A big box retailer and up to five additional restaurants or shops are planned along Main Street on the east side of Interstate 65 in Greenwood.
ETB Precedent Partners, a group of three businessmen, plans to develop 19 acres of land on the southeast corner of Main Street and Graham Road and is requesting funding from the Greenwood Redevelopment Commission to make improvements to the property.
Which stores and restaurants would eventually open at the location has not been determined, redevelopment commission president Brent Tilson said.
“I think it is a very exciting time for east of Interstate 65,” he said.
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Getting commercial development along this stretch of Main Street will encourage further economic development on the east side of I-65, he said.
Graham Road has been a hub for development proposals the past year. North of the ETB project on Graham Road, three speculative buildings, which developers said are intended for distribution and manufacturing, will be constructed in 2017.
“These aren’t just warehouses, these are commercial business enterprises,” Tilson said.
He highlighted Dragon Rock Distillery, which received $170,000 from the redevelopment commission last year to build a craft distillery, brewery, restaurant and warehouse on Main Street at Commerce Park East Drive.
The city took steps last summer to aid in future development at the Main Street and Graham Road intersection, installing a stoplight to replace a four-way stop sign and adding a right turn lane north onto Graham Road.
The developers are asking for $310,000 from the redevelopment commission to help fund the cost of roadwork, storm and sanitary sewers and other earthwork at the site. The total cost of site improvements is $950,000, ETB project manager Nick Kirkendall said. The redevelopment commission funding will come from one of its TIF districts.
ETB is excited to be part of Greenwood’s future growth on the east side, Kirkendall said.
So far, the company has spent $2.9 million to purchase and cleanup the site, Tilson said. With the site improvements, the total investment would come to about $3.9 million.
A large grocer or big box retailer would be the focal point of the project, Kirkendall said. The store would be similar in size to a Costco, he said.
The property is already zoned for commercial use, Tilson said.
After the stores open, the property owner would pay increased property taxes, which would quickly exceed the city’s investment of tax dollars, Kirkendall said. For example, a big box retailer in Greenwood brings in an average of $190,000 in property taxes per year, which would result in the city getting a return on its investment in just two years, Kirkendall said.
If the land doesn’t end up being developed, the ETB would be required to pay the money back to the city, Tilson said. Typically developers would have about three years for construction to begin, Tilson said.
The redevelopment commission will vote on the project at its March meeting. Because of newly approved rules, any expenditure of $100,000 or more must be introduced at one meeting and voted on at a later meeting.