The City of Noblesville closed on a deal Dec. 13, 2023, to acquire land that was the site of closed manufacturing site between Division and Pleasant Streets. The city is now considering development plans for 27 acres of site, which could include a new public safety building, a senior center and nonprofit hub.
The manufacturing company, Bridgestone Americas, Inc., donated the land to the city.
“This is a property that had been a manufacturing site going back into the early 1900s,” Deputy Mayor Matt Light recently told Current. “You still hear people talk about their dad or their uncle or their aunt that worked at the site and (it) provided a lot of jobs, a lot of employment for folks, but it closed down in 2009 and it’s been really a blighted, unused property since then.”
Light said the city reached an agreement with Bridgestone to acquire the land in May 2023. The city has been conducting an environmental assessment and is not acquiring all the parcels on the site because of environmental concerns. Light said the city wouldn’t have moved forward with the acquisition if it wasn’t confident the site is safe for development.
Although the city hasn’t reached a final decision for the land’s use, city officials said the land has been discussed as a potential site for a new public safety building.
“As Matt alluded to, this has been a vacant piece of concrete for decades now,” said Chad Knecht, the city’s director of public safety. “So, part of that, revitalizing that community, what better as an anchor than a police station?”
Knecht said the city court, fire and police departments have shared a space since the early 1990s.
“The (police) department’s size, the complexity of the operations is growing immensely,” Knecht said. “So, we’re at the busting point where we need to develop a modern, larger public safety facility for the police station to go operate out of.”
The NobleACT office would also be in a new public safety building, Knecht said.
Another possibility for the site is construction of a new facility for the senior center, which is housed just north of the jail on county property. Light said the city has considered a nonprofit hub within the senior center where Noblesville nonprofits could share conference and storage space, administrative services, supplies and tools.
By the end of the first quarter of this year, Light said the city will determine if the public safety building will be built on the site In the third quarter, the city will create a masterplan for the remaining parcels and surrounding areas with the help of a consultant firm and discussions with residents and businesses.
“We’re mindful of all the different parts of our city and their individual and unique needs, and then we’re investing in that area with the expectation that additional interest in investment would happen in that part of town,” Light said.