Indiana State University Newsroom

Revitalization of historic ICON building officially underway

April 10, 2017

Work to revitalize a vacant manufacturing building into modern, high-end residences officially started Monday, as officials ceremoniously broke ground on the project that promises to continue transforming the Wabash Riverfront in Terre Haute.

Core Redevelopment is investing $23 million to rehabilitate the historic American Can building into 165 loft-style, market-rate apartments known as RiverFront Lofts. Expected to welcome residents in mid-2018, RiverFront Lofts will feature open, loft-style floor plans, industrial design elements and high ceilings.

"We are tremendously excited to begin work on what's going to be a great project - RiverFront Lofts. This day has been a long time in the making, but through the tireless work and indefatigable support of our partners - the city of Terre Haute, Indiana State University and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation - it's all come together in a manner no one could have expected," said John Watson, CEO of Core Redevelopment. "To save and repurpose great old buildings like ICON, while at the same time bringing folks back to the Wabash River and providing Indiana State with a world-class residential amenity adjoining its campus, is exactly why Core is in business."

The American Can building, a 186,000-square-foot masonry structure most recently owned by Indiana State University, first opened in 1931 to make tin cans. It was later purchased by Pillsbury to make food products. ICON Transportation purchased the building in 1995 for storage use, but it has been vacant since the early 2000s.

"We believe the RiverFront Lofts project represents many ‘firsts' for our community," said Steve Witt, president of Terre Haute Economic Development Corporation. "This development will be the first major market-rate housing complex on the banks of the Wabash River. Also, the proposed complex will be the first significant market-rate housing development within a former manufacturing facility. Finally, we believe that RiverFront Lofts will be the first major housing development to be co-located at a major sports venue - Indiana's State's new Gibson Track and Field venue."

The redevelopment of the American Can building will provide a major step forward in the city's Riverscape project. The Gibson Track and Field complex, a $4 million facility on a 10-acre tract directly across the street from the vacant facility, was the first major contribution to the revitalization effort in fall 2015 - and marked a significant point in campus expansion on the west side of U.S. 41.

"Core Redevelopment's project at the western boundary of ISU's campus will not only add to local housing stock, but it will also restore beauty and usefulness to an abandoned property," said Diann McKee, senior vice president of finance and administration and treasurer for at Indiana State. "We are fortunate that Core has a track record of rehabilitating properties of this kind - it saves an interesting but unused structure and turns it into modern living space. While this is Core's project, we certainly have been cheering them on as they transform the environs of Gibson Track and Field and rescue an old building."

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered $4.7 million in Industrial Recovery Tax Credits in support of the project. The city of Terre Haute has provided material financial support in the form of tax increment financing.

"As Indiana's economy continues to flourish, it is projects like the revitalization of the ICON building in Terre Haute that are helping to advance our state's economic growth through improving quality of place," said Elaine Bedel, president of the IEDC. "This project will support the continued growth and vibrancy of Terre Haute and the Wabash River region."


About Core Redevelopment

Headquartered in Indianapolis, Core Redevelopment is a full-service real estate development firm specializing in the redevelopment of large-scale commercial and industrial properties into market-rate apartments. Additional information about Core Redevelopment can be found on its website at

About IEDC

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation leads the state of Indiana's economic development efforts, helping businesses launch, grow and locate in the state. Governed by a 12-member board chaired by Gov. Eric J. Holcomb, the IEDC manages many initiatives, including performance-based tax credits, workforce training grants, innovation and entrepreneurship resources, public infrastructure assistance, and talent attraction and retention efforts. For more information about the IEDC, go to

Photos: -- Instead of shovels, Dan Bradley, president of Indiana State, Phil Rath, president of the Wabash River Regional Development Authority, John Watson, president of Core Redevelopment, Duke Bennett, mayor of Terre Haute, and Elaine Bedell, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, use ceremonial sledgehammers on April 10. (Rachel Keys/Indiana State University Photography Services) -- Indiana State University President Dan Bradley speaks at the groundbreaking on April 10. (Rachel Keys/Indiana State University Photography Services)

Media Contact: Libby Roerig, director of communications and media relations, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or