3400 block of College – Wondering what this was in it’s previous life…?

Update 7/8/2012- This building evidently collapsed today.


2 responses to “WTH Weds: Praise the Roof”

  1. Tyson Domer says:

    I agree this facade is an abomination. The building under there is probably fairly handsome, or was at some time. The parapet/roof has been like that for at least 6 years, so if the building is indeed open to the elements there is likely structural damage. Demolition by neglect…but note also that DPW is soliciting bids for the demolition of this one as part of the Rebuild Indy “group 3” demo bid package. You can download the bid package here –

  2. Tyson Domer says:

    This building was emergently demolished early this week (7/8/12). Unfortunately, wood frame structures with heavy veneer facades don’t fare well when they are subject to structural decay. This building was open to the elements for several (7+?) years due to roof damage. The brick veneer had been slowly failing, and finally a large chunk of the masonry gave way, falling away from the wood frame exterior structural walls, giving rise to the demolition.

    Did the City really know that this building was in danger of imminent collapse when they put it on their demo bid list in February? Probably not… In fact the City subsequently removed it from their demo bid list because the property was purchased at the last Treasurer’s Tax Sale. Presumably the new owner petitioned the City to stay the demo.

    Who pays for the emergent demo? I assume the cost to demo the building will be recorded as a tax lien. Unless the new owner is willing to own an expensive vacant lot on College Avenue (i.e. pay the property taxes including the demo lien), the property will be available in a future tax sale.

    The tax sale acquisition strategy of choice: let it ride at the tax sale (i.e. don;t bid), then pick it up from the City Land Bank (through a non-profit) for $2500 (if it was offered in the tax sale as a C list property) or purchase it as County Surplus (if it was offered in the tax sale as an A list property.) Either way, it will be a few more years before this land will be available for redevelopment at a reasonable price (for that market.) In the meantime, expect a weed-covered dirt lot that will serve as overflow parking for the funeral home next door. One of the adjacent land owners could also purchase the property from the City Land Bank. Perhaps this will make the restaurant/banquet facility to the north or the funeral home to the south more viable through the addition of convenient parking. Seems like a lot of process and wasted time for a parking lot.

    Is there a better way to deal with vacant (empty) and abandoned (empty and tax delinquent) properties? You bet! Unfortunately, my experience has been that the City is relatively tone deaf when it comes to formulating a logical, cost-effective strategy that is sensitive to community concerns. Who will champion this issue? Lots of moving parts to manage, but that’s what it takes – a fine-grained approach to addressing the various blighting influences in neighborhoods. Is Indianapolis up to the task?