Originally from 'http://www.indygov.org/dmd/press/May97/spickelmier.htm'

May 7, 1997

Mayor Announces $2.4 Million Redevelopment Plan for Spickelmier Site

Developer will convert brownfield site into self-storage units and office/warehouse space

Indianapolis – Mayor Stephen Goldsmith today announced that one of the city’s most notorious brownfields, the Spickelmier site, will be developed into self-storage units, and office and warehouse space. The mayor made the announcement at the recently cleared site, located at 1100 E. 52nd Street. He was joined by the developers, George Faerber and Max Kendall, Louise Kramer, President of the Keystone-Monon Neighborhood Partnership, Inc., Caroline Farrar, President of the Meridian-Kessler Neighborhood Association, and Teressa Anne Sipe, President of the Fall Creek Civic League.

"This project is terrific news for the neighborhood residents and represents another brownfield success story for the city," said Goldsmith. "This long-time eyesore, which had been a blight on the community, will become a useful and productive business that complements the adjacent operations in the area."

The developers will pay the city $240,000 for the 6.5-acre site. They will invest $2.4 million in the property, and they estimate 20 to 60 new jobs may be created. The proposed plan has 70,000 square feet of self-storage units and 20,000 square feet of office and warehouse space in two buildings. The developers plan to work closely with the neighborhood groups to determine the final project parameters. One of the developers, George Faerber, also owns Faerber’s Bee Windows, located adjacent to the Spickelmier property.

"It is always more difficult to attract developers to brownfield sites due to potential liability associated with unknown contamination," said Goldsmith. "The city was able to mitigate some of those concerns through our aggressive redevelopment policy for brownfields, and we are pleased that our efforts are producing some excellent results."

Brownfields are abandoned or underutilized properties that have or are perceived to have some environmental contamination. The Spickelmier property operated as a concrete block factory until the early 1980s when the company went bankrupt. When the property cleared two tax sales, the city acquired the deed to the site in October 1996. The city spent about $330,000 on environmental and site clearing work. Eight silos and eight concrete structures were demolished; trash and debris were removed; and two underground storage tanks were pulled. One of the tanks had some associated soil contamination, which may require additional remediation. The city is applying for entry into the Voluntary Remediation Program with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

"My family invested in this area many years ago, and Spickelmier has been a blemish on the neighborhood for as long as I can remember," said Faerber. "This cleanup and redevelopment are long overdue, and I am just happy that I can continue to be part of the growth in the neighborhood."

"This neighborhood not only will benefit from the redevelopment activities, but they also will benefit from the expansion of the Monon Trail system adjacent to the site," added Goldsmith. "The segment from 86th Street south to 52nd Street will be completed this summer, which should make this area a popular location."

The city will continue site preparation work, while the developers plan to meet with the neighborhood residents to discuss the proposed plans. The developers also plan to talk with Indy Parks staff about viable ways to enhance the development’s appearance to Monon Trail users, including the potential painting of a mural along the west side of the structures. Construction should begin later this year and be completed by next spring.