Ambrose Property Group will break ground next month on its first industrial project, a 545,010-square-foot national distribution center for Gordmans Inc.
The Omaha-based apparel and home-decor retailer chose the Hendricks County project submitted by Ambrose from among about 20 other proposals, many of which came from developers with decades of experience in the industrial sector.
"It's a huge challenge and battle when you're trying to land your first deal in this arena," said Aasif Bade, a co-founder of five-year-old Ambrose, which has made a name for itself in multi-family and office development.
Bade thinks his firm's newness to the sector gave it an advantage over veteran industrial developers. "When a company has a tremendous amount of experience" they can tend to dictate to the client how a deal should be put together, he said.
The Gordmans distribution center—its second in the Midwest—is an approximately $25 million project for Ambrose, which will retain ownership of the building. The total capital investment, including equipment, is $37.5 million.
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. agreed to provide up to $1.1 million in conditional tax credits in exchange for Gordmans promise to employ as many as 250 people at the facility by 2017, according to a statement released by IEDC in January. Hendricks County approved additional property tax abatement.
Cassidy Turley was in charge of lining up government incentives and represented Gordmans in the search for a developer. That process started last September.
Katie Culp, a senior managing director at Cassidy Turley who helped put together economic incentives for the deal, said Gordmans and Ambrose were a good fit for a couple of reasons.
"Gordmans is an entrepreneurial company," she said, so they were drawn to Ambrose, which is small and nimble. And Gordmans liked the location Ambrose proposed, which is west of Plainfield and outside the biggest concentration of industrial properties in the area.
Ambrose had expected to enter the industrial fray by building a $12 million, 300,000-square-foot spec warehouse on a 21-acre site at Metropolis and Airtech parkways in Hendricks County. Bade said the firm is still pursuing a partner for that deal.
While Ambrose is new to industrial development, its principals are not. Bade worked in industrial leasing and development for Duke Realty Corp. before striking out on his own. And Kyle Powell, an Ambrose vice president, was formerly an industrial broker with Cassidy Turley.