RCA Demolition Signals 'Rebirth'

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Demolition has begun on the former Thomson/RCA industrial site on the near east side of Indianapolis that will soon become 50 acres available for redevelopment. The Department of Metropolitan Development and Near East Area Renewal have received a $200,000 Environmental Protection Agency Grant to help develop a revitalization plan for the Sherman Park area. Since the former RCA warehouse was vacated in 1995, the property has been plagued by crime, violence and fires.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, who took part in the ceremonial beginning of the demolition Monday morning, says "the potential of this side of the city is limitless."

Demolition will occur over the next six weeks. NEAR and the DMD will then use the EPA grant to support a two-year process to develop an area-wide plan for the cleanup and revitalization of the site. That effort will include a series of community forums to gain public input on potential uses of the site.

Department of Metropolitan Development Director Emily Mack believes the effort will bring "catalytic redevelopment to the near eastside." The site being demolished includes the former RCA warehouse, which one housed more than 8,000 workers, and three smaller buildings on the corner of East Michigan Street and Sherman Drive.

Indianapolis was one of 19 communities throughout the country to receive the EPA grant. Mack says the funding "gives our community the opportunity to revitalize an area that has been a source of neighborhood blight for decades."

Hogsett, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Chief Bryan Roach and City-County Councilman Blake Johnson were among those to take part in Monday morning's event.

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