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Post Headquarters

Action:

Identified for closure in 1991 and closed in 1996

Location:

13 miles northeast of Indianapolis

Point of Contact:

Fort Harrison Reuse Authority (FHRA)
Ehren Bingaman, Executive Director
Doris Combs, Executive Assistant
9120 Otis Avenue Suite 200
Indianapolis, Indiana 46216
Telephone: (317) 377-3400
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Base Overview

Located in Lawrence, Indiana, Fort Harrison officially closed in 1996 as part of the 1991 BRAC round. The base spanned 2,400 acres in Marion County, Indiana and contained numerous buildings while employing 1,050 civilian employees.

Strategy

Redevelopment efforts for Fort Harrison began in 1994 and initially focused on recreational themes. Following the 1994 submission of the Fort Harrison Reuse Plan to the U.S. Army, the city of Lawrence established the Fort Harrison Reuse Authority (FHRA) in 1995, and the first deed transfers occurred in October 1996. The Fort Harrison State Park was dedicated in October 1996, which produced an immediate success story, as it has preserved 1,700 acres of contiguous forest only 11 miles from downtown Indianapolis, including the former base’s 18-hole golf course, and has attracted business and housing developments nearby. The recreational theme continues as the FHRA has leased the former post’s physical fitness center to Greater Indianapolis YMCA, has assisted with the development of a world-class youth soccer complex that combines existing parkland within the city of Lawrence, and has planned a network of multi-use pathways throughout the site.

Integration of new construction with Fort Harrison’s historic structures proved to be another key factor in the base’s redevelopment. Because the city of Lawrence essentially grew up around Fort Harrison over the course of the 20th century, the base closure presented a unique opportunity for the city of Lawrence to establish a true “downtown” district and to create balanced, interconnected neighborhoods. Several of the historic structures were converted for residential use as well various commercial facilities.

Result

Capitalizing on the presence of over 75 historically significant brick buildings dating to 1908, beautiful terrain, including 1,700 acres of largely undisturbed rolling hills and woodlands, and a sense of “atmosphere,” the Fort Harrison Reuse Plan focused on mixed-use development.

The former base and its facilities have been transformed into several buildings and highly used places, including market rate housing, senior housing, a community college campus, industrial and commercial sites, recreational facilities, and Fort Harrison State Park, which includes an 18-hole golf course.

Total property sales have exceeded $16 million, and over one million square feet of new residential and commercial construction have been completed or are under construction, and approximately 1.25 million square feet of historic structures have been renovated. Additionally, by October 2003, workforce and redevelopment efforts at Fort Harrison have replaced 112 percent of the original jobs eliminated in the 1996 base closure.

In the News

  • With or without BRAC, DoD’s footprint is shrinking

    April 8, 2015 – Federal News Radio, By Jared Serbu In each of the past four years, the Pentagon has proposed a new round of base closures and Congress has rejected every one so far. But with or without lawmakers’ approval, the military’s footprint is shrinking. The Defense Department has hinted...

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  • Not Your Grandfather’s Factories

    Governing (Voices of the Governing Institute), By Anne Kim – April 8, 2015 It’s not easy for manufacturing to attract the younger, skilled workers that it needs. We need to focus on both the educational pipeline and public perceptions. For much of the past 30 years, the American public’s view of...

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  • Improving Public Services: The Secrets of Award-Winning Cities

    April 6, 2015 – Governing, By John M. Kamensky Local governments, their citizens and community interest groups all want better service delivery, and more than ever are looking to technology to make that happen. But technology alone won’t work. What cities that have been recognized for innovations...

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  • Looming Army cuts fill Texas leaders with dread

    April 4, 2015 – San Antonio Express-News, By Sig Christenson Automatic federal spending cuts over the last three years have hurt several Texas cities with large military installations — part of the budget sequester that will reduce the size of the Army by 80,000...

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  • IMCOM leaders set sights on 2025

    April 2, 2015 – Hawai’i Army Weekly (Army News Service) SAN ANTONIO — U.S. Army Installation Management Command top leaders held a conference, here, for garrison commanders and command sergeants major to set a collective course for IMCOM 2025 and Beyond.

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  • Budgets Signal Sequester Cuts Here to Stay

    March 30, 2015 – Defense News, By John T. Bennett WASHINGTON — What to do about sequestration is one issue House and Senate negotiators can skip as they craft a compromise 2016 federal budget blueprint. That’s because spending resolutions approved last week by the House and Senate both leave the...

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