INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- The intersection of Market and Alabama Streets in downtown Indianapolis has been the site of many triumphs and amazing history and has a legacy of starts-and-stops and broken dreams.
Now it’s the Global Distribution Headquarters of Columbus-based engine maker Cummins.
Governor Elect Eric Holcomb and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett helped cut the ribbon on the nine-story glass building that ran over its $30 million budget and is designed to draw Cummins closer to its worldwide customers due to the proximity of Indianapolis International Airport.
“Today we gather here to mark not just the opening of a building but a destination point for the city of Indianapolis,” said Hogsett. “And to think that this ground was once known only as the last place the King performed. We’ve come a long way, haven’t we?”
Elvis Presley played his final concert at Market Square Arena in the summer of 1977 several weeks before his death.
The Indiana Pacers called MSA home for 20 years.
Hogsett quoted his predecessor, the late Bill Hudnut who died last month but articulated a vision for downtown Indianapolis decades ago.
“He said, ‘Seeds have been planted but yet the bountiful harvest is yet to come,’” said Hogsett. “Today is possible because of those seeds planted in 1984.”
Ever since MSA’s destruction in 2001, the valuable downtown site was home to parking lots and the failed proposals of developers who envisioned mixed retail and residential space.
“Our new site begins to bridge downtown Indianapolis to the near eastside beginning to connect and revitalize this area,” said Tony Satterthwaite, president of Cummins Distribution Business. “We believe Cummins can begin to improve the quality of life on the near eastside and fuel the speed with which the near eastside experiences a renaissance.”
That investment turnaround began in 2012 with the Super Bowl Legacy project at Arsenal Technical High School and the campus location of Angie’s List on East Washington Street.
“This building is about this company and this city and this particular site in downtown Indianapolis,” said architect Deborah Berke. “Its connection to Main Street, its extension of Main Street towards the renaissance that’s happening to the east and the renaissance that’s happening in general in downtown Indianapolis
“I really do love downtown Indianapolis and this building reflects that affection and I trust it will continue to contribute to the revitalization of Market Street, downtown Indianapolis and the near east side.”
The first of 250 Cummins staff will settle in to their offices next week with the workforce expected to grow by another 200 employees in the years to come.
The slim building sits on a four-acre site that features a park, a garage and a rooftop greenspace.
Wedged onto a sliver of the property along Market Street, the building has an open floor plan and is environmentally and energy friendly.