The city council’s rejection of a $400 million criminal justice center was a blow to Mayor Greg Ballard.

CHICAGO - Indianapolis will not be building a new $400 million criminal justice center, at least not any time soon.

The Indianapolis Marion County City-County Council voted June 8 not to hear a revised version of the plan, which the council had earlier rejected. The 16-13 vote against hearing the revised plan was a blow to Mayor Greg Ballard, who has pushed hard for the facility.

It was to be one of the largest public-private partnerships of its kinds in the country.

"During the last six months we have heard a lot of criticism from council leadership but nothing in the way of ideas," Ballard said in a statement after the vote. "Their intentional lack of engagement and unwillingness to think beyond their next political move carries a price tag."

Council opponents said their financial analysis showed revenue shortfalls of up to $39 million during the first nine years. The developer, WMB Heartland Justice Partners, scaled back the plan by $17.5 million, reducing the number of beds in the jail and courtrooms. But the council president and others continued to oppose the plan.

Ballard's plan called for a new center downtown that would replace the city's four existing criminal justice facilities. It was to be structured as an availability-payment P3. The city planned to make its availability payments out of the criminal justice budget, largely from expected savings from the new project, Deputy Mayor Adam Collins told the Bond Buyer in a previous interview.

The private team on the 35-year deal is an international consortium led by Meridiam Infrastructure and Walsh Investors. Their bid reportedly expired at the end of May.

The finance team includes Nossaman LLP, acting as the city's national counsel, financial advisor KPMG and local counsel Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP.

Ballard is not running for re-election in November.

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