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Questions arise over bid process for old airport site

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 8, 2016) – A $500 million proposal was slated for the old Indianapolis Airport, but that project was stopped amid public concern.

“We’re really trying to do a lot of fact checking. We’re trying to figure out what’s happening,” said City Councilor Jared Evans (D – District 22).

Evans lives just minutes from the old Indianapolis Airport. He knows a major development is coming to the site, he’s just not sure it’s the right one.

“I’m getting phone calls, emails, I had a meeting this morning with some concerned clergy on the west side, so we’ve got to get some questions answered,” he said.

A $500 million sports medical complex, stadium and hotel were slated just a few weeks ago to be built by ABN at the site of the old airport. But the Airport Authority delayed their vote to approve the project after concerns it had not had enough vetting from the public.

As a result of this contention, both companies will be having public forums, where they’ll present their proposals and the public can weigh in.

Tuesday, a few dozen people attended an informational meeting hosted by Full House Resorts.

“The freeway exit is already there, the infrastructure is there it’s just a fantastic location with access to a lot of residents in Marion County,” said Alex Stolyar.

Next week, representatives with ABN are expected to host a similar meeting.

The Airport Authority issued the following statement:

“The airport is confident that it complied with state law.  From the start, the airport’s process has allowed for a full and frank hearing of all the proposals for this land, including the casino’s.  Indeed, the casino made two formal presentations to the airport last year.  Following the presentations, the casino was not selected as our primary choice to begin negotiations.  This action by the casino is not unexpected since it has not been selected at this point.  The airport’s process is ongoing, and we are committed to putting this land back into productive use for the benefit of our community.”

The Airport Authority Board will vote at their next meeting, March 18, to decide which project gets the final approval.

We previously reported that there were concerns the airport may have broken state law by not abiding by a proper bidding process, but we received new information, and that is not the case.