Hot property goes up for sale downtown

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 31, 2015) -- A long-awaited piece of property along the city's Massachusetts Avenue corridor is going up for sale.

Indianapolis Public Schools announced Friday that it will sell the former Coca-Cola bottling plant. The 11-acre property includes multiple buildings and sits in the middle of the growing Mass Ave district.

"That is prime real estate," Black Market restaurant co-owner Ed Rudisell said.

Rudisell and other business owners on the east end of Mass Ave have seen the area grow in recent years, but still don't get nearly the foot traffic that the west end of the street gets.

"If you’re an out of town visitor, and we get a lot of out of town visitors here, then they kind of look down and they think, 'Oh, maybe we went the wrong way,'" Rudisell said.

Downtown Indy's Real Estate Development Director Catherine Esselman concurred, saying there's already a lot of interest in the property.

"I see mixed used. I see residential. I see commercial. I see offices. With this much space, the possibilities are really limitless," Esselman said.

IPS sees a way to raise money for kids, too. The district is moving to sell multiple properties in a re-structuring move. It tried to sell the plant in 2009 but because of the economy and a requirement that the buyer build the district a new facility, it never sold.

This time around, the buyer won't have to build anything for IPS, but it does come with some strings attached. The district planned to convene a committee that will look at proposals carefully. It laid out these requirements that need to be taken into consideration:

  • Creating a positive impact for the surrounding properties, the neighborhood, the City of Indianapolis and IPS
  • Increasing the economic vitality of the Mass Ave corridor with high quality jobs and amenities for a demographically diverse community
  • Demonstrating creativity and skill in adaptive reuse, mixed use and sustainability
  • Providing uses which encourage families with school age children to live downtown
  • Showing a knowledge of and willingness to address the elements of the Chatham-Arch/Massachusetts Avenue Historic Area Plan

Plans for the property will be accepted until the end of August, at which point a bid process could begin. IPS did not give a final timeline for the sale.