HANCOCK COUNTY — Walmart is seeking tax abatements for investments of more than $600 million in what would be the company’s largest distribution facility in the country.
Randy Sorrell, executive director of the Hancock Economic Development Council, said Walmart Distribution Facility LLC has filed for abatements tied to plans for a distribution facility spanning more than 2.2 million square feet with more than 2,000 parking spaces on more than 200 acres near the southwest corner of County Roads 500N and 500W. The site is north of Indianapolis Regional Airport and abuts McCordsville’s southern border.
County planning authorities approved zoning variances for the proposed project in May, but the facility’s occupant was not disclosed. Citing industry sources, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported in June that Walmart was behind the plans for an e-commerce hub, but Sorrell could not confirm or deny it then, explaining the project remained in negotiations.
Sorrell said Walmart is seeking tax abatements for $150 million in real estate and $456 million in personal property equipment. He added that the company’s application indicates the facility would need 1,000 employees with gross annual wages of $37 million and that it would be anticipated to open in 2023.
Sorrell emphasized the abatement process is the company’s next step in its due diligence process.
“We still have some traffic control issues to contend with, so it’s not a formal announcement, but it is a step further,” he said.
The Hancock County Council voted in favor of a declaratory resolution approving the tax abatements on Wednesday, July 8. A public hearing and vote on a confirming resolution is slated for Aug. 12.
Kevin Thompson, Walmart’s director of public affairs and government relations for the Indianapolis area, confirmed for the county council Wednesday that the fulfillment center would bring about 1,000 jobs to Hancock County, including competitive pay and benefits.
Thompson said the company is working with the Hancock County Highway Department to determine what infrastructure changes would be needed to accommodate the large campus and a high number of vehicles. Those would likely include the construction of an access road and improvements to a section of County Road 500W.
The company says that if all goes well, it would like to start construction this September and that it would be the company’s largest distribution facility under one roof in the country.
“It’s not really fathomable; it’s beyond description,” Sorrell said. “It’s one of those things that’s going to take a three-year buildout, and there’s just so many moving parts. They’re just doing the next step here. It’s not official that they’re coming, but we took the next step. This is a marathon, not a sprint.”
The next step in that marathon, Sorrell continued, is determining how traffic will be impacted on Mt. Comfort Road, west of the site, including construction, employee and truck traffic. Those discussions will also address the timing on improvements already planned for the road, he added.