City seeks development of land

Friday, April 21, 2006

Greencastle officials hoping to encourage development of several industrial properties available on the city's east side may soon have another option to consider.

Under a plan that could be presented to the Greencastle Redevelopment Commission in May, the city would go ahead with the construction of an actual building in hopes that the site would become more appealing to potential tenants.

Greencastle/Putnam County Development Center Director Bill Dory said arrangements have been made for officials from Garmong Construction Services of Terre Haute to come to the next Redevelopment Commission meeting to discuss details of a potential agreement.

Right now, he said, the city is focusing on undeveloped land it owns near Lear Corporation, known as the Sgt. Cunningham property. Limited work, including land surveying, is ongoing at the site -- paid for by a grant from Duke Energy (formerly Cinergy), Dory said.

If constructed, the building would be more or less an empty shell that could be completed to suit the needs of a potential tenant, Dory said. But it would be on a much smaller scale than the ones currently being constructed in the Plainfield area near the Indianapolis Airport.

Dory said the new building would help Greencastle better compete with other nearby cities offering industrial sites, including Plainfield. If Greencastle officials agree to the deal, Dory said it would be the first of its kind for the city.

Dory said Garmong officials told him they could potentially begin construction of the building in June, if approved by the city.

As for the Sgt. Cunningham property itself, Dory said talks are ongoing concerning a potential tenant, however, nothing has been decided.

A preliminary plat, or blueprint, of the property will be presented to the city Plan Commission next week for acceptance, all in an effort to make the property as desirable as possible to potential tenants.

Something else that could work to the city's advantage is a recently announced state program called Shovel Ready Sites.

Dory explained that he is currently seeking to apply for state money that would help the city prepare a chosen site for potential tenants. A total of $100,000 is available to help defer the costs associated with preparing a site and make it "Shovel Ready." They include making sure the site is surveyed, properly zoned and has all the necessary infrastructure, like water and sewer service, in place.

Dory has selected property behind the Chiyoda plant on Capital Drive for the Shovel Ready Site.

"It will help us in our marketing strategy," he said.

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