Leaders to consider another warehouse proposal

Exeter Property Group wants to develop a 523,260-square-foot warehouse at the northeast corner of county roads 300N and 400W in Hancock County. (Submitted image)

HANCOCK COUNTY — A developer is seeking approval for a proposed warehouse in an area where officials are starting to have reservations about large industrial developments.

The request continues a dilemma leaders face as they balance builders’ ever-growing interest in bringing large structures to the western part of the county with the concerns of residents.

Exeter Property Group, which has offices across the world, including Indianapolis, wants to develop the warehouse/distribution structure at the northeast corner of county roads 300N and 400W. The firm is asking the Hancock County Area Plan Commission to rezone about 40 acres from agricultural to an industrial business park designation. Filings with the county call for the building to be more than 520,000 square feet with 308 car parking spaces, 118 trailer parking spaces and a drainage pond covering 3.5 acres.

“The subject property is well suited for petitioner’s proposed use, with convenient access to Mt. Comfort Road and I-70…,” reads a letter of intent filed with the county.

It’s not clear from filings whether the building would be developed for a specific occupant or if it would be speculative. Representatives of Exeter Property Group did not return requests for comment.

Tom Nigh, president of the county plan commission, did not want to discuss the matter before its hearing next week.

Land directly west and south of the site is zoned industrial business park as well, with Indianapolis-based Ambrose Property Group continuing to develop the two parts of its Mount Comfort Logistics Center in both areas.

But in June, a majority of plan commission members gave a negative recommendation to the Hancock County Commissioners for a similar proposal directly east of the site Exeter Property Group is eyeing. Indianapolis-based GDI Holdings LLC seeks a rezone of nearly 200 acres from agricultural to industrial business park for three buildings totaling nearly 2.3 million square feet. Plan commission members and residents who live near the site questioned whether roads in the area could handle the additional truck traffic and expressed concerns over development outpacing public safety needs. The county commissioners continue to consider the request.

Gary Pool, Hancock County engineer, told the Daily Reporter he likes to ask developers to improve roads in their projects’ vicinity when they lag behind conditions that would be needed to support the extra traffic.

“Generally I am asking that they rebuild the roads in front of their development when they move in, if they’re allowed to move in,” Pool said.

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WHAT: Hancock County Area Plan Commission meeting

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 24

WHERE: 111 American Legion Place, Greenfield

WHY: The commission will consider a rezone needed for a proposed warehouse

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Proposed warehouse

  • Northeast corner of county roads 300N, 400W
  • 523,260 square feet
  • 308 car parking spaces
  • 118 trailer parking spaces
  • Developer: Exeter Property Group