By ELIZABETH BEILMAN
America Place Business Park is continuing to outgrow its home.
The business development company announced Thursday its purchase of 50 more acres of land at River Ridge Commerce Center, expanding its domain at the center to 80 total acres.
This space is a satellite location to its 84-acre business park off of Dutch Lane.
River Ridge sold the space for $45,000 per acre, totaling about $2.25 million, according to Paul Wheatley, director of marketing and finance for the River Ridge Development Authority.
Keith Starling, leasing agent for America Place, said the new land will add to America Place’s three-phase building plan at River Ridge, prompted by a growing demand for commercial space.
“We’ve just had a tremendous amount of out-of-state business interest in warehouse space,” Starling said.
He said America Place is talking to about five prospective companies for its River Ridge campus on Trey Street and should be announcing partnerships in the next few months. The developers can build both general warehouses or build-to-suit warehouses, meaning they customize structures based on the company that will be using them.
Starling said the 80-acre campus — which will host about five or six buildings total — is also along Salem Road, which will connect to the east-end bridge.
“That’s kind of the big selling point for a lot of the people we’re talking to,” he said.
Nearly a year ago, America Place announced its three-phase plan over 37 acres of land at River Ridge, seven of which ended up being given back to the commerce center.
Since then, construction has made headway. Phase I construction of a 150,000-square-foot warehouse is complete, and phase II construction of a 287,000-square-foot warehouse is expected to be completed in August. The Phase III warehouse will be completed in early 2015.
Starling said America Place will be working with artists to design a campus that has more flow than a traditional industrial park feel.
“We wanted something that was more planned out, something that was more a bigger picture, bigger thought,” he said. “Having 80 acres really lets us have these buildings flow together.”
He also said this will allow more synergy among employees working in separate buildings.
Although America Place owns its own industrial park, Wheatley said that River Ridge — also an industrial park — views the expansion as just any other developer purchasing land.
“Their developers will help River Ridge attract new investments and lead to job growth,” Wheatley said.
In the past year, River Ridge has made several announcements of new companies moving in, including Catamaran Corp., American Fuji Seal and most recently, Autoneum.