City to seek ap­praisal of po­lice depart­ment’s head­quar­ters

Post Tribune (Sunday) - - News - By Gre­gory Te­jeda Post-Tri­bune

A Scher­erville-based com­pany has been picked by the Re­de­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion to ap­praise the land and the struc­ture used by the Gary Po­lice Depart­ment as their head­quar­ters.

The Gary Pub­lic Safety Build­ing, at 555 Polk St., is the city-owned prop­erty at the cen­ter of a plan by mu­nic­i­pal gov­ern­ment to try to raise money in or­der to help the city sta­bi­lize its fi­nan­cial sta­tus.

The plan, which still has to be ap­proved by the Gary Com­mon Coun­cil, would in­volve a tech­ni­cal sale of the struc­ture to an en­tity that would then lease the prop­erty back to the city so it could con­tinue to be used as a po­lice head­quar­ters.

That is why the Re­de­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion gave its ap­proval with­out op­po­si­tion to an en­gage­ment let­ter seek­ing the ser­vices of Amer­i­can Val­u­a­tion Ap­praisal Ser­vices.

The com­pany is based in Scher­erville, and it will re­ceive a pay­ment of up to $10,500 for their work, said Re­de­vel­op­ment Deputy Di­rec­tor Car­rol Pir­tle.

Work will be done in com­ing weeks to set a dol­lar fig­ure on the value of the four-story struc­ture that houses the Po­lice Depart­ment and some of­fices of the Gary city court.

That fig­ure would then be­come part of the pro­posal by which own­er­ship of the build­ing would be turned over to an en­tity called the Gary Build­ing Corp.

The Gary Build­ing Corp. would then try to sell bonds to fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions.

City of­fi­cials have said the plan the­o­ret­i­cally could help Gary raise up to $40 mil­lion, which would be com­bined with spend­ing cuts in up­com­ing years to help the city re­gain con­trol of its fi­nances.

Of­fi­cials say they hope the Com­mon Coun­cil can be ready to give fi­nal ap­proval to a plan with spe­cific de­tails by next month.

In other busi­ness, the Re­de­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion also awarded a con­tract to a Gary-based land­scap­ing com­pany to work on de­vel­op­ing a park in­tended for use by res­i­dents of the down­town-based Ge­n­e­sis Tow­ers se­nior cit­i­zens com­plex.

The struc­ture once known as the Ho­tel Gary has a va­cant lot across the street at 577-87 Broad­way, and Re­de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cials have worked for the past year to clear the site so it can be turned into a fenced-in park.

Although lo­cated in the heart of down­town Gary, it would be for the use of Ge­n­e­sis Tow­ers res­i­dents and would be meant to pro­vide a safe place where the se­nior cit­i­zen res­i­dents could go out­side and where events could be held on their be­half.

Get It Done Lawn Care & Snow Re­moval was re­tained for their ser­vices to land­scape the site. They will be paid $10,000 for their work.

Get It Done is a Gary­based firm and was one of three com­pa­nies asked by the city to sub­mit bids, although their bid was the lone one the Re­de­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion ac­tu­ally re­ceived.

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