The pandemic is not slowing interest in the River Ridge Commerce Center, the former Indiana Army Ammunition Plant property that is being transformed into a massive business and distribution hub. That is according to southeast Indiana economic development leaders, who say the deal pipeline is increasing for the 6,000-acre site, just across the river from Louisville. One Southern Indiana Chief Executive Officer Wendy Dant Chesser believes the pandemic is picking economic winners and losers, and right now, River Ridge is winning.
“Over the last ten years, we typically manage between 18 and 22 active projects in our pipeline,” said Dant Chesser. “As of today, we have 32 active projects, and some of those are new companies looking to come into the area, others are existing companies that are taking this time to look at expansion opportunities.”
Dant Chesser talked about the growth of River Ridge and what to expect next on this weekend’s edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.
Success at River Ridge is not going unnoticed.
Last week, the River Ridge Development Authority received top honors from the International Economic Development Council for its revitalization efforts, which began in 1998. The IEDC awarded the authority its 2020 Excellence in Economic Development Award.
So far, more than 60 companies have established operations at River Ridge, including big names like Amazon, Tenneco and GE Appliances.
And the mix of companies and projects is continuing to diversify.
Louisville-based commercial real estate developer Hollenbach-Oakley recently announced plans for the first Class A office space in years in the region, a $12 million investment in River Ridge’s Gateway Office and Research Campus. Hollenbach-Oakley was selected in 2018 to serve as the master developer for the 300-acre office park.
Additionally, New Albany native and PGA golf champion Fuzzy Zoeller and Indianapolis-based General Hotels Corp. have broken ground just outside River Ridge on a Hilton Garden Inn in Jeffersonville.
A report released in 2019 showed the River Ridge Commerce Center produces an estimated $2.5 billion in economic output, creating or supporting nearly 17,000 jobs throughout the region.