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Property group says Indianapolis has caused $30M in damages

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Posted at 4:53 PM, Oct 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-22 16:58:38-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Ambrose Property Group says since Indianapolis threatened eminent domain, it's costed the company $30 million in damages.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the company says they are trying to hold the city accountable for what they are calling "threats and false defamatory statements."

Ambrose Property Group said they planned to sell the former GM stamping plant property, which they had previously agreed with the city to develop.

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The city announced within a week they planned to use eminent domain to ensure the property was developed properly.

You can read the full statement below:

First, I’d like to make clear that we’ve had 100+ meetings with the City. We will meet with the City at any time to resolve their unlawful behavior. With that said, we must protect ourselves from their threats and false defamatory statements. So today, we gave the City official notice of the legal claims we intend to pursue against the City for the damage the City’s baseless eminent domain threat and defamation have caused unless the City fixes the continuing and significant harm that it has inflicted. The City entered into a binding contract whereby it agreed that it would not seek to take the property by eminent domain, and the City is required by law to uphold its promise. By making baseless eminent domain threats, the City has slandered our title to the Waterside property and prevented any sale from occurring, resulting in Ambrose losing between $65 to $100 million – the value of the property. The City’s only defense so far has been that it committed fraud: that the City may take the property at its whim because the City isn’t required to keep its promises. The City is wrong but – even if the City was right – then the City committed fraud by promising not to take the property, inducing us to invest millions in Waterside, and now going back on that promise by taking the property without our consent. Further, to add insult to injury, City officials have defamed and disparaged Ambrose and its ability as a developer, resulting in at least $30 million in damages as of today. These damages are continuing and could increase until the City takes corrective measures.

We remain willing to meet and work with the City, as we have done many times over the past three and a half years, but the City must immediately stop its unlawful conduct and rectify the damage its actions have caused.

Donnie Morgan, corporation counsel for the City of Indianapolis, released the following statement in response to the statement from the property group:

Since Ambrose Property Group’s initial announcement, the City has repeatedly asked to meet with company leadership to begin conversations about the future of this site. For the first time this morning, legal counsel for Ambrose agreed to a meeting that is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. We believe meaningful conversations about the future of this important site will be more productive than public posturing.

As to the merits of Ambrose’s purported claims, we do not comment on threatened or pending litigation.