Elanco Animal Health Inc. officials say they expect to break ground on the company’s new $100 million headquarters at the former General Motors Stamping Plant site just west of downtown Indianapolis in early 2022 after fine-tuning plans for the project with city and state officials.
The Greenfield-based company now plans to use about 39 acres of the larger 91-acre development site for its project—pared down from an initial concept that would have used at least 45 acres, with another 23 reserved for later development.
Elanco in late November finalized a project agreement with the city’s Department of Metropolitan Development and the Indiana Economic Development Corp., which lays out many of the development’s guide rails and timelines.
“We’re excited to reach this critical milestone in the development of the newest addition to Indianapolis’ iconic skyline, advancing a vision of walkable, mixed-use space that expands the boundaries of downtown across the White River,” the company said in a written statement.
The company’s current plan calls for a single headquarters building at the northwest corner of Henry Street and a relocated White River Parkway, with room to build additional structures on the north and west portions of the property—bound by the railroad tracks and Division Street, respectively.
Construction on the headquarters is expected to begin in March 2022, with the headquarters slated for completion by July 2024. A ceremonial groundbreaking will likely be held in mid-January.
Exact parameters of the headquarters building, including the size and floor count, have not yet been made public, but are expected to be finalized by the end of February.
Elanco, which announced plans to build on the former GM site more than one year ago after being wooed by city and state officials, affirmed initial plans to put at least $100 million of its own money toward the project.
The city has already committed about $135 million in tax-increment financing bonds, approved in July by the city’s Metropolitan Development Commission. About $64 million of that TIF package will go to Elanco via a project fund, with $51 million going toward public infrastructure improvements and another $20 million used for financing and debt.
The city will build all the internal roads on the campus, with a year-long construction schedule slated to begin in November 2022. It will also pay for a new Henry Street Bridge, connecting the campus to the larger downtown area. Construction on that project is expected to run from July 2023 to November 2024.
“The redevelopment of the former GM Stamping Plant site is creating a vibrant future for downtown Indianapolis and Valley neighborhood residents,” said DMD Director Scarlett Andrews in written remarks. “The formal agreement between the City of Indianapolis, Elanco Animal Health and the Indiana Economic Development Corp. solidifies a collective commitment to the future of this site and The Valley neighborhood that surrounds it.”
State officials have promised up to $86.5 million in tax credits and training grants for the project, along with millions of dollars that have already been spent to acquire the property. Elanco plans to create nearly 600 jobs and retain another 1,600 as part of the development. The massive incentive deal is among the biggest in state history.
The project agreement indicates the IEDC will control about 42 acres—mostly land south of the company’s campus, along with the 23-acre portion that juts out to the west, and another small parcel on the northeast portion of the property—with the remaining 10 acres on the far-east side of the property segmented off as part of the White River State Park.
The IEDC plans to work with Browning Investments to determine a master plan for its acreage, with considerations including multifamily, retail and office space. Part of the plan is a concerted effort to attract additional animal health-related businesses to the state.
The Browning plan will also involve consultation with Elanco, city officials and The Valley neighborhood, with the city expected to make incentives available for applicable uses.
“We remain thrilled about Elanco’s decision to establish its global headquarters in central Indiana,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers in written remarks. “Finalizing the development agreement is the next step in bringing this exciting project to fruition, and the state of Indiana looks forward to continued collaboration with all stakeholders on this impactful endeavor.”
The state plans to spend about $13 million to preserve part of the crane bay on the eastern portion of the campus, allowing it to be incorporated into the White River State Park expansion. It will also cover the cost of relocating the parkway, which currently runs directly adjacent to the river, with plans to complete that project by April 2024.
The state also plans to work with the city, the Indianapolis Cultural Trail Inc., the White River Vision Plan Committee and other entities to establish multiple waterfront amenities on the property, including a bike share station, a canoe and kayak launch, a kayak course and docks for a water taxi system.
Indianapolis-based Shiel Sexton Co. is working on portions of the project for Elanco, with Indianapolis-based Ratio Architects Inc. acting as the architect.