Neighbors surprised as plans for former GM plant vanish

Local

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A property group has pulled out of a project to redevelop the former General Motors stamping plant.

A statement from Ambrose Property Group said the real estate company has is selling its site called Waterside, the former GM plant that sits on 103 acres on the edge of the White River and directly west of downtown.

“Ambrose Property Group is re-positioning its business to focus on e-commerce and industrial development both in Indianapolis and nationally,” the statement said. “We believe that a focused approach on one segment of real estate development is best for our investors, our clients, employees and the communities where we invest. “

The developer had called for a $1.3 billion plan that would have turned the site into a mixed-use space with 1,350 residential units, 620 hotel rooms, 2.75 million square feet of office space and 100,000 square feet of retail.

Infrastructure work on Waterside was supposed to begin this year.

The property group said it hopes a new owner will “be warmly welcomed by the community.”

A Waterside sign still hangs from the chain link fence at the corner of the property. It’s a sign that once brought excitement; now, it brings questions about the future.

Zac Stewart, who lives nearby, said, “It’s a disappointment. We were really excited. They were really pepping it up. We had hopes we wouldn’t have a big vacant lot.”

Alexandria Viney, who also lives nearby, said, “The only thing I see over there is just cars sitting over there in the middle of the day and it’s a big empty lot.”

The former GM plant has been vacant since 2011.

Waterside and Indy Eleven were two of four applicants for the site. After the Eleven did not get picked to develop the site, a developer in January announced plans for a 20,000-seat soccer stadium with the Indy Eleven as its primary tenant. But, no site was ever announced for the stadium.

Jay Napoleon, president of the Valley neighborhood association, said he was surprised about the sudden decision but hopeful for the future.

“All the concepts that people want — , downtown living, ‘walkability,’ green space for the future of Indianapolis — this site is critical, and we intend to leverage that every step of the way,” Napoleon said.

People who live near the vacant site hope it won’t stay undeveloped for long.

Viney said, “Well, I hope they can get some more investment in. You know, get somebody to do something with it.”

Joseph Viney, her husband, said, “To see something, an area, that so desperately needs it, and not have it anymore, it’s a big blow.”

Napoleon told News 8 there will be a design contest for the space held on Wednesday, Oct. 2 at the Indianapolis Public Library – Central Library from 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Statement

“I was disappointed to learn that the Waterside development will no longer move forward as planned. I want to thank Ambrose for their serious and intentional engagement with the surrounding community. Moving forward, it is my intention that our neighbors continue to be included in this process. The GM Stamping Plant site is a unique asset in the heart of our city that, if done right, can transform our downtown for a generation or more. I stand ready to work with Mayor (Joe) Hogsett, our neighbors, and other stakeholders in next steps to develop the site.”

City-County Council President Vop Osili

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