FedEx distribution center would add to other major development in Greenwood

GREENWOOD, Ind. – Anyone driving on I-65 south of Indianapolis next spring should expect to see a lot of changes along the 10-mile stretch between County Line and Worthsville Road.

Two major development projects near the interstate are both expected to begin construction in the spring of 2018.

On Tuesday, the Greenwood Redevelopment Commission approved $17.2 million in tax abatements for FedEx to build a $259 million distribution center near the northeast corner of I-65 and Worthsville Road.

The 608,000-square-foot facility on 236 acres is expected to eventually employ about 450 people. Around 80 full-time employees would make an average of $24.55 an hour, while 375 part-time employees would average $14.24 per hour.  The state-of-the art facility is expected to process 30,000 packages per hour once it’s up and running midway through 2020.

During the 10-year tax abatement period, the distribution center is expected to generate more than $47 million in tax revenue for the city.

“That 30-million dollars into this district will allow us to really invest in our infrastructure,” said Greenwood Redevelopment Commission President Brent Tilson.  “This is a huge deal.  To have an investment by a Fortune 100 company that’s globally known in Greenwood is significant.”

As earth is being turned for the FedEx facility, construction is also expected to begin on a $40 million sports and entertainment complex located near I-65 and County Line Road.

The $40 million project will include two phases, with the first being a 175,000-square-foot facility that would house two ice rinks, two turf fields, five basketball courts that can also be used for volleyball, a fitness/training facility, pro shop, locker rooms and food service facilities.  The second phase will include several businesses aimed at dining, retail and entertainment. Plans call for Xscape Theatres and Main Event Entertainment to serve as anchors for the retail space. Future phases will include a convenience store and 200-room hotel.

Ryan Gershman with Gershman Properties said the company is in negotiations for some of the retail space.

The city of Greenwood partnered with Indy Fuel owners Jim and Sean Hallett for the iceplex portion of the project.  The iceplex was moved from its original location at Freedom Park after residents in the area expressed concern about traffic and property values.

The site of the sports and entertainment complex was going to be the home of Greenwood Towne Center.  That plan stalled after Gershman Properties ran into difficulty securing the right tenants for the shopping center, Tilson said.

Anchoring retail stores and entertainment around sports and lifestyle facilities is a better fit for today’s economy, he said.

The area near I-65 and County Line Road has been the site for previous projects that didn’t pan out, including a proposed Cabela’s store in 2009 and another proposal for a sports and hotel complex in 2014.

Tilson says city leaders have learned lessons from those deals that fell through.

“We’ve had different groups come in over time,” he said.  “Now the city’s working very closely to put the protections in place but also, we need to make the investment.”

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