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Local contractor wins Keystone Towers demolition bid

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Denney Excavating has been granted the contract to demolish the vacant Keystone Towers apartment complex, the Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development announced Monday afternoon.

The locally-based company submitted a bid of $827,000 to carry out the demolition, the DMD said. Demolition of the vacant apartment buildings is expected to take place within 120 days.

The bid was one of 10 submitted for the project that came in below the budgeted $2 million. The bids were reviewed by three city offices: the DMD, the Office of Corporation Counsel, and the Department of Minority and Women Business Development.

The city is carrying out the demolition project with $8 million in federal housing dollars targeted for neighborhood revitalization. In addition to demolishing Keystone Towers, the money will go toward tearing down the long-vacant Winona Hospital and rental housing projects in a few parts of the city.

After the demolition, the city will explore redeveloping the site. Any new projects must include mixed-income rental housing by the rules of the federal grant used to demolish the 15-story complex.

Located northeast of the Indiana State Fairgrounds near the intersection of Keystone Ave. and Binford Blvd., Keystone Towers has been vacant for more than 10 years.

The apartment complex, built by local developer George Ginger in 1974 as the VIP Center, originally included apartment and office components and was intended to be a crown jewel on the midtown Keystone Avenue corridor. However, leasing problems hampered the project from the beginning and the office space was eventually converted into apartments. 

Denney Excavating, founded in 1990, has handled numerous local demolitions, including the Penn Building and the Larue Carter Memorial Hospital buildings.

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