Plans to support workers in area

Developer wants to add hospitality businesses near exit

A local developer is planning to subdivide acreage near the Woodside Northwest Industrial Park to add more commercial development such as hotels and restaurants to support the companies and the thousands of employees who are working there.

The Columbus Plan Commission has approved a preliminary plat from Indusites Inc. that will subdivide 14.28 acres into one industrial lot and five commercial lots. The property is at the northeast corner of State Road 58 and County Road 300W, just west of Interstate 65.

The proposed subdivision will include a new street, Intech Drive, that will provide access to the commercial lots, with the industrial lot having access from International Drive.

Indusites Inc. was formed in 1976 through a group of local investors that pooled together financial resources in order to develop industrial land in Columbus, said Mark Pratt, Indusites president, who appeared before the Columbus Plan Commission on Wednesday.

Pratt said with 7,000 people already working in the area, including employees of Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing and Rightway Fasteners, more services such as restaurants and hotels are needed.

“A lot of these companies have employees that come from all around the world,” Pratt said. “They want places that are in close proximity for meetings and lodging.”

Plan commission members agreed that Indusites does not have to meet existing standards for trees, bike lanes and sidewalk or for right-of-way along County Road 300W. The company will need to provide a 5-foot-wide sidewalk along International Drive, however.

The Indiana Department of Transportation plans to install a traffic signal at the intersection of International Drive and State Road 58, according to the city. Pratt said that improvement should help coordinate traffic better through the intersection and allow motorists to get in and out of the area safely.

The approval of the preliminary plat means the next step for Indusites Inc. is to file a final plat with the city’s planning department, said Jeff Bergman, city-county planning director.

Pratt said he anticipates finalizing the plat for the project in the next 30 days. Efforts to attract future businesses to the proposed lots have been underway for about three months, he said.

Indusites hopes to see development on the lots by the end of the year, Pratt said.

In another request involving Woodside acreage, the commission approved a preliminary plat application from Dunlap & Company Inc. for a separate subdivision between County Road 300W and Interstate 65, about 1,125 feet north of State Road 58.

Chuck Corbin, a Dunlap & Company Inc. consultant, asked to amend a preliminary plat to include one new industrial lot totaling 3.71 acres that would create 11 lots within the subdivision.

The commission approved an access easement to serve the four lots.

Corbin said of the lots that exist, several have already been developed by companies such as Sunright America Inc., LHP and Cummins, although three have not been developed yet. He said one unidentified firm has already expressed interest.

“We have a good prospect,” Corbin said. “We should know within the next 60 to 90 days.”

Dunlap & Company Inc. will also be required to submit a final plat to the planning department for review at a later date, Bergman said.

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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or mkent@therepublic.com