The Capital Improvement Board is finalizing the sale of the Ober Building that sits beside Bankers Life Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis. It is one of several recent moves to push the CIB closer to financial stability after it almost went bankrupt.
“They are really the glue that puts the downtown facilities together,” said James Wallace with Visit Indy, the area tourism group.
The CIB is in charge of Indianapolis’ downtown sports venues. It agreed to sell the building to the company behind Steak N’ Shake for $3.1 million. Originally, the sale price was $3.8 million, but much-needed repairs were instead included in the sale price.
The CIB purchased the building in 1999, and while the board president, Ann Lathrop, said it had made them money, she claimed office building management is not really their forte.
“I’m exciting to be able to keep the corporate headquarters downtown,” said Lathrop, of the sale that she claims was key in keeping the company downtown.
“We just continue to look for long term fiscal health to be able to keep our tenants in the buildings that we run and operate.”
A few weeks ago, the CIB learned it would be getting much-needed revenue through an increase in the area ticket tax. The city will get all of the additional revenue from the 10 percent ticket tax the first year, but the CIB will get 75 percent of the proceeds after that.
“Given the latest agreement with the city, we feel pretty good about the status of the CIB, ” said Lathrop
Lathrop also said the CIB has refinanced its debt to allow for a savings of about $13 million.
Visit Indy officials, who are charged with bringing big conventions to Indianapolis, also emphasized the importance of the CIB for the city.
“Without the CIB being in strong financial condition to help us do the marketing and keep this building clean and functioning, we could not be successful,” said Wallace.
The Metropolitan Development Commission will need to approve the sale on Feb. 20. The closing is expected at the end of the month.