From a lemonade stand to one of Indianapolis’ biggest property owners, the meteoric rise of a proud Panther.
Long before Aasif Bade (North Central ’00) was even born, his uncle immigrated to the United States from India. He worked hard as a lawyer, practicing in Circle Tower in downtown Indianapolis. The first of the Bade family to make it to America, his example of hard work left an impression on everybody in the family, including Aasif. A half century later, Aasif owned Circle Tower.
A football player and active student at North Central High School, he quickly recalls that his fondest memory of Washington Township wasn’t positive. It was getting a disappointing grade in Mr. Armstrong’s high school English class. His worst grade as his fondest memory?
“I didn’t become the greatest writer in the world, but I became a better writer,” he says today. “Back in those days, the ups and downs were taken more seriously than they needed to be. In hindsight, I think the best part of North Central and Washington Township schools… was the diversity and how it prepared you for the real world.”
Bade’s parents arrived in the United States in the early 1970’s. Aasif grew up in a house that always provided, but cherished how Washington Township was a place where one’s background or finances never superseded friendship and interaction. As a child, he felt equal. He attended Indiana University, fell into his own admitted stereotype and tried to become a doctor. It never lasted. One internship at Duke Realty and he was sold on real estate.
“I was always looking for opportunities,” he said of his fondness for the business world. Even as a young child, he ran small businesses in the summer, including a lemonade stand and lawn mowing group. His older brother was his first employee. Transitioning from a theoretical career in medicine to construction became too easy of a choice. “There is nothing more fun than going on to a construction site and sitting on an excavator,” he adds with a smile.
Like his uncle and parents before him, Bade immersed himself in the work, but wanted more. Still in his 20’s and at the onset of the recession in 2008, he started Ambrose Property Group, along with good friend Patrick Chittenden. As their website says:
Ambrose was created during the height of a recession, a time when fears were abundant and money was not. We began our business from a mere closet; humility and hard work have always been our strong suits. While we started out small, we’ve steadily scaled our operations into one of the industry’s most recognized leaders. Ambrose’s customer-centric approach guarantees that hearty handshakes and honest words quickly translate into superior results.
Today, Bade’s company owns and operates some of the most prominent structures in central Indiana, from the retail space at 49th and Pennsylvania (Café Patachou) to the Landmark Center building on north Meridian. It’s a business, no doubt, but the personal interaction and lessons learned from North Central, make him one of the most respected landlords in Indy, not to mention one of the most charitable.
“There are so many positive things going on in our state,” he says. “It is humbling to see how many people give and work selflessly to make our city a better place to live.”