Wells County Moving Forward With Spec Building

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Wells County Commissioners have approved funding for a spec building in Bluffton. Construction in the Bluffton-Decker Industrial Park is set to begin this spring.

January 21, 2014

News Release

Bluffton, Ind. -- In a unanimous decision today, the Wells County Commissioners voted to financially support the construction of a 200,000 square foot spec/shell building to be constructed in Bluffton, IN. The proposed plan, contingent upon entering an agreement with a Wells County developer, will construct the speculative building in the Bluffton-Decker Industrial Park located on the city's west side. Construction on the steel structure is expected to start in the 2014 spring and completed within 6-9 months.

When approving the incentive of an annual CEDIT allotment of up to $150,000 for no more than five years and discontinuing when the facility is either sold or leased, Commissioner Scott Mossburg stated, "We must be aggressive in our efforts to grow the Wells County economy and create a climate where new jobs are created. This is true economic development and an ideal use of CEDIT (County Economic Development Income Tax) funds." Bluffton Mayor Ted Ellis, present at the meeting to support the decision, also pledged the City of Bluffton's participation by implementing road improvements along Lancaster Street. Also present and encouraging the move was John Sampson, President of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.

At the request of the Commissioners, Wells County Economic Development Director Tim Ehlerding presented his findings on the economic impact such a facility, once filled, may provide to the Wells County community. According to Ehlerding these benefits include added jobs, increased consumer spending throughout Wells County and surrounding communities, and increased revenues for Wells County taxing entities. He also reviewed building availability vs. existing building supply in Northeast Indiana, and presented findings on typical building size and configuration requests by growth-oriented industries.

In summarizing his presentation, Ehlerding stated, "This is economic development! To have Wells County, the City of Bluffton, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, and Wells County Economic Development working together to strategically implement steps for a bright economic future sends a message that Wells County is a great place to live, and to grow!"

He also stated the selected location offers many of the amenities required by today's industries, including highway access, room for expansion, accessibility to a skilled labor force, and a friendly business environment.

A spec, or speculative building, is constructed as a lure for industries looking to grow or relocate their operations. Typically in today's economic climate, industries delay decisions for expansion. Once the decision to expand is made, communities that offer a move-in ready building are given a higher ranking in the search process.

The Commissioners instructed the county's attorney to draft an agreement with the developer and present the document at an upcoming meeting.

Source: Wells County Economic Development