Number of bidders unclear for Grand Park


It remained unclear whether the city of Westfield received any bids for the Grand Park Sports Complex as officials explore the possibility of selling the park or entering into a public-private partnership.

The deadline to submit bids for the 400-acre complex was Aug. 8. Sixteen entities met an April deadline to submit an intent to submit a bid for Grand Park, according to the city.

However, city spokesman Chris Proffitt said on Aug. 9 that he was still awaiting information on the number of bidders and would pass along information to Current when it was available. The city’s chief of staff, Jeremy Lollar, did not respond to several phone calls seeking comment on the matter.

The Westfield Redevelopment Commission, which owns the complex, released a request for proposals in March seeking companies interested in purchasing Grand Park or operating the campus through a public-private partnership. The city obtained two appraisals earlier this month regarding the complex.

One of those appraisals was from Indianapolis-based Integra Realty Resources for $80 million, while the second appraisal from Charles R. Mills Jr. was for $90 million, according to the city. Proffitt previously said the minimum price for Grand Park is the average of the two appraisals, meaning Grand Park’s minimum price would be $85 million.

Grand Park, which serves as the training camp for the Indianapolis Colts, has 31 soccer fields, 26 baseball diamonds, two administration buildings, seven concession stands and a 378,000-square-foot multi-use event center.

If Westfield were to sell Grand Park, city officials previously said they would use the proceeds to pay off park debt. The city still owes nearly $80 million for the complex.

However, Westfield City Council member Mike Johns said the city should keep Grand Park, adding that he thinks it serves its purpose in attracting businesses and people to Westfield.

“I’m a big supporter of Grand Park,” Johns said.

Johns noted that the city doesn’t make any money from Grand Park.

“If you put all the real costs against if we were a regular company, if you put increased costs against it and depreciation against it, taxes against it, property taxes, it’s losing money,” he said.

Asked why he believes the city should keep Grand Park when the city is losing money, Johns said: “To an extent, it is Westfield. It’s what (we’re known) for in Indiana.”

Johns added that Grand Park, which serves as the training camp for the Indianapolis Colts, is also known to people across the Midwest and is used to market the city as well. Johns also said he is in favor of having someone manage the facility instead of the city.

Still, he said he was interested in seeing how the bids turn out but didn’t think the city would get an offer to purchase the complex since an entity would have to make a return on its investment.

An independent committee will review any bids received and then make a recommendation to the Westfield Redevelopment Commission and the Westfield City Council. That committee will review proposals, which will be made public at some point, said City Attorney Manny Herceg.

“The process is confidential up until the recommendation is made,” Herceg said.