President Andy Saner opened the Nov. 22 Batesville Economic Development Commission meeting by welcoming two consultants who will help explore whether a shell building project is feasible for the city, owner Greg Martz of GM Development, New Castle, and Scott Smith, Bruns-Gutzwiller, Batesville chief financial officer. Those two firms are partnering with Axis Architecture, Indianapolis, on the project.
Of Martz, Saner said, “I believe he’s already started the ball rolling on trying to get some financing options back to us.” The president observed that Bruns-Gutzwiller will aid with construction management and planning and infrastructure studies. “We feel very fortunate one of the premier groups in the area will help us with this project. It’s great to have a partnership with a local team.”
The timeline could be swift. “If we can get financing options in place by the end of the year, … it seems like we could break ground in early spring” if the building is approved. Bruns-Gutzwiller leaders estimated it would take from seven to nine months to complete the structure. “By this time next year, there’s the possibility we could have a shell building in place.” Saner said one piece of the puzzle is “how we want to market that location.” Mayor Rick Fledderman is renewing relationships with site selectors and Martz will suggest a potential broker to market the property.
Community development director Sarah Lamping will serve as the liaison between city officials and consultants, the mayor announced.
“Merkel Road is one aspect of the project that is being discussed” as it leads to both the old and new industrial parks and needs to be improved for truck traffic, according to Saner.
According to Fledderman, “We’ve submitted a grant application” to the Lawrenceburg Regional Economic Development Grant Program. “I feel cautiously optimistic we may be able to get some help from Lawrenceburg,” which has pledged to distribute the city’s portion of Hollywood Casino gaming revenue to projects in a 10-county area.