Judge orders demolition of troubled Oaktree Apartments on Indy's far eastside

Posted at 4:24 PM, Jun 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-25 21:39:50-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- A Marion County judge has again ordered the owners of an abandoned northeast side apartment complex to tear the building down. 

At a compliance hearing between the owner of Oaktree Apartments and the City of Indianapolis on Monday, a judge ordered that the apartment complex must be torn down by August 30th. 

In March, a judge issued a similar order to the owner of Oaktree Apartments, Indy Diamond LLC, but the order was vacated a month later, according to online court records.

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The remaining residents of the property were evicted in February 2014 due to a lack of hot water, or any water, in the apartments. Since then, the property has remained vacant - although neighbors have reported squatters taking up residence in empty buildings. 

The area of 42nd Street and Post Road, where the complex is located, is one of the most violent parts of the city. There have been five homicides within a few blocks of the intersection this year.

The property’s problems aren’t confined to this year, either. In 2009, 45-year-old Margaret Russell’s body was found inside an empty apartment at the complex. In March 2012, 34-year-old Murry Suttle was found shot at the apartments and died a short time later at the hospital.

READ | 11 murders in 6 months on Far Eastside neighborhood | Neighbors say abandoned homes breed crime

A group of community members from the Far Eastside attended the hearing to support the judge's order to have the complex demolished. 

"Oaktree has been a condemned property in our community for far too long, and we need the city to support ridding this dangerous, blighted property from our community," a message from the community states.

It was not immediately clear whether Indy Diamond LLC intends to appeal the ruling. If not, the company will have until August 30 to either demolish the complex or be approved for an extension.

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