The city of Noblesville is partnering with Westfield-based Patch Development on a proposed business and innovation park. The Washington Business Park, if approved, would sit on 75 acres near State Road 37 and 146th Street and have the capacity for 800,000 square feet of space. Noblesville Mayor Chris Jensen says the project comes in response to demand and could generate more than 500 jobs for the city.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Jensen said the city has to constantly have a finger on the pulse of the business community.
“You don’t want to find yourself with a community with no shovel-ready sites, for example, when businesses are knocking at your door,” said Jensen. “So we’re trying to balance that (and) make sure the taxpayers are protected at all times, too.”
Jensen says the city is well prepared for such a major project on several different levels.
“We’re fortunate enough (that) we’ve maintained strong fiscal discipline here in the city of Noblesville. We’ve also had a forward-looking mindset in the community planning for projects like this,” he said. “We are also the community in Hamilton County that has land that’s available to develop but we’re not just going to develop it for just anything; we’re going to do it for the right opportunities coming forward and we feel like the Washington Business Park fits that model.”
The plan for the business park includes seven to 11 lots, ranging from 2-acre to 22-acre sites. The buildings are expected to range from 10,000 square feet to 250,000 square feet depending on the needs of tenants.
Jensen says the city is open to businesses from all industries as the business park is designed to be a flex space.
“We know that there are different needs and wants, really exacerbated by 2020 that the whole workspace has really changed,” he said. “We called out early on in our administration, you know, the med tech industry for example. That would be a logical partner here; the pharmaceutical industry as well. Advanced diagnostic technology companies would fit really well in Noblesville, not just with the available space we have, but with the available workforce that we have going forward.”
Jensen adds the city about a year ago made a renewed focus on workforce development which he says will help businesses wanting to set up shop at the business park find the talent they need.
The city plans to pursue a $6.7 million TIF-backed bond for the project with the city and developer splitting the proceeds, which Jensen says creates zero risk for taxpayers. Proceeds from the TIF will be applied to utilities, stormwater, and infrastructure improvements in the area.
“Site selection and business location is a very competitive process. Washington Business Park will make Noblesville even more attractive to companies as a result of this investment in infrastructure improvement,” Noblesville Economic Development Director Andrew Murray said in a news release. “Ultimately, it is about attracting the right jobs to Noblesville and having a response to the demand and importance of speed to market site and facility options under our current environment.”
The city and Patch Development will present the project plan and economic development agreement to the Noblesville Common Council at an upcoming meeting. If approved, the developers plan to break ground this summer.
Jensen says the city has to constantly have a finger on the pulse of the business community.