Judge orders vacant Indy apartment complex, a well-known trouble spot, be torn down within 60 days

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A Marion County judge has ordered an Indianapolis eyesore be torn down.

This month, the judge ruled the Oaktree Apartments near 42nd and Post should be demolished within 60 days.

The complex has been a trouble spot for years. With broken windows and boarded up doors, neighbors are not going to miss the apartments if they’re demolished.

"I wish they would tear them down," said neighbor Lonnie Hopper. "It’s just an eyesore. They rarely cut the grass."

Lonnie Hopper has lived across the street from Oaktree long before the gates were locked. In 2013, the city declared the property a public nuisance following hundreds of police runs. The following year, the city ordered the apartments be closed and the residents evicted.

Lonnie watched it all happen.

"Some of the units didn’t have water. They had mold and no heat and people were still living in them," said Hopper.

Yet even after being shut down, the abandoned property continued to be a headache with fires breaking out and while neighbors say drug activity is common on the property, police admitted the Oaktree is hard to patrol.

"We know people know this area is secluded, so things do transpire back here due to how isolated and desolate it looks," said IMPD officer Justin Henry.

"It is an eyesore on the community and it makes the community look blighted," said Rev. Charles Harrison.

Rev. Harrison praised this court order which found the Oaktree owner, Indy Diamond LLC, violated an agreement from 2016 and gave the company 60 days to demolish the entire property.

In January, at a complex adjacent to Oaktree, a 26-year-old was shot to death and the same week the body of a 19-year-old murder victim was dumped in a vacant unit.

This year, the Ten Point Coalition expanded patrols around 42nd and Post, but Harrison says until more troubled properties like Oaktree are removed, the violence will continue.

"We cannot allow these vacant abandoned properties to stay in that area because it becomes a public safety issue," said Harrison.

The property owner could still appeal the judge's ruling or they could ask for an extension of the deadline for demolition.

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