The City of Indianapolis today filed for eminent domain on Oaktree Apartments, an abandoned, crime-ridden complex on the far-east side.
Oaktree, comprised of about 30 buildings and located at 42nd Street and Post Road, was condemned by the Marion County Health Department in 2014 for unaddressed health and safety violations. It has since attracted drug trafficking, prostitution and violent crime to the neighborhood, one which has struggled with crime for decades.
"With dozens of police runs to this property in the past two years, the Oaktree Apartments clearly present a danger to the Far Eastside," Mayor Joe Hogsett said in a statement. "Filing suit for eminent domain is the first step to improving the public health and safety of nearby residents and beginning to repair the damage this blighted property has done to the neighborhood."
The city says the property’s out-of-country owner, Indy Diamond LLC, has been unresponsive in the past. The owner was recently found in contempt of court for refusing to demolish the site itself. For the last month the city was in the process of attempting to purchase the land, which seems to have fallen apart.
“For more than 10 years the Oaktree Apartments have held back the Far Eastside," District 14 Councilor La Keisha Jackson says. “One owner, one landlord, has allowed this to go on for far too long, but thanks to the Hogsett administration and local community leaders, we’re taking a stand for the residents of the Far Eastside."
The Department of Metropolitan Development plans to demolish the complex, and prepare it for redevelopment, if the city's eminent domain request is approved. The City-County Council last month narrowly approved a proposal to use $2.2 million on the demolition.