Vacant GM stamping plant to be demolished

The former General Motors metal-stamping plant near downtown will be demolished to make the site more attractive for redevelopment, the property owner announced Friday morning.

The 2.1 million-square-foot plant, which sits on 102 acres, opened in 1930 and employed more than 5,000 at its peak. That number was fewer than 700 when it closed two years ago.

The Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response Trust, based in Ypsilanti, Mich., took title to the property in March 2011, and the plant closed that June.

RACER has marketed the site for the past two years with the option of reusing the building, but recently concluded that the obsolete building was impeding a sale. The trust said local and state officials and real estate experts backed the decision.

"Its size and location just across the White River from Lucas Oil Stadium and downtown Indianapolis are ideal for a wide variety of development purposes," Elliott P. Laws, administrative trustee of the RACER Trust, said in a prepared statement. "Our primary mission and urgent goal is to do what the community has asked us to do—to attract a buyer who will invest in revitalization, jobs and other economic benefits for the community."

RACER is seeking bids for the demolition work, which is expected to start in late summer or early fall and last six months.

"We appreciate the RACER Trust's aggressiveness and urgency in marketing this property, and we're working shoulder-to-shoulder with the RACER staff to attract a buyer who will bring jobs and dynamic redevelopment to this prime location," Mayor Greg Ballard said in a prepared statement.

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