(photo is part of a computer image of the planned project)
Accelerated job creation, new corporate attraction, and local business expansion represent expected outcomes of a $10 million economic development project that will include an expandable spec shell facility and railroad cross-dock at the interchange of I-69 and U.S. 50/150 in Washington, according to Phil O’Haver, vice chairman of the Daviess County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC).
The new 40,000 sq. ft. facility, located on a 23-acre plot on the west side of I-69, is expandable to 80,000 sq. ft. and will be built to help attract future commercial operations. The new railroad cross-dock facility, which will allow the direct loading of semi-trailers and railroad cars, will connect companies to the existing east/west CSX rail line. The new supply chain facility will help serve logistics needs and increase efficiencies for regional companies in the area, including GPC (Grain Processing Corporation) and Alliance Barrier Films. About 500 acres will be available for new development.
The estimated $10 million project will be funded from revenues from a TIF district that was established in 1999 (the now-established TIF district was essential in initially attracting GPC to Washington in 1999 and in subsequently supporting GPC’s announced $70 million project in 2014). Garmong Construction of Terre Haute will build the new shell facility.
“This project represents the continued fulfillment of a vision that will help drive regional economic growth and job creation for the people of Washington, Daviess County and beyond,” said Joe Wellman, Mayor of the city of Washington. “Many officials, professionals and community leaders have worked and continue to work together to capture the opportunities afforded by I-69.”
“Given the extreme amount of engagement Garmong has with potential industrial sites across Indiana, we note that this site is unique with its proximity to rail and I-69 access,” said Dan Zuerner, a vice president with Garmong Construction Services. “We have no doubt as to the huge potential relative to the creation of new career opportunities and future capital investment for the City of Washington and Daviess County that will be afforded by this project.
Several officials noted how Daviess County was utilizing the value of I-69 to foster regional economic expansion. A number recognized how a $10 million project could serve as a catalyst for expanded growth throughout the area.
“This groundbreaking once again demonstrates that Indiana is a great place to do business, and I want to congratulate Daviess County on moving forward with this project and continuing our state’s positive momentum,” said U.S. Senator Dan Coats.
Commenting on how I-69 is already contributing to the economy of southwest Indiana, Congressman Larry Bucshon noted: “Many people have worked diligently to make I-69 possible in southwest Indiana, and it is gratifying to see communities like Washington strive to maximize this advantage for the benefit of the region. Creating new rail supply chain facilities is a natural to promote new opportunities– I look forward to jointly supporting continued growth in the region.”
The on-site rail cross-dock is expected to encourage the attraction and expansion of companies with specialty needs in transportation, logistics and distribution. The new rail-served industrial site was designed to be attractive to companies requiring advanced storage and transfer needs.
“Here in the Crossroads of America, we recognize that roads mean jobs,” said Governor Mike Pence. “With the continued construction of I-69 through southern Indiana, economic momentum is building across the region. And as I-69 grows, businesses will have a ready-made place to operate, grow and hire Hoosiers with this facility in Daviess County. As the home of growing infrastructure and a business-friendly tax and regulatory environment, Indiana is a state that works.
The new 40,000 sq. ft. facility will sit on a high-profile location (it can be readily seen from the I-69 interstate) and is about midway between Evansville and Bloomington, Indiana.
State Representative Mike Braun sees broad regional impact from the project. “I applaud the city of Washington, the Daviess County Economic Development Corporation and all those who worked together to make this project in our community possible,” said State Rep. Braun. “I will continue to help create an environment conducive for economic development and growth which will not only attract new and innovative businesses to our region, but also create job opportunities for the people of southwest Indiana.”
Grain Processing Corporation (GPC), a subsidiary of Kent Corporation, previously announced plans to invest more than $70 million to expand its operations in the Washington area. The Muscatine, Iowa-based company, which manufactures and markets corn-based products, will grow its MALTRIN® maltodextrins capacity over the next few years at its 600-acre Washington, Indiana complex, accounting for the largest expansion at the Washington plant since it started operations. GPC is in the process of finalizing the engineering design and requesting the necessary permits to begin the construction phase of the additional finishing capacity.
Ron Arnold, DCEDC executive director, says that the expansion of GPC will increase the capacity for agribusiness-related growth in the region, in addition to the expected upsurge in logistics operations. Alliance Barrier Films plans to use the cross-dock facility for a plastic pellet transfer facility.
“CSX applauds the work of all that were involved in the development of this project,” said Jeff Wagoner of CSX. “We also recognize that without the dedication and leadership of Ron Arnold, the project would still be an idea on paper, and not a rail-served industrial site.”