Ambrose Property Group, Exhibit Columbus, and Central Indiana Community Foundation have partnered to transform sections of the former General Motors Stamping Plant site, now called Waterside, into a vibrant urban art and cultural centerpiece.
Ambrose Property Group
Ambrose Property Group is a recognized leader in real estate ownership, development and construction in Indianapolis. Ambrose was created during the height of a recession from a mere closet; humility and hard work have always been the company’s strong suits. While the group started out small, Ambrose has steadily scaled operations into one of the industry’s most recognized leaders.
As president of Ambrose Property Group, Aasif M. Bade focuses on long range planning, capital management and customer relationships. Ambrose has completed over $1 billion of commercial real estate transactions. Malina Simone Jeffers is the director of marketing and community initiatives. She leads communication, event and placemaking efforts for the 103-acre site in downtown Indy as well as keeping the community and neighborhood informed and involved.
From Ambrose’s original selection as the developer of Waterside, the company has demonstrated its dedication to implementing structural art and utilizing its natural environment, the White River, as essential components to the redevelopment of the space. Ambrose, as the sole owner of Waterside, is the master developer of the site and will be responsible for the construction and completion of the proposed projects. Ambrose is responsible for and committed to blending people focused urban design and the principles of eco-districts to create a new standard of livability, connectivity and sustainability.
Central Indiana Community Foundation
As the steward of over $800 million in charitable assets, the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) serves as a catalyst for community change and has been the driving force behind game-changing local initiatives such as the creation of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene and Marilyn Glick. Since Brian Payne joined CICF as President and CEO in November 2000, the Foundation’s annual grant making has doubled to over $50 million.
CICF’s newly announced mission is to mobilize people, ideas and investment to make Indianapolis a community where all individuals have equitable opportunity to reach their full potential — no matter their place, race or identity. Actively making Central Indiana a place where art, nature and beauty are accessible every day for everybody is surely part of that work. In its 2017 qualitative study of 36 Central Indiana neighborhoods and population groups, the call for clean, attractive, well-resourced neighborhoods was near unanimous.
CICF serves as an art, culture and connectivity consultant to Ambrose for its proposal to develop the General Motors Stamping Plant. In addition to contributing its fundraising and place making knowledge to this project, CICF will expand its existing community ambassador initiative to include a representative of The Valley (the neighborhood that is adjacent to Waterside), ensuring that the surrounding community retains a strong voice and connection to the project.
The mission of Exhibit Columbus is to care for the design heritage of Columbus, Indiana, and inspire investments in the traditions and values that use architecture, art and design to make people and cities stronger.
In addition to significantly improving the care of many buildings, landscapes and public artworks, founding director Richard McCoy led the organization through the development and implementation of the inaugural symposium and exhibition, a more than $2 million, multi-year initiative that is now continuing in its second cycle of development to national, regional and local acclaim.
Anne Surak is the director of exhibitions for Exhibit Columbus, an annual exploration of architecture, art, design and community that alternates between symposium and exhibition each year and features the J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize. The inaugural Miller Prizes were awarded in 2016 through a rigorous design competition of 10 national architecture and design studios. The five winning Miller Prize installations made up the centerpiece of Exhibit Columbus’ 2017 exhibition, which featured 18 monumental outdoor installations set in the context of downtown Columbus. The exhibition won the 2017 Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce “Community Project of the Year Award.”
Exhibit Columbus will be responsible for managing the design competition with Chris Merritt as the Project Director.
Ambrose Property Group is driven by and committed to the growth of the Indianapolis community. Engagement with the Valley neighborhood began prior to acquiring the former GM Stamping Plant to ensure vision alignment with the development early on. Jay and Rahnae Napoleon formed the Valley Neighborhood Association and are considered members of the Waterside team with regularly scheduled touchpoints and engagement efforts.
In October 2018, when the vision, name, and brand for Waterside was announced, members of the community were addressed first and delivered the announcement to Indianapolis alongside Ambrose. Attendance at neighborhood meetings, neighborhood clean-ups, school activities, etc. are now common between the Waterside team and neighborhood ambassadors. Ambrose believes that the success of Waterside is impacted by its partners. Therefore, close relationships with government officials at the State and City level were formed early on.
In addition, relationships with corporate and cultural institutions in the neighborhood have been formed as well as with residents on the ground level. Waterside plans to integrate seamlessly into its surrounding neighborhoods and create a new standard of engagement for developers in the Midwest region.