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February 24, 2012

Project Tango ... and some cash

Sale of another site at River Ridge in the works, with no announcement of tenant

JEFFERSONVILLE — More preparations were made for what officials call “Project Tango” at the River Ridge Development Authority meeting this week.

The project, a 1-million-square-foot distribution center located off of Ind. 62, has been rumored to be a new distribution center for online retailer Amazon.com, but that has not been confirmed and the company has not returned phone calls. Grading work has already begun on the site and the River Ridge Development Authority Board took steps to allow for construction to move quickly once a deal has been finalized.

The board agreed to lease an adjacent tract of land to KTR Capital Partners — which is developing the site — to create a temporary concrete plant on-site. The plant will sit on 6.5 acres of land next to the 70-acre tract where the building and parking lot will be constructed, with a performance bond to restore the property once the construction has been completed.

“This proposed lease is to accommodate the big project,” said River Ridge Executive Director Jerry Acy. “That will be approximately eight months during the construction period that this lease will be in place.”

The lease — resolution 12-2012 — if it is set to last for eight months would suggest that the distribution center would be open by October. Acy said the deal has still not been finalized with the company leasing the distribution center and River Ridge remains silent on who the eventual tenant will be.

Despite not having a deal wrapped up, construction has begun on the 900 Patrol Road distribution center.

“On our site we have an agreement with conditions to allow for some site work ... prior to closing,” Acy said. “Closing has not taken place on the land purchases.”

Acy said he hopes that closing will take place before the end of the month, but it’s not an absolute.

Last week Jeffersonville’s Plan Commission approved the development plan for the site and earlier this week, Jeffersonville’s Drainage Board approved the plan. River Ridge’s Development Authority also approved a resolution to attempt to secure an Economic Development Administration Grant.

“As everyone’s well aware, we’ve got a potential project here in ‘Project Tango’ as well as another developable site in this general vicinity,” said Paul Wheatley, director of marketing and finance for River Ridge. “We feel like we have a pretty good opportunity to leverage some Economic Development Administration grant monies based on these projects.”

River Ridge is in talks — and its board approved Acy to move ahead with negotiations for — another site near the distribution center being constructed.

“We are negotiating with another developer on a potential land sale,” he said. “It’s approximately 26 acres ... and the proposal would be to construct a 400,000-square-foot warehouse manufacturing and/or distribution center with related offices on that particular site.”

He added the parcel is on the opposite side of a proposed connector road at Patrol Road and Cox Street in the commerce center. Acy would not comment on who is seeking to develop the 26-acre site.

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