Plans for old GM Stamping Plant scrapped

(WTHR photo: Mary Milz)
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - A multi-million dollar mixed-use project planned for the site of the old GM Stamping Plant just southwest of downtown is no longer a go.

Indianapolis-based Ambrose Property Group issued a statement Friday saying it was "repositioning its business to focus on e-commerce and industrial development in Indianapolis and nationally."

When contacted, a spokesperson for Ambrose declined further comment.

The company was to break ground at the sprawling 103-acre site early next year. Plans called for restaurants, retail, residential units and office space...to be built in phases.

The news came as a big surprise to Jay Napolean, who leads the Valley Neighborhood association.

"We didn't see it coming," Napolean said. "It's shovel ready. All the environmental testing is taken care of."

Along the river and close to downtown, the site is seen as prime real estate. Residents in the older, working class neighborhood area, eager for something special, fought previous proposals, one to put the new criminal justice center there and another an amphitheater for live music.

Judy Joyner, who's lived in the area 47 years said of Waterside, "It was nice work. It didn't happen it still might. We're not going anywhere.. you're welcome to come in and share with us. we're right across from downtown and that's as good as we can offer."

The city of Indianapolis pledged $8 million in incentives to help with infrastructure

improvements. A spokesperson for the mayor's office said, less than a quarter of that was spent.

In a statement, Thomas Cook, Mayor Hogsett's chief of staff called Ambrose's decision to pull out, "disappointing."

But Cook also said "it doesn't dampen our optimism and commitment to this site and the surrounding neighborhoods. We intend to use all available tools to ensure that the future of this parcel will live up to the years of planning that has occurred and the ongoing White River Vision Plan."

Napolean agreed, "We're not going to take the position of, ok if this fell thru we'll take whatever is available. It has to have a positive impact for this neighborhood. It must."

Ambrose bought the property, which had been vacant since 2011, from RACER Trust, which was responsible for cleaning up the site and selling it.

The city, along with residents weighed in on best use. One of the big questions now? How much pull will they have deciding what's next for the site given it's now privately owned.

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