Long-awaited demolition to begin at abandoned RCA/Thomson plant on the east side

INDIANAPOLIS -- Demolition will begin on the long-abandoned RCA/Thomson Consumer Electronics site on Indianapolis' east side by the end of the month, a city spokesman told RTV6 Tuesday.

The plant, which at one point employed more than 8,000 people, saw the last of its jobs transferred by Thomson to Mexico in 1997.

In the ensuing 20 years, multiple developments have been proposed at the site, but have all fallen through -- leaving the 49-acre site as an eyesore on the northwest side of Michigan Street and Sherman Drive.

The city of Indianapolis is now considering the site as a possible home for the proposed new criminal justice center – but says plans to begin demolition this month aren't contingent on the site ultimately being selected for that project.

READ MORE | On Near Eastside, some hesitant about new justice center  -- others see 'goldmine'

Katie Robinson, the city's director of constituent services, told RTV6 the demolition has been a long time coming.

"Part of my responsibility is serving as the Promise Zone liaison for the Near Eastside," Robinson said. "One of the sites that has long been targeted for redevelopment has been that Sherman Park RCA site. We have worked very closely with the neighborhood conceptualizing what the future may hold there, in addition to the needs that need to be met. That process to demolish that site will begin this month."

Robinson said the city plans to formally announce the start of demolition next week, along with how it plans to deal with lingering environmental issues at the site.

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