Lebanon Mayor Matt Gentry says it may be the biggest development in the city’s history. The city and Noblesville-based Card & Associates announced plans last week for a $25 million multi-sport youth fieldhouse that will anchor a large mixed-use development near I-65 and State Road 39, a high-profile property where a Holiday Inn Holidome once stood. The $113 million project is to include hotels, residential, retail and entertainment elements. “We’ve essentially been spending the last five or six years preparing for growth,” said Gentry, who notes Boone County is the second-fastest growing county in the state. “This announcement is just going to add fuel to that fire.”

Gentry and Card & Associates Chief Executive Officer Andy Card talked about the development and what it could mean on this weekend’s edition of Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick.

The development, which will span nearly 100 acres, will be built in four phases over the next 6 years.

The new fieldhouse, which will be operated by Card & Associates, will feature two turf fields and eight basketball courts, as well as 20,000-square-feet of tenant space. It is expected to open in 2023.

Card & Associates has developed several sports facilities in central Indiana, including the Pacers Athletic Center in Westfield, Finch Creek Fieldhouse in Noblesville, and the Community Sports and Wellness Center in Pendleton. 

The development is the latest in a series of economic wins for Lebanon over the past five years, including:

2016: Ken’s Foods, one of the nation’s largest makers of salad dressings, announced plans for a $90.5 million manufacturing facility and a commitment for up to 150 new jobs

2018:  Merrillville-based MonoSol LLC broke ground on a $72 million manufacturing facility with plans for nearly 100 new jobs

2020: NewCold, a Netherlands-based company, announced plans to invest $150 million and create up to 200 jobs with a 380,000 sq. ft. automated cold storage warehouse

And there have been numerous others, which Gentry says are signs of a diversifying and growing economy.

“It’s a giant leap for us,” said Gentry. “We’ve been trying to diversify our tax base and logistics has always been that base, but we are trying new things and we are excited about our partnership with Card to try youth sports out.”