City Acts to Secure Land After Waterside Project Evaporates

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(WISH-TV Photo) (WISH-TV Photo)
INDIANAPOLIS -

City officials are looking to take back land where the former General Motors stamping plant once sat just west of downtown.

As WISH-TV first reported last week, Ambrose Property Group pulled the plug on a $1.4 billion plan to revamp the site.

Construction was supposed to start this year.

Now, the city is threatening to take them to court to get the land back.

Officials with the city tell WISH-TV they never projected that Ambrose Property Group would back out of the project. The officials argue that this land now falls under eminent domain and they want the property back so it doesn’t go to waste.

“No, I don’t think anyone saw it going this way,” said Emily Mack, the director of Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development.

Officials with Indianapolis want most of the 103 acres that once housed the former GM stamping plant, back in their possession.

The site has been vacant since 2011.

City leaders sent a letter to Ambrose Property Group on Wednesday stating if they don’t come to the table and negotiate, the city could take them to court and claim eminent domain.

Mack says that would allow the city to seize the private property for public use in exchange for fair payment or compensation.

“We would actually have control over that site so that if Ambrose Property Group sold it to another developer that they couldn’t just hang on to it for, you know, 20 years, if it’s in our hands then we can actually control that redevelopment,” Mack said.

She said the good news is the city has not lost all the groundwork done on the property.

“That is the silver lining. In 2016, we did that framework plan, and it is outlined. What residents, what the community and what stakeholders would like to see on that site has already been done,” Mack said.

Mack said there is no set price for the land and city leaders are looking at getting the property appraised.

City leaders next week will meet with nearby residents to talk about next steps and to get feedback.

No word on a timeline as to when this will all be figured out.

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