Good market for shell building?

A commercial building constructed without a specific company in mind sometimes sits empty for years, but that likely won’t happen in Greenwood, a developer said.

The city is considering erecting a shell building, which would be unfinished inside so a company could develop it as needed, like the one the city of Franklin recently sold.

This week, the Greenwood Redevelopment Commission heard a presentation from a company that could build the facility. The commission now plans to get information from other firms.

Garmong Construction Services, which has built shell buildings across the state, told the commission the city is ideal for any business relocating to central Indiana. And if the city erects a shell building, it likely won’t sit empty for three to five years, as others across the state have, Garmong officials said.

Before a shell building could be constructed, the city would need to hire a construction company, find land and decide how to pay for the building. In Franklin, the city redevelopment commission paid more than $400,000 for costs of the building, including taxes, fees and incentives to the company that bought the facility.

Enclosed but unfinished, shell buildings are customizable structures that allow companies to quickly move in and start operating. The Greenwood commission began considering constructing a shell building about a year ago, commission president Mike Tapp said.

Garmong officials told the board about how shell buildings have been used across the state. They said that communities can use the buildings to market themselves to relocating businesses.

Constructing a building that’s ready for a company eager to move in and set up would give Greenwood an advantage in attracting new businesses to the area, Tapp said.

“To think we’ve come this far to where we can actually get serious about it is exciting,” Tapp said. “The city is growing, and it’s growing in the right way.”

Right now, the commission needs to consider the decisions that would have to be made before construction could start,

Tapp said.

Early next year, commission members will meet with Johnson County Development Corp. President and Chief Executive Officer Cheryl Morphew about how Franklin created its shell building and how Greenwood should consider locations and construction companies, Tapp said.

“I think what we took from the presentation was that this is probably an idea that we’re going to pursue to get some more details,” Tapp said. “We’re not going to enter into something like this without taking a look at some other providers in the business.”