Elanco’s $100M headquarters gets final funding approval from city

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Elanco Animal Health Inc. cleared a final oversight hurdle Wednesday to secure $135 million in bonds for its new headquarters at the former General Motors stamping plant property west of downtown.

The project was given a final, and unanimous, approval by the city’s Metropolitan Development Commission—the last step necessary to allow the city to request the funds from the Indianapolis Bond Bank.

The MDC also allowed the site to be turned into its own tax-increment financing district, permitting the city to finance the debt over the 25-year maximum set out by state law, instead of the 21 years left on the downtown TIF.

The votes followed similar approvals by the Indianapolis City-County Council on July 13.

About $64 million of the TIF package will go to Greenfield-based Elanco via a project fund, with $51 million going toward public infrastructure improvements and another $20 million used for financing and debt.

Elanco announced its plans for the stamping plant site in late 2020, two years after a dinner at the Governor’s Residence sparked Indiana’s bid to keep Elanco in the state.

The company will build on 45 of the site’s 91 acres, which the state acquired in December 2020. The firm plans to spend $100 million on the project.

Julie Lawless, senior vice president of corporate affairs and administration, said during Wednesday’s MDC meeting that Elanco hopes to break ground on the project this fall, with the goal of completing and occupying the facilities in late 2023 or early 2024.

Designs for the project are still in the works, she said.

The company anticipates about 1,000 employees will work at the campus. About 500 people will be hired over the next 10 years. Most of the jobs are in lab work and research and development.

Meanwhile, the city and state are planning developments on the rest of the land that would include affordable housing, neighborhood-oriented amenities and infrastructure to connect the site to downtown and the rest of the west side, according to Department of Metropolitan Development Director Scarlett Martin.

Indiana will also expand White River State Park along the river.

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