PETERSBURG - Pike County officials are moving forward on an effort to attract development along the expanded I-69 corridor in the southern part of the state. A master plan for 3,500 acres of undeveloped property in Petersburg, expected to be complete by August, will lay the groundwork for future potential investment that could include a mix of retail, residential and industrial projects. Pike County Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Ashley Willis says the strategic plan will serve as "security" for parties interested in development.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Willis says the plan has significant local backing. "The city of Petersburg, officials from the Pike County Council and Pike County Commissioners, they see the importance this plan as well and voted unanimously in support of us moving forward with the master plan," Willis said.

She adds the plan gives investors confidence in their investment by demonstrating a clear vision for how local stakeholders want future development to come together. Willis says work currently involves identifying markets that could be attractive economic development targets, but she says she could see possible light and heavy industrial investors gain interest in the area as a result of the plan.

The land involved in the master plan includes a portion of the 8,000-acre Southwest Indiana Megasite, which is state-certified and owned by Indianapolis-based mining company Solar Sources Inc. The company has an office in Petersburg. It, too, has received public support by local officials.

The plan is a collaboration among the Pike County EDC, Rundell Ernstberger Associates in Indianapolis, Loogootee-based Midwestern Engineers Inc. and global engineering and design firm AECOM.

View map of master plan's focus area: