Putnam County is experiencing a commercial and industrial boom this year, says Greencastle/Putnam County Development Center Director Bill Dory.
More than $250 million in new commercial, industrial, and institutional construction projects are underway or just recently completed and several communities around the county are benefiting from these investments, Dory said.
Commercial projects include a new funeral home and fast food restaurant in Cloverdale, a new contractor's office and yard in Bainbridge and several new retail and office projects in Greencastle.
As the BannerGraphic reported previously, a group of local investors is building a new horse show arena just west of the U.S. 231 and I-70 interchange. The Crossroads USA Arena and Expo Center is a new, 192,000 square foot facility that will provide additional event space and, according to officials, could increase tourism in the county. The facility will open in January of 2008.
One of the largest projects in the county is the new Altra Indiana, LLC, ethanol plant located in Warren Township just north of Cloverdale. Completion is expected in the first quarter of 2008, Dory said.
"This ethanol project will have a significant positive impact on our local agriculture community by providing another market outlet for area farmers and by offering savings in transportation costs to those who sell their corn locally to the plant," Dory said.
The projects in Greencastle include a 17,500 square foot retail shopping center, a new auto parts store, two gas stations and a new video store. Recently, two new banks opened in the community and a third is under construction.
O'Reilly Auto Parts is building a new 7,000 square foot retail store next to Gas America on Indianapolis Road. And as the BannerGraphic also reported previously, a new 6,084 square foot Family Video store is also under construction across from Kroger.
"We greatly appreciate the investment taking place in our community," Mayor Nancy Michael said. "These investments, not only in Greencastle, but throughout the county help grow our tax base, provide job opportunities and provide a better quality of life for our citizens."
Industrial projects include a new office and warehouse for a local concrete company, an expansion of a local distribution center, and the construction of a 50,000 square foot shell building by Garmong Developments Company, LLC.
Dory noted, "All of the industrial projects have been encouraged and supported by the Putnam County Council and Greencastle City Council through the granting of local property tax abatement."
DePauw University continues to invest in their campus, Dory said, with new an enhanced facilities. More than $40 million worth of investment is nearing completion for grand opening this fall. Significant projects include the Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics and the Judson and Joyce Green Center for the Performing Arts. In addition, the university completed improvements and upgrades to several buildings on campus this summer in preparation for the start of classes this fall.
Putnam County is investing $2.9 million in a new 911 emergency operations center. This high security facility will house the county's 911 dispatch center and serve as emergency command center in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency. Once complete, the 911 dispatch center will move from the Courthouse to the new facility next to the Putnam County Highway Department.
After completing a new surgery wing in 2006, the Putnam County Hospital is completing renovations of other areas of the facility. Parts of the hospital are being renovated for a new oncology center, a new sleep lab diagnostic center, and new training rooms.
In the adjacent medical office park, a private developer is building a kidney dialysis center, Dory said.
Working with the hospital and surrounding property owners, the City of Greencastle built a new sanitary sewer lift station to increase capacity in that area.
"Our local elected officials at the town, city, and county levels have all been very supportive of encouraging investment throughout the county," Dory said. "This support has been demonstrated through investment incentive packages, utility improvements, and technical assistance."