Infosys kicks off huge construction project, brings in clients for show and tell

It may only be symbolic, but the first shovel of dirt is ready to be moved this morning on the site of Infosys’ planned educational campus and tech center, which will be located where the former Indianapolis International Airport once stood.

Construction on the $245 million project—which is slated to include a 141-acre campus with 786,000 square feet of facilities—is set to be done in several phases. The first phase is expected to be complete by the end of 2020.

Mayor Joe Hogsett, Gov. Eric Holcomb, Indianapolis Airport Authority Executive Director Mario Rodriguez along with Indiana Economic Development Corp. leaders were scheduled to attend the 10:30 a.m. ground breaking alongside executives from India-based tech giant. 

Infosys clients from across the region were also expected to attend event, in a deluxe tent. After the public address, Infosys officials were scheduled to directly address their clients and answer questions about the project, according to local officials.

The Department of Public Works began doing prep work at the site earlier this fall. But today’s groundbreaking sets the stage for real construction on the project to begin later this year or early next year. 

The campus will be built on and adjacent to the old airport parking lots that front Interstate 465—and not on the site of the former terminal itself. The first phase will be done on the southern-most section of the parcel, which runs along the eastern edge of the old terminal property.

Infosys will initially invest $35 million to construct 125,000 square feet of development, transforming 70.5 acres into what Infosys officials are calling “a vast, state-of-the-art training center that will feature environmentally sustainable buildings and green spaces.” This first phase of development is set to include a training center and a 250-person residential facility and will be used to train its U.S. employees as well as the employees of clients looking to upgrade their skills.

Under the terms of an agreement with the city and the airport, the airport authority will sell the property to the city at its appraised value of about $21.4 million in phases over the next several years.

In the first transaction, which is expected to close by the end of the year, the city will pay an estimated $4.4 million for the 58 acres (near the site of the airport's old terminal) that make up the first phase of the project. The city will then sell the property to Infosys for $1.

The airport will sell the 4.3-acre parking garage to the city for $12 million under a seven-year contract, with payments expected to begin in 2020 after the airport completes an estimated $8 million to $10 million in contractually-required renovations to the garage.

“It’s going to take us all of next year to renovate the garage,” said the airport authority’s property director, Eric Anderson, in an interview with IBJ in October.

The city will sell the garage to Infosys for $1 as well.

The airport authority will grant the city a 10-year option to purchase another 74 acres for future phases of the Infosys development. Should the city exercise that option, the land will be reappraised at that point, Anderson said in October. 

Infosys was founded in 1981, and the publicly traded company had revenue of $10.9 billion and profit of $2.5 billion in its most recent fiscal year. Industry analysts said about 60 percent of Infosys’ revenue comes from U.S.-based clients.

Infosys located its first outpost in Indianapolis earlier this year—working out of multiple floors in the One America Tower. The company said one of the primary reasons it is building the Indianapolis campus is to be closer to a large number of its clients in the region. 

In Indianapolis, Infosys has promised city and state officials that, by the end of 2023, it will hire 3,000 employees who will eventually work at the massive campus. 

One source told IBJ Infosys has about 20,000 employees based in the United States, but that most are from India and are working in the country on an H-1B visa. Infosys officials earlier this year told IBJ they plan to hire mostly Americans to work at its Indianapolis facility.

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