By ELIZABETH BEILMAN
The map on the wall of the River Ridge Development Authority’s conference room — printed in May — only represents about half of the buildings on the commercial center’s property today.
That’s because River Ridge Commerce Center is growing so fast.
“We’re having considerably more activity on a regular basis today compared to two plus years ago,” Executive Director Jerry Acy said.
With a resolution passed by the board Tuesday to begin negotiating the sale of 22 acres of land, another future facility will be added to this list of buildings missing from the map.
Acy said the plot of undeveloped land, which is about 958,000 square feet, is behind the IDX building right off of Ind. 62. He said the development authority has a a specific company in mind for the sale and will announce the name soon.
“We have negotiations ongoing as always,” he said.
Although he couldn’t give a specific dollar amount for how much the piece of land will go for, Acy said recent properties have been sold for somewhere between $35,000 and $55,000 per acre.
Recently sold tracts of land on River Ridge were to Autoneum, an auto parts manufacturer, and America Place, a business developer.
Acy said that the Ohio River Bridges Project — which will build two new interstate bridges over the Ohio River, among other improvements — has been the main draw for companies, especially with the future east-end bridge that will feed right into the River Ridge campus. He said that several new developers have expressed interest in the commerce center.
Direct investment in the development grew from $130 million in 2006 to $530 million in 2013. The commerce center has 1.5 million square feet of planned building construction for 2014, according to River Ridge’s 2013 annual report.
And experts say this is only the beginning.
An economic impact study conducted by a Boston-based research company estimates that the bridges project will cause the development of 2 million more square feet of land each year until all 5,700 acres of land are used.
Marc Hildenbrand, director of project management and utility operations at River Ridge, said a new map for the conference room wall representing its recent growth should be printed and put up in the next month.