Noblesville Enters Development Game

Noblesville Enters Development Game

Noblesville Enters Development Game

July 2002 - Hamilton County Business

By: Amy Cahill, Editor

Historically, Noblesville has been good at growing houses and enlarging existing businesses, but not at attracting new companies, says Chris Hamm, director of economic development.

All that’s about to change, though, as the county seat works to turn its 3,200-acre corporate campus plan into reality.

“It’s a very exciting time,” Hamm said. “We never have really done economic development in Noblesville until the past two years. Now we are very much in the business of development and we’re very much open for business.”

One of the keys to the corporate campus is the extension of 146th Street to Interstate 69 at the existing Exit 10. Extending the road from where it currently ends to I-69 is expected to cost roughly $25 to $30 million.

“It’s an awesome undertaking that the City of Noblesville cannot undertake on its own,” Hamm said. “We will build it as soon as we can find and secure resources for it.”

He would have liked to see the project completed “yesterday,” but realistically expects it to take about six years.

While the road is years from completion, things are moving forward with the corporate campus, which is bounded on the west by the existing business park off Indiana 37.

Republic Development of Toledo, Ohio, recently began negotiations with the city to build a 280-acre commercial development with a mixture of office and retail uses at I-69 and Indiana 238. The development would provide the eastern anchor for the plan.

Noblesville is looking at making the area a tax-increment financing district. In TIF districts, the property taxes are capped at the rate they were prior to development. Any additional tax revenue the property generates as it develops is used to repay bonds the city issues for infrastructure improvements.

“It helps to speed up development by putting infrastructure in the ground more quickly than it would be otherwise,” Hamm said.

Hamm said Republic’s development plan is slightly different than the city’s conceptual plan, but it’s close.

Another portion of the corporate campus that will be under construction soon is a C.P. Morgan development off Marilyn Road, where homes will range from $80,000 to $110,000.

The plan initially called for all commercial and industrial development, but city officials decided they needed homes the average worker could afford in the area.

“They provide a fundamental component of a successful corporate campus, that’s workforce housing,” Hamm said.