Feb. 1--Plainfield soon could become home to one of the state's largest business parks, a move that would cement the town's statewide status as an industrial distribution magnet.
Browning Investments, which built Plainfield's Air Tech business park, plans to invest $700 million for a proposed industrial park in Hendricks County between U.S. 36 and U.S. 40 -- and west of Indianapolis International Airport. The park could generate up to 6,000 jobs.
Browning officials said the 882-acre site -- to be called CentraLogistics Park -- could hold from 10 million to 15 million square feet of office and industrial buildings, depending on the uses and types of structures.
If the development were finished today, it would be the second-largest business park in Central Indiana behind Park 100's 16.5 million square feet in Pike Township.
"This should ultimately be a huge plus for everybody in Hendricks County," said Plainfield Town Council President Robin Brandgard.
Plainfield has become a haven for distribution facilities because of its proximity to the airport and I-70. The town has added 22 million square feet of industrial space since 1994. By 2015, town leaders project nearly 40 million square feet.
Economic development experts and industrial real estate brokers believe the timing of Browning's proposal could be crucial as the three current Plainfield business parks fill up.
"We'll be running out of ground to build in Plainfield. So this new park could be an option for more companies who want to be close to the interstates and the airport," said Senior Vice President John Huguenard of the industrial real estate brokerage division of Colliers Turley Martin Tucker.
Brokers and developers said the most likely mix of tenants to settle in the new park would be large "big box" warehouse, light industry and distribution centers like the buildings already in Plainfield.
Colliers recently released a fourth-quarter 2005 report on industrial space in the metro area that shows a vacancy rate of only 6.4 percent in the southwestern area including Plainfield, where nearly 3.5 million square feet of new space is under construction.
Dennis Dye and John Hirschman of Browning said they already have interest from companies looking for distribution centers of 1 million square feet that could be timed for construction in the new CentraLogistics Park in 2007.
"We've seen this kind of interest in Chicago, but it is new in Indianapolis," Dye said.
Plainfield Town Council members gave their approval Monday to advertise a public hearing on an annexation request related to the development. Plainfield is attempting to annex 882 acres from nearby Washington Township for the project. Eleven of the 17 property owners affected have signed forms giving their approval. That meeting will be April 13.
The location of the land is roughly between county roads 100 South and 200 South and the proposed Ronald Reagan Parkway and County Road 900 East in Washington Township.
Browning's development includes a tax-increment financing district that would accelerate the construction of 1,500 feet of the Ronald Reagan Parkway between County Road 200 South and U.S. 40. The funding would pay for major upgrades to County Road 200 South by widening the road and adding curbs and gutters. Town officials could begin the first phase of improvements by spring 2007.
By Josh Duke and Bruce Smith
<<Indianapolis Star, The (KRT) -- 02/02/06>>