Duke Energy helps market parcel: Condition, proximity to I-65 prompt selection

Duke Energy Indiana has selected a 63-acre parcel near Edinburgh for a program that helps market potential sites to developers.

The property, on the northeast corner of U.S. 31 and County Road 800N near Edinburgh, is one of four that Duke has selected for its 2017 Site Readiness Program. The other three sites are in Crawford, Dearborn and Hamilton counties.

Economic development organizations at each site receive $10,000 from Duke to implement the recommendations.

Jason Hester, president of the Greater Columbus Economic Development Corp., applied to the program this past spring, said Misty McCammack, Duke senior economic development manager.

The selection marks the first time in the four years of the program’s existence that a Bartholomew County parcel has been selected by the utility, she said.

The acreage is being marketed by the Greater Columbus Economic Development Corp. as Meadowlawn @ I-65, Hester said. The economic development corporation received permission from the land owners to submit the application for the acreage, which is located within the county’s Tax Increment Finance Allocation Area.

The economic development corporation is pursuing avenues such as the Duke opportunity to help get sites in and around Columbus more shovel-ready and desirable for development, Hester said.

“The Meadowlawn @ I-65 site is an important piece of our area’s industrial site portfolio, especially considering its I-65 and U.S. 31 location at the northern edge of Bartholomew County,” Hester said.

Local economic development officials look forward to welcoming the guidance of McCallum Sweeney Consulting and Banning Engineering, which will offer consultation services as part of the program, he said.

The four sites were selected based on their potential to bring large businesses and industries to their areas, Duke Energy spokesman Lew Middleton said.

The parcel near Edinburgh was particularly attractive because of its closeness to Interstate 65 and site conditions — flat land that industry prefers for a building site, McCammack said.

As part of the program, McCallum Sweeney will evaluate the site while Banning Engineering will produce conceptual drawings and site plans, Middleton said.

Duke officials will then collaborate with county leaders and local economic development officials to develop a strategy for marketing the site, he said.

The consultant may recommend road improvements, easements and right-of-way improvements that would be required to develop the property, as well as steps necessary to mitigate any potential environmental issues, Middleton said.

The utility company will then present its findings for the site, including a detailed report and conceptual drawings — to Columbus and Bartholomew County officials.

After each site is ready, Duke Energy’s Business Development Team will strategically market the sites nationwide to companies looking to expand or relocate their operations, Middleton said.

Ideal properties for the Site Readiness Program are those that are typically 40 acres or larger, served by the utility or a vacant industrial building at least 20,000-square-feet that is identified to support industrial growth and sustainable development in a community, Duke officials said.

Middleton said Duke Energy Indiana’s overall economic development program has been named by Site Selection magazine as one of the nation’s Top 10 Utility Economic Development Programs.

Since 2008, the company has participated in the creation of nearly 20,000 jobs with a total capital investment of about $4.5 billion, the company said.

To learn more

For more information about Duke Energy Indiana’s economic development programs, visit locationindiana.com.

For more information on Duke Energy, visit duke-energy.com.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.