An updated conceptual design of the KPEP development was shared with participants at the meeting Nov. 22. The area outlined in BLUE identifies the former Indiana Steel & Wire property to be developed. Residential properties will not be developed on the IS&W property. Image: Courtesy of KPEP/DD Dannar Inc. (click thumbnail to the left to view full-size)
KPEP and Muncie Action Plan Host Neighborhood and City Leaders to Discuss Concerns About the Former Indiana Steel and Wire Brownfield Redevelopment
At the request of members of the community, Muncie Action Plan (MAP) facilitated a forum to review the KPEP brownfield redevelopment project on November 22nd 2016. Kitselman Pure Energy Park, LLC (KPEP) and MAP convened a panel discussion at DD Dannar, LLC to discuss the ongoing remediation efforts at the former Indiana Steel & Wire (IS&W) property and clarify concerns Muncie residents had about its redevelopment. The discussion was moderated by Matt Kantz of KPEP and Aimee Fant of MAP. In attendance were Mayor Dennis Tyler and State Representative Sue Errington; representatives from the Eastside neighborhood; MAP Co-Chairs Donna Browne and George Branam; and board members John Craddock, Marta Moody, and Cornelius Dollison; Frank Scott, Jr.; Michael Wolfe; and neighborhood leaders from across Muncie.
MAP Neighborhood Presidents Council representatives, Mayor Tyler, Rep. Sue Errington, city leadership, panelists and representatives of KPEP discuss the KPEP (Kitselman Pure Energy Park) brownfield redevelopment plans. Photo: MAP
Speakers included Gary Dannar, a KPEP investor and CEO of DD Dannar, and Ron St. John, a hydrogeologist with St. John-Mittelhauser & Associates; John Kyle, an environmental attorney with Barnes & Thornburg, LLC, representing General Cable; and Phil Tevis, founder of FlatLand Resources and project manager of the Kitselman Gateway project. For almost two hours, the panel members discussed their roles and findings and addressed questions from the audience.
“If the concrete slab was no longer there, it would continue to be safe to have a commercial industrial compound there,” said St. John, who has helped guide the remediation of the IS&W property for over 20 years. “The soil itself meets bare dirt standards for commercial use.”
Dannar cited MAP Action 4.5 (“Create a Brownfield Redevelopment Program”) from the original 2010 MAP report to explain why he chose Muncie’s east side as the place to build the “Pure Energy Park” and manufacture mobile power stations. The 2010 MAP report and the later MAP2 report of 2013 were compiled from the input of over 2,000 Muncie residents and serve as a grassroots community development plan endorsed by elected officials and funding organizations.
Dannar stated, “This (Muncie) property is a homerun and a great success story. There is no better spot anywhere in the country, with access to the river, the greenways, and downtown.”
He assured the audience that D.D. Dannar will not use eminent domain to acquire properties. “The City of Muncie’s reputation is to never use eminent domain and as a developer we cannot use eminent domain to acquire anything. The land we have acquired has also come back safe for use as fill dirt or further residential development,” Dannar said.
“The City of Muncie is excited to be a partner with KPEP in this brownfield’s redevelopment area,” Mayor Tyler said. “This is a project that will greatly improve the quality of place for neighborhood residents and will positively change one of the most active eastside corridors into our great city. It will provide renewed vitality for surrounding neighborhoods as well.”
“I arrived at the meeting with a number of questions and concerns,” State Representative Sue Errington said. “The panel members and diagrams satisfied those concerns, and I left convinced that the Kitselman Gateway and KPEP projects have the potential to turn an unsightly brownfield area into a valuable and inviting community asset.”Muncie Action Plan strives to provide an impartial, collaborative, and solution-focused platform for community discussion to advance Action 2.2 “Conduct a campaign to increase civic participation and foster civil discourse.”
The developers indicated the process by which new soil will be deposited on the IS&W site begins in early 2017 and will help raise the flood plain which will begin to lay the groundwork for the Kitselman Pure Energy Park, a potential $60 million investment in the community of Muncie.