INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – For decades, Hoosier autoworkers built the cars and trucks that literally drove America at the General Motors Stamping Plant on West Oliver Street overlooking the White River.
Then in 2009, GM filed for bankruptcy, the obsolete plant on 103 acres was torn down and the land fell into the hands of the federal government which tasked RACER Trust to find a new use for the property.
RACER Trust announced it has chosen Ambrose Property Group to bring the land, and hopefully the surrounding neighborhood, back to life.
“The potential’s enormous just bringing the river not just for our neighborhood but for the city as a whole will be truly transformational,” said Jay Napolean of the Valley Neighborhood Association.
Ambrose envisions spending $550 million over the next 15 years to turn the old plant land into someplace people would want to live and visit.
The winning bid from the Indianapolis-based developer imagines 2.7 million square feet of development including 535,000 square feet of mixed-use construction the first five years.
multi-family residential units are forecasted to be joined by office and retail space, a hotel, community green space and recreational opportunities linking the community to the White River just a block away; there will be 250 of them.
“It’s also being viewed as more than just four square corners,” said City County Councilman Jeff Miller. “It’s being viewed as a beachhead, if you will, right here in front of the river, as a beachhead for redevelopment of the river for miles up north and south and also for redevelopment in the neighborhood and all the surrounding neighborhoods.”
Miller is impressed with plans to make the community pedestrian and bicycle friendly.
“We want to extend over to the other side of the river bike paths, foot paths, and we want to get people over here, explore around and to make a connection to the zoo.”
The Indianapolis Zoo, located north of the community across Washington Street, floated its interest about expansion onto the GM site.
“We are riverfront property and its hard to say that anywhere else in the city,” said Napolean. “People want to be downtown and we are downtown.
“We’re very much a hidden jewel.”
The city has agreed to spend an undetermined amount of money to make the property “shovel ready” for developers through demolition of the current parking lots and fencing while carving the site up into grids and paving streets, sidewalks and curbs and providing other infrastructure.
RACER Trust was responsible for reclamation of any contamination on the site. Construction is expected to begin in 2018.