Becknell planning 1.1 million-square-foot industrial building
An Indy-area development firm plans to build a 1.1 million-square-foot industrial building on farmland in southeastern Marion County.
Carmel-based Becknell Industrial is under contract to acquire nearly 199 acres between two parcels along the southwest edge of Interstate 74 and west of Carroll Road.
The development is still in the early stages, but an initial site plan calls for a building of 1.14 million square feet, along with 783 parking spaces for employees and visitors, and 356 trailer spaces. A price for the project has not been disclosed.
Becknell did not return calls requesting comment for this story, and the firm’s legal representative on the project, attorney Joe Calderon, declined to comment, except to say the firm is continuing to work with nearby residents to address concerns.
The project would consist of development across four parcels: A single 46.2-acre parcel on the northern portion of the proposed development site currently owned by Fairland-based Sugar Mill Farm & Forest LLC; and a trio of parcels totaling 152.7 acres owned by Michael A. Shearer of Floyd Knobs.
The project would sit directly west of the Marion County-Shelby County line, across Carroll Road from a new 850,000-square-foot warehouse for discount retailer Five Below. That $105 million project on 100 acres was announced in April 2021 and expected to employ up to 470 people. The costs for land acquisition and construction on that building were estimated at $65 million.
According to city filings, Becknell is communication with the Franklin Township Civic League to address a few major issues, including traffic volume; hopes for a new roundabout in Shelby County, at Walnut Street and McGregor Road, just south of the Exit 101 on Interstate 74, near the project; and environmental concerns like flooding and drainage.
The company is engineering the project to avoid development on a floodway near Buck Creek, which runs on the western edge of the site. And while small portions of wetlands will be part of the project, the project was “designed to avoid environmentally sensitive areas” and to preserve trees, according to a presentation slide deck filed with the city.
The firm has also agreed to rebuild Carroll Road as part of its project, along with the creation of a new trail on the bank of Grassy Creek. There will also be significant berming and landscaping to reduce visibility of loading docks on the north and east sides of the property.
Becknell is asking the city’s Metropolitan Development Commission, to approve a request to rezone the parcels from their current agricultural designation to I-2, for industrial uses. It is also asking for a variance of development standards to allow for truck docks and a loading area between the building and Carroll Road.
The MDC was expected to hear the rezone and variance requests on Wednesday, but the matter is expected to be tabled until June, according to Calderon, indicating plans to continue working with the Franklin Township Civic League.
Becknell specializes in industrial real estate and has 195 properties in its portfolio across 32 states. It has developed more than 34 million square feet of space since its founding in 1990.