By DANIEL SUDDEATH
NEW ALBANY —
Grant Line Industrial Park West is “substantially complete” and the city is in the process of forming a marketing plan to attract businesses to the 40-acre site.
The property was donated to the city, and construction work for the park, including an extension of Reas Lane and utility work, was backed by a $1.7 million federal grant that covered half of the project’s cost.
The city had hoped that Kemper Foods International would build a new plant at Grant Line West, but the company has delayed its expansion.
“They’re not at the point where they’re ready to move, but we continue to work with them and help them in any way we can to make that expansion a reality,” said David Duggins, director of economic development and redevelopment for the city.
The economy is a challenge when trying to fill an industrial park, but New Albany has an advantage with Grant Line West because the overhead costs for the property are lower than with projects of similar sizes, Duggins said.
“Because of the donation, it gives us more leeway for what we charge for the property,” he said. “Finding the right tenants and the right employers for the city of New Albany and this area will be more important than what we have to put into the project.”
With its existing industrial parks at capacity, the city set about building Grant Line West in 2008. Work was delayed on the project for various reasons, but construction activity increased this year in a push to complete the park.
There’s additional land around the park — which is near Indiana University Southeast — to expand Grant Line West in the future if the city elects to do so.
As for the marketing plan, Duggins said the administration will begin actively pursuing tenants once the covenants for the park are established, which will likely be in November.
Those covenants will include guidelines on the style of the structures that will be built in the park.
But if a sound company wants to finalize a deal to locate in the park in the meantime the city will obviously facilitate the transaction, Duggins said.
“If an industry came calling we would do everything we could to work with them to make that happen,” he said.