Urban Land Institute Advisory Services Panel to Offer Recommendations, Options for General Motors Stamping Plant

Recommendations To Be Presented on Friday, June 24

For more information, contact: Robert Krueger at 202-624-7051; rkrueger@uli.org

INDIANAPOLIS (June 19, 2011) – Today an advisory services panel from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) arrives in Indianapolis to examine the General Motors (GM) Stamping Plant to provide recommendations and alternatives for the site’s future use. The City of Indianapolis and Develop Indy, the city’s economic development organization, are both sponsoring the panel.

The panel is tasked with providing advice about how to best position the GM site so that it remains a productive part of the city’s urban fabric. Since General Motor Company’s January 2011 announcement to close their GM Stamping Plant, located west of downtown Indianapolis, the city realized the need to revitalize the well situated property. The plant, which first opened in 1930, employed a workforce of nearly 5,000 at its peak. Since that time, staff has been reduced to almost 700 which was followed by a 2009 bankruptcy filing. In his 2011 State of the City speech, Mayor Greg Ballard announced plans to bring in a ULI panel of experts to help devise a plan for repurposing the 102-acre site after the plant permanently shuts its doors on June 30.

The panel will offer recommendations on how to best re-use the 2 million sq. ft. facility, exploring the site’s market potential, suggesting development strategies, formulating planning and design ideas, and framing implementation procedures. The property has over a quarter-mile of frontage on the White River Parkway, excellent access from I-70 and only half-mile from the new development emerging around the new Lucas Oil Stadium.

This week’s 12-member panel, led by former Indianapolis Mayor Bill Hudnut, will analyze how the property can best be repositioned for sale to a new business or developer for use by Develop Indy. The panel will look beyond possible industrial uses by exploring how the site could be also be converted into a mixed use development that synthesizes residential, retail, and entertainment space. Hudnut, currently a Senior Fellow Emeritus at ULI will be joined by former Pittsburgh Mayor and current ULI Senior Resident Fellow Tom Murphy. After carefully analyzing the area and interviewing up to 100 individuals, the panel will then spend two days framing their recommendations and drafting a report that will be presented to the public at 8:00 a.m. on June 24, 2011 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown’s Indiana Ballroom.

Through the advisory services program, ULI assembles experts in the fields of real estate and land use planning to participate on panels worldwide, offering recommendations for complex planning and development projects, programs and policies. According to Tom Eitler, vice president of advisory services, the strength of the program lies in ULI’s unique ability to draw on the knowledge and experience of its nearly 30,000 members, including land developers, public officials, academics, lenders, architects, planners and urban designers.

This analysis from a wide variety of land use experts, coupled with substantial input from representatives of the communities, produces excellent results “time after time,” Eitler says. “The panel process helps build consensus to support an effort that benefits the entire community. It’s often the fresh, outside view provided by the panel that achieves these results. We seek possibilities and opportunities that might have been overlooked. The advisory services panel program is all about seeing things a different way.”

ULI teams approach the project from all perspectives, including market potential, land use and design, financing and development strategies, and organizing for implementation. Each team proposes practical solutions that serve as a blueprint to move the project forward. Panelists have developed strategies for a broad range of land uses, including downtown revitalization; retail/entertainment development, inner-city neighborhood revival, affordable housing, brownfields development, public facility sites such as stadiums, arenas and convention centers, transit-oriented development, resort and master-planned communities, and military base reuse.

Past sponsors of ULI advisory services panels include: federal, state and local government agencies; regional councils of government; chambers of commerce; redevelopment authorities; private developers and property owners; community development corporations; lenders; historic preservation groups; non-profit community groups; environmental organizations; and economic development agencies. Over the years, the program has been a leader in offering redevelopment advice for challenges across the country, including recommendations for Oklahoma City after the 1995 federal building bombing; Minneapolis following the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge in 2007; Lower Manhattan after the 9-11 terrorist attacks; and the Gulf Coast region following Hurricane Katrina.

About the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute (uli.org) is a global nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the Institute has nearly 30,000 members representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.