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April 22, 2013

River Ridge wants to be a megasite

Hopes to lure large manufacturer to the center

JEFFERSONVILLE —

River Ridge Commerce Center is hoping to draw a major manufacturer to a minimum of 1,500 acres in the former Indiana Army Ammunition Plant off of Ind. 62.

At the River Ridge Development Authority Board meeting Monday, a resolution to pursue the development of a megasite in the commerce center was approved.

River Ridge Director of Marketing and Finance Paul Wheatley said the approval would allow for the evaluation of a site to locate a company like a large steel manufacturer, chemical manufacturer or an automotive manufacturer inside the commerce center.

The megasite itself would be an area of about 2,500 acres, and could be no less than 1,500 acres. River Ridge encompasses about 6,000 acres.

McCallum Sweeney Consulting, a company specializing in site evaluation and certification, will conduct an evaluation of a potential site where a large company could locate, per the resolution approved. The contract to complete the site evaluation totals $35,000.

“From that report we would seek a megasite designation,” Wheatley said. 

He explained with the designation, River Ridge will be able to market a shovel-ready site and it will be able to attract a wider variety of potential tenants into the commerce center.

“It is very rare to have a landmass under common ownership like we do that also sits in a major metropolitan area, that also sits at a major interchange,” Wheatley said. “We feel like this site is going to be very attractive.”

The goal of having a marketable megasite is to attract a single, large, major manufacturer to River Ridge. Around the major manufacturer, Wheatley said, a supplier park could be developed. He said River Ridge would hope to locate one single company around which to build the megasite, rather than selling the site to a developer to lease a number of properties.

“Those projects are heavy in capital investment and they employ people at wages at more than $20 per hour,” Wheatley said of a large manufacturing company.

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