Make your home page

Neighborhood on edge with abandoned warehouse that once held dangerous chemicals

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — There is an abandoned warehouse that sits right in the middle of the Kennedy King area. There are high-end apartments and homes surrounding this property, and a developer has their eye on this land for new homes. For the past couple years, the neighborhood has been on edge as the homeless have built fires in and around these buildings that once housed dangerous chemicals. 

“After the Richmond fire, we have concerns about it going up in flames and our neighborhood being evacuated,” said Jay Bedwell, who lives just two doors down from the warehouse. 

Bedwell and many of his neighbors have tried to get the city to take action on the trash and debris in and around this old warehouse. With doors and windows missing, the buildings are wide open. The homeless have taken up residency and started building fires to keep warm.     

“That is why we started contacting the city because of the vagrants, and we were worried about it going up in flames and the chemicals. We know it used to be a plating company,” said Bedwell.

2060 Yandes street has a colorful history of owners. From the mid 1930’s until the 1950’s, it was home to an oil and gas distribution company. For 40 years, there was a machine shop that built parts for the aerospace and aircraft industry, and most recently, a painting and sign company, which closed six years ago. In the 1990’s, the Marion County Health Department ordered the removal of eight underground storage tanks along with several tons of contaminated soil. Most recently, an environmental study was completed that found lead and other dangerous chemicals persist in the soil.  

“I would like for the city to take responsibility and secure the building. The building is not secure. Anyone can get into the building, and the whole neighborhood would like for them to be responsible for cleaning up the entire area,” said Bedwell. 

The Indianapolis Department of Business and Neighborhood Services sent I-Team 8 a statement.  

The department has since issued vacant board orders for multiple openings, as well as several repair orders for both the main structure and an outbuilding. 

The inspector was told by the current owner that they are in the process of selling the building to a development company who plan to demolish the site. I-Team 8 found documents submitted by a developer to build single family homes and townhomes on this land.  

Last week, the lawn was mowed and piles of debris that had littered site were pushed into the buildings. Not out of sight, but not out of mind.  

“I would like the city to be more attentive and accountable for facilities like this I’m sure this is not the only facility around Marion county where there is a problem like this,” said Bedwell.

If this property is sold, it will be the responsibility of the new owner to either clean it up or face fines, and if the fines are not paid, the city could auction the property.