Indianapolis seeks land off College Avenue

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Indianapolis is considering purchasing property off College Avenue for its new Broad Ripple fire station, relocating the current 100-year-old site tucked along the canal off Guilford Avenue to a major roadway. 

The new station is part of the city’s multi-million dollar infrastructure improvement initiative funded through property taxes, known as Circle City Forward. The investment for the fire station is $7.5 million. 

The proposal, which would go before the council on a final vote on Oct. 18, expresses interest in purchasing property at 6379 N. College Avenue. 

The site is currently owned by the Broad Ripple American Legion Post No. 3. The American Legion will still stay in its building on the site, said post commander Daniel Cunningham. The portion of the property the city would acquire sits on the current parking lot.

The post will have a meeting on Oct. 6 to vote on an offer from the city, subject to some contingencies, he said. 

The city, which has been in talks with the American Legion branch, has a formal purchase agreement in place for $950,000 to buy 0.43 acres of the roughly one-acre site, according to Mark Bode, spokesman for Mayor Joe Hogsett. 

The closing date is scheduled for Oct. 20. The proposal still needs approval from the Office of Public Health and Safety board and the council’s administration and finance committee, which will hear the matter on Oct. 6. 

In 2016the Butler-Tarkington fire station merged with the Broad Ripple station, known as Station 32, amid concerns from the neighborhood about slower response times. The move was part of a larger effort across the Indianapolis Fire Department to deploy resources more effectively. 

The current Broad Ripple station, however, is too small to fit modern firefighting equipment. 

Councilor John Barth, a co-sponsor of the proposal, now hopes the new station will provide better coverage. 

“The benefit of a new Station 32 is that the new location has much easier and faster access to a fast-moving artery, which is College (Avenue),” said Barth, who represents the city’s District 7 area of Butler-Tarkington. “Which means response times to District 7 will be enhanced.”

The current Station 32 could be repurposed for a different use. The city’s Department of Metropolitan Development will issue a request for proposals on the site’s reuse, a process that will also include community engagement, Bode said. 

A similar process occurred to the former Butler-Tarkington fire station, which has since been purchased by a developer with plans to repurpose the building for commercial use. 

Call IndyStar reporter Amelia Pak-Harvey at 317-444-6175 or email her at Follow her on Twitter @AmeliaPakHarvey.

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