The Journal Gazette
Saturday, October 17, 2020 1:00 am

Industrial site project goes forward

2 panels pave way for tax breaks by declaring development area


A nearly 750,000-square-foot industrial building proposed for Lafayette Township may not be that big after all – at least not at first.

But there's still no information being made public about who will eventually occupy it, even though the project received two government approvals this week.

Developers continue to say the building is being built as a shell building on spec, without an end user in mind, said Scott Harrold, senior economic development specialist for the Allen County Redevelopment Commission.

The site is along Stonebridge Road south of the General Motors plant and southwest of Vera Bradley and Group Delphi.

The county redevelopment commission Tuesday declared the site an economic development area – an area that, if developed, will generate more in taxes than its current use, agriculture.

On Thursday, the Allen County Plan Commission unanimously approved that declaration without discussion. The plan commission's approval means the site and its proposed use are not in conflict with county zoning law or development policies.

The actions pave the way for the site to become a tax increment financing district and allocation area. That could make the site eligible for a tax abatement and allow the increased taxes obtained from the increase in value from construction to be spent on infrastructure for that area.

Proposed by OMD Holdings represented by Todd Ramsey of Fort Wayne, the building will occupy  31 acres originally planned for smaller industrial lots. He told the plan commission in August the market had changed and demand now exists for larger buildings.

The new development is known as Stonebridge III, although it is not affiliated with the county redevelopment commission's nearby Stonebridge Business Park. The commission has assisted in developing another smaller spec shell building nearby by working with PB Development and Michael Kinder & Sons. That building is not yet occupied.

A public hearing on the Stonebridge III's economic development area designation will take place at 1 p.m. Nov. 10 in Room 30 of Citizens Square. The redevelopment commission will then take a final approval vote, likely that afternoon.

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