City confirms development plans on east side
A new shopping center is being proposed at the east end of the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Greencastle, city officials confirmed Wednesday evening.
City Planner Shannon Norman told members of the Greencastle Redevelopment Commission that Sandor Development Company, with offices in Indianapolis and Arizona, has submitted preliminary plans for the 28 acres of tillable land located just to the east of Wal-Mart.
This is not the first time Sandor has expressed interest in the property, which is owned by John Sturgeon. The company had an option to buy the land earlier this year but pulled plans a few weeks later.
Now they're back, but officials at Wednesday's meeting, which included Greencastle/Putnam County Development Center Director Bill Dory, City Attorney Laurie Hardwick, Mayor Nancy Michael and Norman, claimed they did not know whether Sandor had actually purchased the property.
Officials at Sandor did not return phone calls seeking comment about the project.
Meanwhile, the preliminary plans for the project, which were submitted to the city on Nov. 11 by Sandor's engineer, show six lots, about 1 acre in size, fronting Ind. 240 on the south side, beginning at the current stoplight at Wal-Mart and continuing east to Ballard Lane, the road that leads to the Putnam County Airport.
Additionally, the preliminary plans depict two large-scale retail buildings at the south end of the property, roughly in line with the current Wal-Mart building. Based on calculations taken from the plans, one of the buildings is about 10,000 square feet and the second is between 25,000 and 30,000 square feet.
Norman and Dory reiterated, after Wednesday night's meeting, that the plans Sandor has submitted are only preliminary and could change as the project moves ahead.
The property is already zoned for general business, but Norman said the company would still need some variances for certain aspects of the project.
The project is scheduled to be discussed with the city at technical review on Dec. 13. That meeting is open to the public.
As for what businesses might be moving into the new shopping center, if it is built, no announcements have been made.
However, Norman told the Redevelopment Commission that she believes there have been businesses interested in the property. But she went on to say that Sandor officials haven't told her what businesses, if any, have been secured.
Meanwhile, city officials in attendance at Wednesday night's meeting claimed to know nothing about a proposed hotel that, according to an announcement made at Tuesday night's Putnam County Tourism Board meeting, is seeking a possible location in the Greencastle or Cloverdale areas.
Don Gedert, a member of the tourism board and head of the Cloverdale Redevelopment Commission, announced to the tourism board Tuesday night that a hotel chain was seeking to locate in the area. He did not give the name of the hotel chain, but when asked where he obtained the information, Gedert responded that he received it from the Greencastle Development Center.
When the issue came up at the Redevelopment Commission meeting Wednesday, GDC Director Dory responded, "I can't say anything."
Dory and Norman downplayed the hotel inquiry, stating that they get numerous request for information from businesses, but rarely do those businesses find their way to establishing a location in Greencastle.
In other business, the Redevelopment Commission:
* Learned that work on Enterprise Park, which is owned by the city, has been nearly completed and that a gas line that was installed is projected to be up and running by the middle of December.
* Learned that work on the city's "shell building," located on Fillmore Road north of Lear, is completed and that the city is actively marketing it to potential buyers around the United States.
* Learned that the airport property, also owned by the city, is nearing completion. Crews have been installing infrastructure at the site to make it more marketable for potential buyers in the future. Dallas Smith Corp., with locations in Greencastle and Brazil, is planning to build a manufacturing facility on one of the lots located on the east side of Ballard Lane. That project is also scheduled to appear at technical review on Dec. 13.
* Learned that Mayor Michael has initiated conversations with an engineering company to make unspecified improvements on Zinc Mill Road, which runs on the west side of the property where Ivy Tech is proposing a new campus. Board members talked about their belief that a stoplight will be needed at that intersection once Ivy Tech opens, but the state highway department is the agency that makes that decision. The city has been unsuccessful, according to the mayor, at convincing INDOT of that need. Greencastle Middle School is located on the northwest corner of that property, and a student pedestrian was struck by a vehicle south of that intersection a few weeks ago.
* Learned from Mayor Michael that the city has applied to INDOT for money to be used to connect South Street with U.S. 231 in the vicinity of Dari-Licious and Feld's Carpet. Currently South Street turns and meets Martinsville Street but does not directly link up with U.S. 231.
* Learned that Emmert Construction is building a 4,000-square-foot office building on Mill Pond Lane, behind the USDA building and will make it available to interested buyers.