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Contamination from old Coca-Cola bottling plant seeping into nearby neighborhoods

Posted at 11:18 PM, Feb 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-10 23:18:20-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- Contamination could be seeping into a historic Indianapolis community from the former Coca-Cola bottling plant on Massachusetts Avenue.

The plant's developers, Hendricks Commercial Properties LLC. said they found more impurities in the ground than initially expected. 

The company is currently working on a $260 million redevelopment plans for the 11-acre piece of land where the old plant sits.

Company representatives said they’re working to determine the exact source of the impurities and if it’s in any of the homes.

Hendricks plans to establish a barrier along College Avenue between the site and the neighborhood to cleanse the chemicals from the groundwater.

Right now, they don’t believe the contamination is a health hazard to the community.

"It's a good thing because we're able to detect these things, we're able to mitigate and work these processes through. This Coke site was built in 1930, and things were done very differently in those days. Whether we were involved or not this was there,” said Hendricks Commercial Properties CEO Rob Gerbitz.

The company had asked for $2.4 million from the state to cover clean-up costs, but that number is now expected to rise because of these new findings.

Although remediation efforts alone could take up to nine months, Hendricks Commercial Properties Asset Manager Isaac Bamgbose said the company is still extremely committed to the development.

“We are 100 percent. This is for the up and up of the neighborhood and for the city we can’t emphasize this enough,” said Bamgbose.

The company encourages anyone living in the Chatham Arch neighborhood that wants more information about the findings to contact Brent Pierce with the city’s Department of Metropolitan Development at (317) 327-5355.