A 500,000-square-foot distribution center that could employ up to 200 people is proposed for Greenwood, but who would move in isn’t yet decided.

Opus Development Co., a Minneapolis-based real estate, design and construction firm, has proposed a $12.5 million distribution center to be built on 31 acres of land at 703 N. Graham Road, south of County Line Road.

Opus is requesting a $1.6 million tax break from the city over a 10-year period.

The property is projected to generate a total of $4.2 million in property taxes during that time. With the tax break, the city would receive the remaining $2.6 million in property taxes, compared to $12,400 if the property were not developed, according to a tax abatement application filed by Opus.

The building would be constructed on a speculative basis, and no tenants have agreed to rent the property yet.

The last time the Greenwood City Council approved a speculative building was in 2015, when it gave a 10-year tax break to The Peterson Co. for a 132,000-square-foot building on the east side of Interstate 65.

The Indianapolis region has a growing need for bulk distribution since some current locations don’t have room for expansion, said Opus Vice President Douglas Swain.

Greenwood is a desirable location because of its proximity to Indianapolis, the interstate and highways that run through the city and its available labor force, he said.

However, the project is not feasible without a tax break from the city, Swain said.

“It is a need, not a want for investors,” he said.

Most similar projects in the region have received tax breaks, and this project would need to receive that same assistance to be competitive, Swain said.

Because expenses, including property taxes, are passed through the developer to the tenants, this will be a benefit to the businesses that choose to rent the property, he said.

No tenants have signed on yet, but the property will likely have two, he said.

Those tenants could employ a total of 50 to 200 people. That figure depends on the level of automation the tenants use, said Chad Sweeney, site selection consultant from Ginovus.

If the tax break is granted, the property could be closed on in the first quarter of 2017 and construction could begin. The facility would open in the third quarter of 2017. Opus expects to have one tenant in the building shortly after construction is finished and another within the next year.

The property will need to be rezoned from residential and commercial-tourist use to light industrial use.

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Jacob Tellers is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at jtellers@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2702.