Boone County or Bust

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Development is in the air!  It seems everywhere I wander, construction trucks appear. This was evident during my tour of Boone County last week with Boone County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director, Bryan Brackemyre. Our journey began with one simple challenge, “Bryan, if I were a developer or business owner, why should I choose Boone County?” Off we went in search of the answer.

He launched into his pitch immediately focusing on the commercial/industrial areas he called the “Big 3”- Bennett Technology Park, Anson/Whitestown, and Lebanon Business Park. Okay, I knew where 2 of the 3 were so we were off to a good start.

Bennett Technology Park was our first stop where large construction equipment could be seen clearing the land for the FedEx distribution center as the anchor of the Ripberger property. The controversial Dow property was not far away as we continued along 106th street, which split the property. In a few days, the Dow sale could be a done deal and next week Fedex breaks ground. Around the corner, Bub’s is also making progress. Wow, the Strategic Plan has come to life in a big way! Warning: Dust in the air in the southeast corridor.

We then headed south on Zionsville Road to the Northwest Technology Center and then west on 96th street over the famous Ford Road Bridge (Note: no crumbling nor cracking sounds as we crossed). Soon we arrived at Anson to see the future site of Meijer along with the Hampton Inn and the new Duke storage facility which are under construction.Then it was north on highway 65 to All Points at Anson, the industrial park which is home to Amazon, Express Scripts and several large warehouses. Whew!  Are we close to Chicago yet?

The last leg of our journey was the most enlightening – Lebanon. Lebanon is an interesting town with about 16,000 people, $2 per square foot rent (compared to $17-$22 in downtown Zionsville), and a massive freezer at 600,000 square feet housed at United States Cold Storage. Courthouse Square in downtown Lebanon is a complete contrast to downtown Zionsville with very few retailers, two restaurants, and almost all service-related businesses.

So, at the end of the tour, would I bring my business to Boone County?  Yes, but the Big 3 has got nothin’ on the bricks!  Thanks for the tour, Bryan.  And my wandering continues…

 

 

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