City to seek appraisal of police department’s headquarters
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.