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Developer backs out of plan to redevelop old GM stamping plant site

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Posted at 11:38 AM, Sep 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-27 16:38:48-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The developer behind a proposal to redevelop the site of a former GM stamping plant on Indianapolis' southwest side has dropped the proposal and plans to pursue selling the property.

In an emailed statement, Ambrose Property Group's founder and CEO Aasif Bade said the company plans to focus its business on e-commerce and industrial real estate.

"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," Bade said in the statement. "As part of this decision, we plan to pursue the sale of our mixed-use and office projects, including Waterside."

Developers initially said the Waterside would be home to apartments, restaurants, retail and more on the 103-acre site.

"Waterside, located within an Opportunity Zone, is poised for success and ready for long-term and large-scale vertical development," Bade said. "Ambrose expects to see significant local and national interest in this opportunity."

Vop Osili, president of the Indianapolis City-County Council, issued the following 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 Hogsett, our neighbors, and other stakeholders in next steps to develop the site.

Thomas Cook, chief of staff for Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, released the following statement:

Today's announcement that Ambrose does not intend to move forward with their plans for the former GM stamping plant is disappointing, but does not 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.

State Rep. Justin Moed, D-Indianapolis, issued the following statement:

The CEO of Ambrose was unfortunately correct in his statement today. The former GM stamping plant site proved to be a bigger project than Ambrose was apparently ready for. They clearly weren't ready for the responsibility and opportunity they asked for when they bid for the project and now they've let a neighborhood and our city down. Ambrose shouldn't be rewarded a single dollar of profit for failing to deliver on its pledge to redevelop this site. The right thing to do would be to uphold their commitment to the neighborhood for a transformative development project and the best way to ensure this is to sell the land to the city for not a penny more than what they bought it for. That way a new, more responsible developer can be found.