Successes & Accomplishments

Property Remediation. At the time of the Army’s conveyance of 800 acres to the Fort Harrison Reuse Authority, the Authority purchased the land from the Army for $9 million. The land appraised at a negative $9 million because of its crumbling infrastructure. The FHRA demolished over 800,000 square feet of dilapidated buildings and set about repairing many of the underground utilities. Much of the property was purchased by various investors who with the help of the FHRA began to redevelop buildings and property for residential and office use. The FHRA continues to invest in the improvement of water and sewer lines, remediating properties with abandoned steam vaults and crumbling manhole structures, and in the removal of concrete and contaminated soils.

TIF Revenue Bonds. The TIF District at Fort Benjamin Harrison is an excellent example of TIF funds at work for mass improvements. The FHRA has issued three revenue bonds to date for infrastructure projects or for projects that enhance the quality of the economy and life at the Fort, and therefore for the City of Lawrence. The Series 2000 TIF Revenue Bond was in the amount of $15 million and was used to build the bridge over the train tracks at 56th Street. This bridge significantly increases access to the Fort area (28,000 cars per day) and promotes commerce as a result.

56th St. Bridge.jpg 

The Series 2006 TIF Revenue bond was in the amount of $12 million and was used to build the new PX & Commissary. This was a transaction that helped keep the PX & Commissary here in Lawrence and led to the cancellation of the FHRA’s debt to the Army. It also resulted in the Army’s conveyance to the FHRA of the former property on which sat the old PX & Commissary. The PX & Commissary provides essential services to military personnel, retirees and their families across Indiana and further Indiana’s position to support the war effort in Iraq and beyond. Over 35,000 families from across the State of Indiana travel to this PX/Commissary on an annual basis to shop at this store.

PX & Commissary.JPG

The Fort Harrison Reuse Authority has invested $10 million in sustainable infrastructure improvements necessary to finalize the Master Reuse Plan for the former Fort Harrison Army Base. The project includes new streets, landscaping, lighting, parks, signage, rain gardens, raised median planters, entrance columns and installation of all underground utilities. Over 380 trees, 2,300 shrubs, and 23,000 perennials and groundcover are being planted, lining new streets and pocket parks that include bike lanes, sidewalks, jogging trails, and on-street parking.

Infrastructure 2010.jpg

Property Values & Housing. Because of this infrastructure investment, property values have increased and two major housing projects.  The development companies involved in these projects, which total almost 300 units of high quality housing, have indicated that they were attracted to the Village concept because of the sustainable infrastructure.  In a time when the economy has brought new projects to almost a complete standstill, the Lawrence Village at the Fort project is seeing significant activity.

Awards & Recognitions. The Fort’s development to date is widely recognized by the military and U.S. cities as a success story for the reuse and redevelopment of a vacated military installation. In fact, the United States Office of the Secretary of Defense issued an award to the Reuse Authority for Exemplary Work in Base Redevelopment. In addition, the Indiana Chapter of the American Planning Association gave the Authority two Hoosier Planning Awards – Honorable Mention for Outstanding Project and Outstanding Plan.

More recently, the Fort Harrison Reuse Authority is proud to announce that Lawrence Village at the Fort has received two Monumental Affair Merit Awards from Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB) in both the Landscape Architecture and Community Development categories. The Monumental Award, representing the most significant visual and physical enhancement in Marion County, is selected by an impartial jury of community and professional leaders. This is the highest award of distinction and is chosen from the honor award winners in each category.

In addition, Lawrence Village at the Fort has received recognition as a finalist for the City of Indianapolis Office of Sustainability Award in the Land Use Category. The award, which is presented by the Office of Sustainability, McKinney Green Initiatives Fund and the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, is designed to inspire innovation, showcase impact, reward leadership and promote education around the principles of sustainability.

Public Art Program. The FHRA partnered with the Herron School of Art for two outdoor art sculptures through their graduate studies program. The FHRA believes that this partnership gives back to both the arts and local communities and showcases new artists.