FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Allen County Board of Commissioners, Allen County Council and PB Development LLC today announced a partnership to construct a 100,000 square foot shell building at the northwest corner of Lafayette Center Road and Fogwell Parkway.
County Commissioner Nelson Peters said shell buildings are also known as spec (speculative) buildings. He said these types of buildings also offer expandable options. This building could expand to 125,000 square feet. “It’s speculative on their part but they have a firm belief that if they build, they will come.”
He said the county has tried this before but to no avail. He feels optimistic about this approach after offering developers an “aggressive” incentive package.
PB Development LLC acquired the property in 2016 for future development. The property is zoned I-2 (General Industrial) and the shell building will accommodate build-out for
manufacturing, office, research and development, or warehousing uses.
The shell building will be constructed by locally based design-build contractor Michael Kinder & Sons, Inc, a fourth-generation, family owned business. “Our company has long been a proud corporate citizen and champion of Allen County,” said Bill Kinder, CEO of Michael Kinder & Sons, Inc., “We are grateful for and excited about this opportunity to partner with local government and PB Development, LLC to be part of making our economy even more appealing and ready for growth.”
The Allen County Board of Commissioners is providing reimbursement of the interest portion of carrying costs on the shell building for up to four-years. Allen County Council is scheduled to consider at its Thursday meeting a 10-year tax abatement on the shell portion of the building, which is estimated to cost $5.2 million. “Allen County is fertile ground for economic opportunities,” said Allen County Council President Larry Brown. “Council appreciates this partnership between the public and private sectors and the investment by both that comes along with it. Taking steps like this lets our Allen County get a step ahead of our competitor communities.”
As this will likely mean a change for tax payers, Nelson Peters preached that it all comes full circle by eventually adding jobs the county needs while at a relatively low unemployment rate. “What’s really needed right now is to make sure that we make sure that we’ve got jobs for everyone who wants one but that we’ve got the types of jobs people want.
The area where the shell building will be located is home to Stonebridge, which is a county owned “shovel ready” business park. Development of the shell building builds on the efforts of the county to attract business to the GM area, which provides convenient access to I-69 and will soon add four-lane access to US 24 via Lafayette Center Road. During the first six months of 2017, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation received 50 requests from competitive projects for existing buildings. Twenty percent of those were for buildings 76,000 – 150,000 square in size.
Peters said 5 or 6 years ago the county bought about 600 acres for development and they have only about 55 left to sell. He hopes this purchase will interest more developers for that land.