The city of Indianapolis and Citizens Energy Group have reached an agreement on the future site of the city’s Community Justice Campus development. Mayor Joe Hogsett’s office says the city will spend $4.2 million to acquire 140 acres of Pleasant Run Crossing, home to the former Citizens Energy Manufactured Gas & Coke Plant, while the utility will continue with remediation efforts. Hogsett calls the deal "the next big step toward holistic justice reform in our community."
As part of the deal, the city will purchase three parcels, known as Prospect Place West, Prospect Place East, and Twin Aire, outright for $2.1 million. The city will then lease the Pleasant Run Crossing parcels, which includes the site of the plant, for an additional $2.1 million and will take on full ownership once remediation work is complete.
In a statement, Hogsett called the deal good news for the city, Citizens Energy Group, and the Twin Aire neighborhood, where the site is located.
"I am proud of all who worked to reach this agreement, as it is not only financially sound for all involved parties, including the taxpayers of Indianapolis, but also guarantees that Pleasant Run Crossing will receive the thorough environmental remediation it deserves," said Hogsett. "In particular, I want to recognize Citizens for embodying what it truly means to be a community business partner. In this agreement, Citizens has balanced its business interests with the economic development needs of our community."
Citizens Energy Group is working with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and experts from Purdue University to complete remediation efforts, which the city says will not only accommodate the community justice center, but other reuse opportunities at the site.
"The agreement for the transfer of our Pleasant Run Crossing property to the City of Indianapolis is an historic milestone toward achieving our vision to return the site to uses that will produce good paying jobs and enhance quality of life on the southeast side," said Jeffrey Harrison, chief executive officer of Citizens Energy Group. "Approximately 110 years ago, Citizens opened a manufactured gas and coke plant at this site and it became the economic foundation for this area of the city. It is very gratifying to see the Pleasant Run Crossing site again poised to lead an economic revival for the southeast side."
In March, the city provided an early estimate for the cost of building the new community justice center, which came in at between $565 million and $575 million, with an additional $74 million for off-site renovation projects. Mayor Hogsett did not provide an update to the cost estimate at Monday’s announcement.