Citing the waterfront as its most valuable asset at the former GM stamping plant site, Ambrose Property Group on Friday unveiled its vision for guiding more than $1.3 billion in development for downtown Indianapolis’ newest district. With Waterside, Ambrose will challenge conventional notions of city building and harness the power of design, nature and urban planning to transform and expand Indy’s urban core for generations to come.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett joined Ambrose officials and other civic and business leaders to announce the name and identity during a community celebration Friday evening. The public event was geared toward local neighborhoods and featured a concert as well as Indy Eleven futsal, Big Car’s Wagon of Wonders, a diverse sampling of local food and spirits, and original art from students at the nearby Edison School of the Arts.
“Waterside presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform how we view downtown Indianapolis,” said Ambrose President Aasif Bade (pronounced bah-DAY). “It’s truly unique with more than 100 acres in an urban core, adjacent to a major waterway and in close proximity to an international airport and major interstates. This area will become a thriving new downtown district, complete with diverse housing and greenspace, restaurants, public art and innovative corporate workspaces.”
Ambrose anticipates $1.38 billion in development at Waterside, including 1,350 residential units, 620 hotel rooms, 2.75 million square feet of office space and 100,000 square feet of retail.
Bade used the event as an opportunity to announce one of the project’s first – and most important – infrastructure changes. Ambrose plans to reconfigure White River Parkway south of West Washington Street so the roadway goes into Waterside before heading south to Oliver Avenue. The road is currently adjacent to White River, and the move creates an opportunity for the waterfront to become a promenade and recreational area.
“For decades the GM Stamping Plant was a hub of innovation, community, and work for the near south west side of Indianapolis. Now, through the work of Ambrose, we are seeing momentum that will spur revitalization and growth, engaging neighbors that have generational ties to the area,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “Along one of our strongest natural assets, the White River, the redevelopment of this site will be transformational for our city -- helping to strengthen Indianapolis and improve residents’ quality of life.”
Ambrose has worked to generate diverse support for Waterside, emphasizing partnerships with local community organizations and neighborhood groups. Brian Payne, president and CEO of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, spoke about the company’s efforts and their impact on community development.
“With Ambrose and Waterside, CICF recognized an approach closely aligned to our mission as a catalyst for progress,” said Payne. “For urban development to create meaningful impact, the commitment must be authentic and it must be sustained. Ambrose is doing the necessary work to understand and effectively collaborate with the local community.”
In May, the RACER Trust announced its selection of Ambrose to acquire and develop the former GM stamping plant site. RACER was created to clean up and position former GM facilities for redevelopment following the 2009 bankruptcy of General Motors Corp.
The proposal from Ambrose included a heavy focus on sustainability, innovative commercial space and community-driven development.
“To be successful, we must engage and collaborate with neighboring residents and businesses,” said Bade. “Ambrose worked to ensure our plans for the site aligned with locals’ collective vision for Indianapolis – a more connected, more vibrant, more supportive urban environment that generates economic mobility for future generations in surrounding neighborhoods.”