A flavor of nature: Creekside counters the corporate cement jungle stereotype by implementing walking trails, green space and more

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At first glance, Creekside Corporate Park seems more conducive for a nature park than a business development. Walking trails wind through the property. Birds chirp in trees. And Zionsville’s downtown Village is a short walk away.

Even the bricks at Creekside Corporate Park’s entrance conjures an image of the Village.

The quiet, nature-filled corporate park is one of the reasons Denise Pierce opted to keep her health care reimbursement company, DK Pierce & Associates, in Zionsville. She was one of the first to set up shop within the project.

Walking trails wind through Creekside Corporate Park.

“Our company has not been in other corporate parks,” she said. “However, prior to starting my own business, I worked in large corporations, and they were always located in great areas, but it was a bit more like a cement jungle. There’s something very calming about being among the woods and knowing a large portion of these woods will stay here.”

Creekside Corporate Park has 40 developable acres. Another 25 acres will remain as green space.

Pierce values the green space. Prior to moving to Creekside, DK Pierce & Associates was off Elm Street in Zionsville, next to the Rail Trail. Pierce and her employees had walking competitions at the location and participated in company wellness programs.

At Creekside, employees still  walk to the Village nearly every day for lunch when the weather is nice.

In light of the woodsy setting and the custom-home appearance of the DK Pierce & Associates’ building,  a passerby thought the health care reimbursement company was a nature center as construction neared completion.

“He was out jogging with his baby and just walked in and went to the restroom and left, and we are all just watching,” Pierce said. “It had happened again, and finally on the third day, one of our employees said, ‘I’m sorry, can we help you? This is a business,’ and he said, ‘No it’s not, it’s the nature center.’ I always view that as it accomplished one of our goals.”

With the Village full and bustling with businesses, the Town of Zionsville hopes companies may consider building in Creekside Corporate Park, which is still very near to downtown. Although town officials expect larger corporations to  be among the first businesses to move into the park because land must be purchased and not rented, they also expect smaller retail to follow suit.

To help spur development inside Creekside Corporate Park, the town built eight-foot walking paths on either side of the creek that lead into the parck and out of the Village, and vice versa.

“That’s what people want. They just want to park their car once. They don’t want to drive everywhere they go,” Mayor Tim Haak said. “They’re used to doing that in other places like downtown Indy or Keystone (Crossing). You can park once (at Creekside) and walk wherever you want to go.”

Currently, only DK Pierce & Associates and the Lids Corporate Office occupy parcels at Creekside Corporate Park, but Pierce officials said a commercial-development open house was recently conducted and drew a large turnout.

For more, visit colliers.com/en/Properties/creekside-corporate-park/USA-creekside-corporate-park-creek-way-zionsville-in-46077/USA1041710.

DK Pierce & Associates is one of the first developments in Creekside Corporate Park. (Submitted photos)

Affording Creekside Corporate Park

For many companies, the idea of using capital to purchase land and construct a building may be daunting comparted to renting a smaller building elsewhere. The apprehension may steer potential businesses away from Creekside Corporate Park, where there is no rentable space, but Denise Pierce said business owners should look at all incentives before making a decision.

“There are so many incentives with the state for economic development that companies who think they may not have the capital shouldn’t simply turn it down without investing time and effort to see if there are some incentives out there for them to build,” said Pierce, who offers herself as a resource for companies intrigued about purchasing option.

Pierce utilized an Economic Development for a Growing Economy tax credit benefit and a Skills Enhancement Fund educational grant as incentives from the state prior to building her 18,000-square-foot company in Creekside Corporate Park in October 2017.

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