INDIANAPOLIS — Ambrose Property Group has filed a lawsuit against the city of Indianapolis for allegedly breaching an agreement and violating the Indiana Constitution.
The agreement stated the city would not try to take the property back via eminent domain after the property group says the city threatened to do so previously, according to a press release from the property group.
On Oct. 2, Ambrose alleges the city publicly said it had already started the process to take the property back via eminent domain, according to the release. The property group alleges this has caused all activity at the site to stop and caused developers to not invest in the property until the threats from the city were removed.
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Because the city tried to take the property through eminent domain, the property group alleges they violated the Indiana Constitution, which protects property from being taken away from one owner to be given to another private owner.
"Out of respect for the judicial process, we do not comment on pending litigation," Donald Morgan, Corporation Counsel for the city, said in an emailed statement to RTV6.
Taylor Schaffer, Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications for the City of Indianapolis, emailed the following statement to RTV6:
City officials worked with Ambrose over the last year, at their request, to discuss an amendment to the original project agreement. In the middle of those productive conversations, Ambrose officials contacted the city on September 26th to state that they were ending negotiations and abandoning their plans to develop Waterside.
Since that time, the city’s stance has been clear and unwavering: if Ambrose is unwilling or unable to develop this important piece of property, the city should have a role in ensuring that what comes next is in keeping with the needs and ambitions of the surrounding neighborhood. Despite numerous requests to sit down and chart a course toward amicable resolution, Ambrose has preferred to respond with public statements that mischaracterize the city’s actions both before and after the Ambrose decision to abruptly end their plans for development at the site.
Today’s decision by Ambrose to pursue litigation is the latest in a series of disappointing steps away from the negotiating table. While we are prepared to correct the facts surrounding this matter, and defend the city’s rights under the law, our main goal continues to be pursuing an outcome that is in the best interests of our near-Westside residents.