Neighbors want community improvements before justice center is built

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 9, 2015) - City and county leaders met with members of the community Monday night where the new justice center is set to be built. Only a few members of community, also known as "The Valley," showed up to the meeting to voice their concerns and ask questions. Neighbors say they are hoping the center will help their community that the feel has been ignored for years.

“We need more improvement. We need more businesses come around. There’s a lot of vacant houses. There’s a lot of people with no jobs," said Taki Sawi.

There are plans to help revitalize the neighborhood including $2 million in street, sidewalk, and park repairs. Some neighbors are skeptical that those improvements may not happen.

"I just don’t know if they’re gonna improve the neighborhoods before they build that or are they going to build that and then if they have the money leftover, put it into the neighborhood," said Gary Henson.

City leaders say the justice center will bring 3,600 visitors to the community daily. That would be about seven million each year and an overall $400 million investment into the area.

City councilman Jeff Miller says this would be crucial to improve an area of the city that's "tough" and has been neglected.

“I’ve already had lots of folks calling me asking 'should I invest in my home, should I do this,' I’m like, 'yes, absolutely,' values are gonna go up," Miller said.

A special committee of the City-County Council now has until April 20th to submit plans for a full vote. The initial date was March 31, but city leaders say because the financial process can take time, they wanted to ensure extra time was added to that deadline. If the committee doesn't meet the deadline, the bidder has the option to pull out of the contract.