The town of Whitestown said Wednesday that it has signed a $6.5 million agreement to acquire a large tract of property along Interstate 65 where Little League International will locate its Central Region headquarters
The town council approved the agreement to buy 135 acres on Indianapolis Road that previously served as the longtime home to the Wrecks Inc. automobile junkyard. Little League is expected to use about 20 of those acres to build a $5 million headquarters and multi-diamond baseball facility.
The site is at 7060 S. Indianapolis Road, just west of Exit 130 off Interstate 65. Construction is expected to begin in 2020.
Since at least last year, Whitestown has been eyeing the property for a large park featuring an amphitheater and other amenities. The property will be called Maurer Commons after the family that has owned the property since the early 1950s.
Last month, Little League International announced the organization would move the central region headquarters to Whitestown. The announcement came several weeks after the organization pulled plans to build the headquarters complex, including two fields and a 10,000-square-foot office facility, in Zionsville. The reversal followed pushback from residents who were opposed to a residential development tied to the project.
The youth baseball and softball organization's Central Region headquarters had been on the northeast side of Indianapolis since 1989, but it sold the property to Cathedral High School early last year.
In an effort to ensure the headquarters would still be built in Boone County, Whitestown officials stepped up and said they'd find a location for the headquarters.
Little League plans to spend about $5 million building the complex, which will also include broadcasting facilities. The town estimates the facility will be completed in time to host the tournaments in 2020.
The complex will host the Little League's annual Great Lakes and Midwest Region baseball tournaments as well as the Central Region softball tournament each year, bringing an influx of tourists to the area who will eat at local restaurants and stay in local hotels. The town estimates the economic impact of those tournaments to be $5 million to $10 million annually.
Tournament games typically are broadcast by ESPN, giving the host communities positive exposure.
The Central Region Headquarters is one of five regional offices and serves players in Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Wrecks Inc. was founded in 1949 by late businessmen Michael B. "Mickey" Maurer and Julius Maurer and moved from Indianapolis to the Lafayette Road in the early 1950s. It remained open until early this century. The business was well known for its three-line neon side along I-65 that said "Wrecks Inc., We Meet By Accident, Drive Carefully."
Julius Maurer was the father of Michael S. Maurer, a shareholder in IBJ Corp., which owns Indianapolis Business Journal.