Industrial park planned for 167-acre Whiteland site by I-65

A Kansas City, Missouri-based developer this month began work on the first phase of a 167-acre business park south of Indianapolis, hoping to capitalize on the industrial sector's continued growth in the Indianapolis area.

Jones Development Co. is spending between $20 million and $30 million to construct two buildings on the site along Whiteland Road, between Interstate 65 and Graham Road, in what it's calling the Whiteland Exchange business park. Three other buildings are on the drawing board.

The company plans to build up to 2.4 million total square feet of space—all on a speculative basis—in coming years. Construction of the first two buildings—a 436,800-square-foot facility and a 168,480-square-foot building—began in early June. The three other structures are expected to range from 168,480 square feet to 1.2 million square feet.

The developer is working with Avison Young’s Indianapolis office to market the park. Principal Sean McHale and senior associate Peter Seoane are the listing agents for the development.

Jones’s initial investment also includes acquisition of the site and the cost of adding utilities for the business park. The larger of the first two buildings will have about 145 parking spaces and 44 loading docks; the other building will have 104 parking spaces and 16 loading docks.

The buildings are designed for logistics, advanced manufacturing and e-commerce users, and are expected to be completed in early 2020. A timeline for the rest of the development has not yet been made public.

The developer intends to tout the park's flexibility.

“We believe Whiteland Exchange will ultimately capitalize on user demand of all sizes,” Nick Jones, executive vice president for Jones Development, said in a media release.

Said Avison Young's McHale: “As the Indianapolis industrial market enters into its next stage of growth, this development will fill demand from large distribution and e-commerce based businesses to mid-sized space users who currently have limited options in the southern submarket of the Indianapolis market."

McHale said there has been “some interest” so far for the larger of the two buildings currently under construction, although he noted it’s only been marketed for about one week. He’s spoken with one company, which he declined to identify, that would be new to the market and is looking for up to 300,000 square feet of space.

“Even though it’s a new area in a well-established market, people are taking notice, which is good,” he said. “We think we're doing the right stuff.”

The Indianapolis area has a robust national reputation as a haven or warehousing and distribution facilities, which have cropped up in impressive numbers over three decades to take advantage of the intersection of several interstates and Indianapolis' central location in the eastern half of the U.S.

While a critical mass of industrial space is located in Hendricks and Marion counties, every county in the metropolitan area has at least one large-scale industrial park, with most having at least a handful.

Whiteland Town Manager Norm Gabehart said the town supports the project. Officials have approved tax incentives for Whiteland Exchange.

Jones Development “has a stellar reputation for developing high quality industrial parks that create local and regional employment opportunities and provide new revenues for the communities they select to do business,” Gabehart said in a media release.

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