As you enter Muncie from the east, the first thing you will likely see is a now-abandoned industrial hub. Old warehouses and overgrown parking lots fill the landscape. However, one company says it has a plan to give this side of town a facelift.

Parks and trails will be developed in the abandon lots as shown in this photo. 

A design company called Land Collective has been approved for a $3.5 million project to tear down the former 298 acre Indiana Steel and Wire property.

The plan will replace the old run-down warehouses with an energy park and interactive trails for runners, bikers and families. An energy park is is a separate area that is designed for the purpose of clean energy development.

Land Collective hopes this park will welcome Muncie visitors from the east along State Road 32. An elevated Muncie sign will greet guests entering along the White River.

The Cardinal Greenway is one of the more popular trails for people in Muncie to use for running, biking or exercising. The Cardinal Greenway runs 62 miles from Marion to Richmond. This project plans to link the Cardinal Greenway and the White River trail with the Indiana Historical Bridge 85. The bridge, that was located on CR-800 east over the Mississinewa river, has been taken down for relocation to the new site to link the two trails together.

Planning for the project is moving forward. The Indiana Department of Transportation is in the process of redesigning parts of State Road 32. The levees around the White River at this location also need adjusted to enable trails to run alongside the river. The western side will be raised and the eastern will be lowered for easy access to the river if people decide they want to kayak in the river or run along the river.

“There is no timetable yet for completion,” said David Rubin, principal designer of Land Collective. “It will not be completed with immediacy because there are so many resources and multiple agencies dealing with this project.”

Rubin says there are many ways Muncie can benefit from this project. 

“The project is an opportunity to connect the Cardinal Greenway and White River Trail across the White River,” he said. “It creates a significant loop for pedestrians and runners and all that may want to engage in the White River.”

This project gives everyone an opportunity to interact, no matter what your background is. Rubin said whether you are privileged or not, everyone is able to benefit from landscaping.

“I think a new park would be great for Muncie,” said Bryce Saxon, a Ball State graduate and avid runner who loves to see Muncie doing projects like these for their people. “I just wish that it was a little bit closer to campus so Ball State students could benefit from it.”

The 298 acres full of empty lots and abandoned warehouses are bound to be torn down and turned into a beautiful welcome to Muncie.