Hotels, restaurants, shops and big-box stores are what Bargersville officials want to have built at Interstate 69 and County Road 144 when the final section of the highway is built in Johnson County.

A trio of Florida developers led by a man with ties to Johnson County plans to invest upwards of $20 million to develop 160 acres of land at the southeast corner of that interchange.

The Bargersville Town Council approved rezoning 160 acres of farmland at the southeast corner of the State Road 37 and County Road 144 intersection to be used for commercial development in anticipating of future construction of I-69 and a interchange at County Road 144.

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A Florida developer who grew up 10 miles south of the proposed interchange and who still has family in the area is excited to be investing money back into Johnson County.

“I’m happy to be spending time back in Indiana and making an investment in the community I grew up in,” Trevor Shea said.

I-69 is the impetus behind the development at the site, he said.

White River Commercial, a group comprised of Shea and two other Florida developers, Brad Spencer and Julian Roebuck, owns about 160 acres of farmland at the southeast corner of State Road 37 and County Road 144. The Bargersville Town Council approved rezoning the remaining 90 acres at the site for commercial use in March.

“I think this is a great start to hopefully developing additional businesses at that interchange as the community had envisioned,” Bargersville Planning Director Julie Long said.

As the path the final Interstate 69 section will take becomes clearer, Bargersville is preparing for development at the projected State Road 144 interchange. A 2013 comprehensive plan for future development listed the interchange as one of the top five areas in the community for commercial growth.

“It will be a major impact to the town,” council member Ken Zumstein said. “Commercial development brings tax dollars to the town and new business and services that the residents have access to.”

The goal is for the interchange to become a gateway into the community, Long said.

Still, development is at least several years off. A timeline for construction of I-69 has not been released yet, and businesses aren’t likely to want to come in until after construction is complete, Shea said.

While retail development is the goal, because he hasn’t begun marketing the site, he couldn’t say for sure what specifics types may choose to come.

“We’ll do what we can to best service the community,” Shea said.

In the meantime, the developers are putting together plans for how the property will be divided into lots and how infrastructure such as roads and sewers will be brought in, he said.

Requesting a tax break or some other financial incentive from the city is an option, but that is something that would be negotiated at a later date, Shea said.

The town council expanded a tax increment financing, or TIF, district to cover the interchange in 2016. That means property taxes from this new development would be collected by the TIF district to be used for infrastructure and other improvements in the area.{span id=”docs-internal-guid-5a31bc62-2030-e6bc-3228-82208db8c669” style=”font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;”}{/span}

Zumstien said he anticipates a request for financial assistance and said that the council would consider it as long as it is reasonable.

The rezoning agreement requires the developers to set aside about 27 acres of land for conservation on the southern stretch of the property which borders several homes and farms. The agreement also prohibits certain types of businesses from being developed on the property, such as sexually orientated businesses, pawn shops, taverns and tattoo parlors.

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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.