium.

The developer doesn’t have funding for the project but said Wednesday that would come after getting a letter of intent from the airport.  That was expected to happen today when the Airport Authority met to vote on the plan.

In a statement, the IAA wrote that they’d heard from many people in the community since the announcement of the proposed development.

“We’ve heard from many in the community who are excited about the project which would include a medical complex with a Global Center for Brain Health serving veterans, athletes and anyone facing concussions, PTSD, traumatic brain injuries and related health conditions. We have also heard from some in the community asking us to have more conversations surrounding the development.

The Indianapolis Airport Authority (IAA) is a part of our community so we will always want what is best for the people we serve – you. Under our Land Use Initiative, we have been returning land to the community to create jobs for families, to put money back on the tax rolls and to spur economic development in Central Indiana, and that will remain our goal.”

An article published in the Indianapolis Business Journal yesterday called into question the financial stability of the project developer.

Craig Sanders, co-founder and CEO of Athlete’s Business Network, has a mixed track record. He built a massive network of Dunkin’ Donuts franchises, opening more than 200 locations in six cities nearly a decade ago. But the business struggled, lost millions of dollars and went bankrupt in 2009, and the chief financial officer went to prison for stealing $429,000. Sanders also filed for personal bankruptcy in 2013.

The Airport Authority says it plans to keep processing community feedback and having additional conversations before voting on the proposal.

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