EDWARDSVILLE — The coronavirus has slowed some aspects of the project, but Floyd County officials remain confident that Novaparke Innovation and Technology Campus will be ready for tenants by next summer.
“Phase one is on schedule to be completed by the end of September,” said Don Lopp, director of operations for Floyd County. “Phase one is the construction of the Innovation Parkway, which is the main road into the site from Old Georgetown Road.”
The initial phase of construction also includes the extension of water and sewer lines and the placement of stormwater infrastructure to service the park.
The second phase of construction will include building the entrance to Novaparke from Indiana 64 to connect with Innovation Parkway.
“We’d be looking at probably finishing in August of 2021,” Lopp said.
In the meantime, the Floyd County Redevelopment Commission is considering how to market the technology park to potential tenants. The commission recently began seeking bids for marketing services.
“We are in negotiations with a tenant,” Lopp said. “COVID has kind of put a halt on some of this, but we have had other inquiries as well.”
Floyd County Councilman Brad Striegel, who is also a member of the redevelopment commission, said officials are navigating through uncertain times due to the pandemic but are committed to seeing Novaparke become a hub for innovative and “cutting edge” businesses.
“The vision hasn’t changed at all as far as what we’re going after with a certified technology park and the businesses we’re approaching,” Striegel said. “What’s changed is the timeline and how aggressive we’re going after things.”
Many businesses are tightening up their spending in the midst of the pandemic, so that has affected the timing of the marketing campaign for Novaparke, he continued.
Lopp said there’s definitely interest and once the first phase is completed, potential clients will be able to have access to the site so they can view the park.
Located near Interstate 64 off Indiana 64 in Edwardsville, Novaparke will be designed companies related to software development, advanced technology and agricultural research. Officials have touted the 60-acre park as a means to bring 400 new jobs to Floyd County.
There will also be a higher education component to the park with the county planning to partner with Indiana University Southeast for instructional purposes.
As the county prepares to attract suitors to the park, Striegel said a focus group will be formed to garner input from business and community leaders to help finalize a marketing plan.
He added that the process would be further along had it not been for COVID-19, as the original goal was to have construction completed by the end of 2020. But in light of what’s transpired, Striegel said, he’s pleased with the progress at the park.
“We are doing what we can to continue moving forward,” he said.
For more information, go to the website novaparke.com.