Business

Radius Indiana hosts tour of Washington shell building

Radius Indiana introduced local elected officials, community leaders and economic development organizations to the process of building a shell building on Wednesday during a Lunch and Learn event in Washington in partnership with the Daviess County Economic Development Corporation. 

Shell buildings are basic structures, built as an economic development investment to attract businesses. Growing companies often choose locations with a shell building because it can be quickly customized to meet the company needs and allows them to get products to market faster versus having to construct a building from the ground up.

“The Lunch and Learn provided a great opportunity for local leaders to find out how a shell building can attract new businesses to their community,” Jeff Quyle, president and CEO of Radius Indiana, said. “It’s good for our counties to share these experiences and lessons so that we can support each other in community developments. The interest and attendance at the event proved that our community members are ready and excited to grow their local economies through new initiatives. If we have multiple available buildings in the region, our chances of attracting more clients will increase dramatically.”

Approximately 40 people, including representatives from each of Radius’s eight counties, attended the event at the Gasthoff Amish Village, which was sponsored by Smithville, the Indiana Municipal Power Agency, AT&T, and CenterPoint Energy. Radius followed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for social distancing to keep all attendees safe. 

“On behalf of the Daviess County Economic Development Corporation, I am grateful for the opportunity to highlight our community’s shell building and cross-dock facility as well as explain the process that our local leadership followed to bring the project to fruition,” said Bryant Niehoff, executive director of the Daviess County Economic Development Corporation. “Our hope is that the event has sparked interest in investing in such projects across the Radius region to advance our competitiveness on a larger scale.”

Dan Zuerner, vice president of Garmong Construction, presented information about Garmong’s history of erecting shell buildings, and what local organizations can expect during the development process. Ron Arnold, Daviess County Commissioner and former executive director of the Daviess County Economic Development Corporation, focused on the lack of available buildings in southern Indiana and the importance of partnerships within the economic development industry.

Chad Sweeney, senior principal of independent economic development leader Ginovous, joined the meeting remotely to discuss the benefits of a shell building to a potential site selector client and the importance of existing buildings in a community.

Susan Vaughn from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation shared statistics of the top trends in project leads for Indiana in 2020, including:  

  • Over 90 project searches were conducted in 2020;
  • More than 50 percent of selectors searching for sites preferred an existing building;
  • Of the requests for an existing building, almost 50 percent of them were interested in a building with between 26,000 and 100,000 square feet.

Yasuhiro Ito, president of M&C Tech, discussed the benefits of locating in Washington and why the community made sense for the automotive industry supplier’s new location. The Japanese-based company was initially drawn to Washington for its shell building but ultimately decided on a different location nearby.

The event ended with a tour of the shell building in Washington. Washington Mayor David Rhoads and former Mayor Joe Wellman joined the group to answer questions about the construction process and the decision process for developing the building.

The 40,000 square foot shell building, which is available for purchase, was completed in 2016 and is located off the Washington exit on Interstate 69. The building has access to rail and a 32-foot ceiling at the eave. Please contact the Daviess County Economic Development Corporation to learn more about the building.

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