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Abandoned home becomes persistent problem for east side Indy businesses

abandoned home shadeland avenue
Posted at 6:43 PM, Feb 28, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-01 17:02:14-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Business owners on Shadeland Avenue say an abandoned home is now a magnet for people experiencing homelessness.

They are desperate for the city of Indianapolis to tear it down because of the transients' behavior.


The home is directly behind the Shadeland Garages auto repair complex on 3701 Shadeland Avenue. The people there say it is dangerous to do business since the situation intensified last year.

"Customers are afraid to even stop by because they see all of these incidents," said a business owner WRTV spoke with, who asked to stay anonymous because of threats from the people in the home. "We're afraid that one day we'll leave our shop and somebody will break in and do something to our business."

IMPD told WRTV they have come to the property a "handful of times" in the past 12 months. One police report from October specifically cited a disturbance inside of the abandoned building.


The business owner said temporary residents of the abandoned home had set cars on fire, left syringes around the property, and physically threatened customers and themselves.

"If they want to fight, let them fight, because I can't do anything about it," they said. "One time we called the police and they said, 'We're here for your safety, so call us anytime you want,' but after we called them, they're still here. We stopped calling them because they don't do anything about it."

The Department of Business and Neighborhood Services investigates abandoned buildings for the city of Indianapolis. They told WRTV they are currently investigating the abandoned Shadeland Avenue home.


The business owner said they cannot afford to work next to the abandoned house for much longer.

"We're thinking about finding a different location to be safe, because right here we're losing business," they said. "I would hope they just tear the house down and that's it."

The Department of Business and Neighborhood Services released the following statement:

After conducting an inspection, the Department of Business and Neighborhood Services did open an emergency vacant board order and trash case at the property. Our expectation was that the vendor would board the structure today or tomorrow, depending on IMPD's availability and the building's occupancy. Now that the Department issued the property owner a letter advising them of the trash issue, we will sending an inspector to the property on or around March 11, 2024, to determine if the problem has been addressed. If it hasn't been cleaned, the Department will have to start the process of bidding that trash cleanup out to a vendor.