$60M Project to Transform Development ‘Restrictor’
After four years of preparation, demolition and remediation, the owner of Kitselman Pure Energy Park in Muncie says construction is underway. Plans for the $60 million project at the old Indiana Steel & Wire Co. property include a new headquarters for DD Dannar LLC, a South Carolina mobile power station company relocating to the property, as well as a five megawatt solar power plant, community center, hotel, retail and green space. Mark Peters calls the site "extremely challenging," but says its potential and the public/private cooperation the project has spurred in Delaware County have made efforts rewarding.
Peters says the previously-dilapidated site has been a long-time "restrictor" to development in the city’s eastern corridor and the park will unlock a transformation of the area. "Right now if we bring a prospect out to assist or be a partner in the development — if you’ve been by the site — you realize, oh my goodness, nobody can really see the vision that we know and that we see. This will be a phenomenal increase in activity out there," Peters told Inside INdiana Business. "It’s going to change the mindset, I believe, of everyone. That old, ugly site is no longer that old, ugly site, it’s a beautiful development." He adds "it’ll be great for Muncie."
The full scope of the live, work, play concept involves around 70 acres: 50 acres at the main site and an additional 40 adjacent lots acquired for projects like apartments that could get started as early as the end of the year. The city and its partners are investing around $9 million into the 18-acre Kitselman Kitselman Trailhead project, a new gateway on the east side that will tie into the Cardinal Greenway, connecting the White River Trail and Muncie Arts & Culture Trail.
"We hope that once our project gets going, it’s going to give people confidence and bring them the sight, the vision to see east Muncie is not a bad place, it’s a great place, and to allow development to move east," Peters said. "I think once people start seeing what the opportunities are, you’ll see development go all the way to the beltway very quickly, probably within five-to-seven years."
KPEP purchased the property in 2015. Indiana Steel & Wire Co. opened on-site in the early 1900s. Its last owner was General Cable Corp. subsidiary GK Technologies.
Kitselman Pure Energy Park owner Mark Peters says the previously-dilapidated site has been a long-time “restrictor” to development in the city’s eastern corridor and the park will unlock a transformation of the area.