Airport OKs $3 million land purchase

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The Indianapolis Airport Authority is working to buy nearly 60 acres, shown in the map in the two blue hatched areas to the left and bottom of the words "Steele Property," just east of the Indianapolis Regional Airport in western Hancock County. The airport may need to reorient its north-south runway from the existing main runway in a manner shaded in purple, which would require the additional land.

Submitted image

HANCOCK COUNTY – The Indianapolis Airport Authority is working to buy nearly 60 acres for almost $3 million near its airport in western Hancock County.

Officials want to secure the land to protect the airport’s long-term interests in an area that continues getting snatched up by warehouse developers.

Indianapolis Airport Authority members approved a real estate agreement with Steele Family Properties, LLC last Friday over two pieces of land totaling 57.6 acres located at about 4191 W. C.R. 500N for over $2.9 million. The sites are just east of Indianapolis Regional Airport.

According to an Indianapolis Airport Authority memo regarding the agreement, the transaction is part of the authority’s diligence in monitoring land sales activity near Indianapolis Regional Airport, along with protecting airport runways and aircraft approach areas to those runways.

“As the area around the airport and along the Mt. Comfort Road corridor is experiencing significant growth and development, this property could very well sell in the near term to another buyer,” the memo states. “As IAA (Indianapolis Airport Authority) staff continue to work on the update to the Indianapolis Regional Airport Master Plan, this property could likely play a vital role in the airport’s long-term strategy, runway alignment, and aviation related development opportunities.”

The memo states that the airport’s north-south runway, located near the Steele property, may have to be reoriented and separated from the existing main runway for safety aspects and Federal Aviation Administration requirements, which would prompt the need for the two pieces of land.

A master planning effort for the airport continues throughout 2022 with FAA review and approval tentatively slated for 2023.

The memo refers to western Hancock County’s industrial and commercial growth spurt and cites a CoStar report indicating the county is “the Indianapolis area’s most active development market.” There was 8.8 million square feet of warehousing/logistics space under construction as of the second quarter of 2022, the memo continues, adding that represents “an unprecedented 64% of this submarket inventory.” More than 60% of that space under construction is being developed without tenants yet secured, according to the memo.

Land parcels in yellow near the Indianapolis Regional Airport in western Hancock County have had a change in ownership since 2011, and the ones with red circles have been transferred since 2019. Submitted image

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