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May 11, 2012

Plans around Amazon approved at River Ridge

JEFFERSONVILLE — Several steps were taken at a special meeting of the River Ridge Development Authority on Friday afternoon to prepare for the planned opening of an Amazon.com Inc. distribution site in October.

Action taken was related to the construction of Cox Street, which will serve as a connector road to the recently completed Trey Street and Ind. 62, offering  secondary access to the one million square foot distribution center.

To build the road, River Ridge has secured a grant of up to $930,000 through the Indiana Department of Transportation. No match is required.

“The grant should cover the Cox Street project,” said River Ridge Attorney David Lewis.

The bid contract was also awarded for the road’s construction to Louisville Paving Company, Inc. totaling $896,600. River Ridge Engineer Marc Hildenbrand said including engineering work, the full grant amount will likely be used to construct the road.

He explained that the road will be a three lane road, with a middle turn lane, and will be constructed using heavy duty pavement.

“It’s designed for truck traffic,” Hildenbrand said.

Jacobi, Toombs and Lanz Inc., which designed the project, was also approved for an inspection contract for the road.

Details of another planned 400,000 square foot facility across from the Amazon site is still under negotiations.

Jeff Boone, a partner with Capstone Realty Inc., said the company is in the due diligence stage of purchasing the site.

“We’re just working on if we’re going to buy it or not,” he said.

Boone added that the proposed structure would be a warehouse or distribution building, with some office space, similar to the other buildings Capstone owns in the commerce center. However, there is no tenant lined up to locate at the site.

A second road project designed to be completed before Amazon opens was also bid, but an official award has not been given for the project.

Construction of extended turn lanes and the installation of traffic signal at the Salem-Noble Road and Ind. 62 is expected to total about $2.2 million, Hildenbrand said.

The board approved the 20 percent matching funds required for the project of up to $443,527. As part of the matching money for the project, Clark County and the city of Jeffersonville both dedicated $187,000 more than two years ago.

However, Hildenbrand said an appropriation of $1.5 million made in 2005 to River Ridge may apply to the project and lower the matching amount.

If the previous appropriation applies, the cost of the project would effectively be reduced by $1.5 million and the local match would total $143,400.

Despite a potential reduction in cost, it is unknown whether or not either of the governmental entities could recover some of the funding previously dedicated to the project.

“The number that is in there is not including the local match that was required on the railroad crossing ... which was $76,000,” Hildenbrand said. “Also, we’re going to have construction inspection that is going to be required on that project.”

The River Ridge Development Authority Board also approved a wavier to allow Amazon to install a 33-foot tall and 33-foot wide fire suppression tank adjacent to the planned distribution center.

Following the business associated to building up the infrastructure around the Amazon site, the River Ridge Development Authority Board approved River Ridge Executive Director Jerry Acy to negotiate the sale of a 42-acre parcel of property behind the Mr. “P” Express Inc. location off of Trey Street.

Paul Wheatley, director of marketing and finance for River Ridge, said the company purchasing the plot of land plans to construct 750,000 square feet of space in multiple buildings. The purchase price agreed to was $39,000 per acre, or a total purchase price of $1.6 million.

“It will be used for warehousing, industrial, commercial office purposes,” Wheatley said of the site. He declined to name what company had agreed to purchase the site.

 

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