Ambrose Responds to Eminent Domain Threat

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

A Chicago-based law firm representing Ambrose Property Group LLC in Indianapolis is threatening legal action against the city of Indianapolis for its threat to seize by eminent domain the former GM Stamping Plant property.

Late last month, Ambrose announced it was pulling out of the $1.4 billion Waterside project, saying it had a shift in its business focus which did not include the redevelopment. Following that announcement, the city said it was within its rights to seize the property.

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

“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,” Emily Mack, the director of Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development, told our partners at WISH-TV.

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

In a letter dated October 10, Quinn Emanual law firm said the city has disparaged Ambrose’s reputation. Further, the letter states the city has made Ambrose’s process impossible to find another buyer for the property.

“Ambrose has suffered significant damages and intends to seek all just and appropriate relief to protect its rights and seek financial compensation for its losses,” said Ambrose attorneys in a statement.

When the Waterside project was first announced, Ambrose Property Group said it envisioned turning the 100-acre industrial site into a mixed-use development, including housing, hotels and 3 million square feet of retail space.

Quinn Emanual says by threating eminent domain, the city has “breached its contractual promise” not to seize any portion of the property.

Ambrose says it is still willing to discuss with the city the best path forward for the project. But the company’s attorneys say “the City will need to publicly correct its false and misleading statements that it has the power to take the property…”

Inside Indiana Business has not heard from the city regarding the letter.

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