REI Investments Acquires Former GM Indianapolis Plant Property

REI Investments has acquired the former GM Indianapolis Stamping Plant property from RACER Trust. The City of Indianapolis has an option to acquire approximately 56 acres at the western edge of the property, which it is considering for construction of a consolidated city-county justice center.

Indianapolis skyline shot March 28th and 29th, 2013. (Mike Fender)Indianapolis, Ind.— REI Investments has acquired the former GM Indianapolis Stamping Plant property from RACER Trust.

The price of the sale was not disclosed.

“It became available for us to actually sell about two years ago,” Bruce Rasher, RACER’s redevelopment manager, told Commercial Property Executive. “It is right across the river from the amenities that make Indianapolis such an important entertainment destination, including a number of hotels, Lucas Oil Stadium, the baseball field, and it’s adjacent to the zoo. It possesses the location amenity for being incorporated into the central business district. It took the demolition to help the market meet the real potential that this property has, and we should be done with removal of the building by about mid-Fall. And it will be a blank canvas for our buyer to begin creating a new investment in Indianapolis.”

The property totals approximately 102 acres, and is located just across White River from downtown Indianapolis. The new owners plan to redevelop the property and reuse.

According to Racer, it was the right time for such a deal because it made economic sense, unlike past discussions.

“The Trust received a number of expressions of interest in the property both for potential users of the building—none of which really made economic sense—and from a variety of developers that had some ideas about the future use of the property,” he said. “You just reach a certain point where you sense the market is ready to move and we reached that point, so that’s why today we announced the sale.”

The City of Indianapolis has an option to acquire approximately 56 acres at the western edge of the property, which it is considering for construction of a consolidated city-county justice center. The remaining acreage will be developed pursuant to a development agreement to be reached between REI Investments and the city.

“The west portion of the property was designated by the city as its proposed location for its proposed new consolidated criminal justice center,” Rasher says. “If the city is able to prove out this proposal, then RACER would close with REI and then do things to prep the site, and in turn sell to the entity that the city selects for the construction of the new facility.”

If not, then the portion of the contract for the west parcel would actually terminate and RACER would resume its marketing. With respect to its east parcel, which is on the river and has a view of the Indianapolis skyline, RACER will sell to REI if REI and the city are able to conclude a mutually agreeable written and binding development agreement for the new use of that.

RACER announced last summer that it would market the Indianapolis property as vacant land for redevelopment. It invited 10 firms, including REI Investments, to submit redevelopment proposals, and it won the bidding process.

“RACER did evaluate a number of proposals that were solicited via an invitation-only RFP process,” Rasher added. “And we felt that REI’s proven track record of success, their capabilities and experience and capacity and access to capital markets positioned them as the best choice for bringing new investment and jobs to the property.”

RACER will require the execution of a development agreement between REI Investments and the City of Indianapolis as a condition of closing.

“The opportunity to acquire and redevelop an iconic property like the Indianapolis Stamping Plant doesn’t come along very often, and we’re thrilled that RACER selected our firm to write the next chapter in its history,” Michael W. Wells, REI Investments’ president, said in a company release. “This is a great property in a terrific location. We’re eager to get started and to help create a new and prosperous hub for the community.”