Monarch Beverage plans move to new $73M facility
The owner of Lawrence-based beer distributor Monarch Beverage Co. plans to spend $73 million to develop a new facility for the company on the east side of Indianapolis.
According to a presentation made to city development officials Wednesday, Illinois-based Reyes Beverage Group has partnered with Carmel-based developer Lauth Group Inc. to build a 450,000-square-foot facility on 44 acres at the southwest corner of the former Ford Visteon site, 6900 English Ave. Lauth is redeveloping the entire site as a $150 million industrial park.
Monarch plans to occupy the entire building, which is slightly smaller than its 500,000-square-foot distribution center on Pendleton Pike in Lawrence, where it has operated since 2009. The company, which delivers an average of more than 50,000 cases of beer daily to retail customers throughout the state, was purchased by Reyes in December 2020 for an undisclosed price.
The company plans to spend $53 million on the building itself, along with $9 million for land acquisition costs and $5.9 million on machinery, hardware and fixtures to outfit the structure. It also expects to spend $1.2 million on infrastructure.
It also plans to retain 500 workers—at least 200 of whom live in Marion County—as part of the project, with an average wage of $35 per hour.
“Monarch Distributing is excited about the development of a new, state-of-the-art facility,” said Ryan Anderson, Midwest market president for Reyes Beverage Group, in written remarks. “This represents a significant investment not only in our business but also our employees and the community and will include great employee amenities like an on-site gym, bike parking, trail access and an outdoor break area.”
The company will move from the Lawrence property after it completes a 15-year lease term in late 2024 with building owner The RMR Group, which owns the building through holding company ILPT Pendleton Pike LLC.
Initial plans for the new Reyes property, which IBJ first reported as a build-to-suit project in August, called for a 400,000-square foot building (including 18,000 square feet of office) and room for an 88,000-square-foot expansion. It was also set to include 190 trailer spaces and at least 313 dedicated parking spaces for employees.
As part of its move to Indianapolis, Reyes is expected to receive a pair of five-year tax abatements for its real and personal property, saving it about $4.58 million, or about 62%.
The company will still pay about $2.64 million over that period for real property taxes, along with about $40,000 each year in taxes for the current assessed value of the property and $117,585 for the equipment. The abatements are stair-stepped, with the tax savings reduced by 20% each year.
Once the abatement period ends, Reyes is expected to pay about $1.44 million in real property taxes each year, along with $209,446 for taxes on its equipment.
As part of its agreement, which was given preliminary approval by the city’s Metropolitan Development Commission on Wednesday, Reyes plans to put 5% of its savings—$229,390—toward a new sidewalk along Kitley Avenue on the western boundary of the property.
The company also plans to be involved in construction of additional pedestrian infrastructure for the Irvington neighborhood, as well as within the 148-acre Visteon campus, now called Thunderbird Commerce Center.
Prior to its acquisition, Monarch was family-owned and locally operated since its inception in 1947. It was founded by Edwin T. French Sr. and operated under three generations of French family ownership, expanding to become Indiana’s largest beer distributor.
Before its acquisition, Monarch landed on IBJ’s largest private companies list for years. In 2017, the last year it submitted information to IBJ, it reported total revenue for 2016 of $341 million. At the time, the company had 705 employees, but it laid off 100 employees in 2018 when it closed its wine division.