Industry News

WMB Heartland Justice Partners Announced as Preferred Vendor for New Justice Complex

Downtown ViewINDIANAPOLIS, IN – Mayor Greg Ballard, Marion County Sheriff John Layton, and other community stakeholders announced that WMB Heartland Justice Partners as the preferred vendor to finance, design, build, operate and maintain the new Marion County Justice Complex to be located on part of the old General Motors Stamping Plant.

The City-County received three compliant bids from the prequalified development teams. After thorough review by a bipartisan team, which included representatives from the City, Sheriff’s Office, Courts, City-County Council, Prosecutor, Public Defender, Community Corrections, Indianapolis Bar Association and other technical advisors, the proposal by WMB Heartland Justice Partners will be forwarded to the City-County Council for review and approval.

“WMB is excited to partner with Indianapolis and Marion County on this cutting edge project. At a time when many communities are struggling with public safety infrastructure, Indianapolis has taken an innovative step to address 21st century public safety concerns by undertaking to build this unified criminal justice campus. WMB would like to thank the Mayor and the many key stakeholders for the open and transparent process of selection and their confidence in our team and we look forward to this community partnership over decades to come,” said Joe Aiello, a partner at Meridiam.

The proposal by WMB Heartland Justice Partners required the lowest annual payment from the City-County while also meeting the rigorous technical specifications established for the project. The new justice complex will feature 37 criminal court hearing rooms, offices for the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, a 3,000 bed detention facility with on-site medical and mental health units, a 960 bed community corrections facility, and surface parking facilities.

The WMB Heartland Justice Partners proposal provides for a $46.8 million payment in 2019, the first full year of operation. This annual payment includes capital costs, financing, maintenance and operation of the facility and is $3.3 million lower than what the City-County currently spends for justice facilities, estimated at approximately $50 million per year. The payment is performance-based, meaning that WMB Heartland Justice Partners is measured on a monthly basis against predetermined service performance and availability standards – if standards are not achieved deductions are applied to the payment the City makes to WMB. The estimated cost of construction of the justice center is $408 million, considerably lower than previously speculated construction costs ranging from $500 to $700 million.

Marion County expects to fund the project over the 35-year term of the contract from the reallocation of budget dollars from expiring contracts and leases, including savings of $19 million per year from closing Jail II, as well as from reduced operational costs and future revenue sources such as federal arrestee contracts. The new center will significantly reduce the Sheriff’s costs for transporting arrestees among multiple detention and court buildings and save taxpayers’ dollars through the use of centralized security, food preparation, medical, laundry, maintenance and other shared services. The new facility will not require an increase in taxes.

WMB Heartland Justice Partners will privately finance construction, operation and maintenance of the facility. Taxpayers in the City of Indianapolis and Marion County will not be responsible for the debt. The City will now begin final negotiations with WMB Heartland Justice Partners on a final project agreement. Once that agreement has been finalized, proposals from the two non-selected vendors will be released. The final project agreement and non-winning bidder information will be made public prior to the vote by the City-County Council. If approved by the City-County Council, construction could begin in June 2015 and open in 2018.

WMB Heartland Justice Partners is a partnership comprised of Meridiam, Walsh Investors, and Balfour Beatty Investments formed to design, build, finance and maintain the Marion County Justice Complex. The team features a design-build contractor joint venture between the Walsh Construction Company and Heery International, Inc. Walsh and Heery will be supported by Dewberry Architects, Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill, L.L.P, Parsons Brinckerhoff, and four local firms: The Hagerman Group, Cripe Architects + Engineers, SchenkelShultz Architecture and KERAMIDA. The operations and maintenance of the facility will be provided by Cofely Services, Inc. and its subcontractor ABM Industries, Inc.

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