Company proposes two speculative shell buildings

Two more shell buildings, including one slated to house manufacturing operations, are planned for the Southpoint Business Park in Greenwood, with the developer requesting a multi-million dollar tax break for the project.

The Peterson Company has proposed spending $15 million to construct two speculative shell buildings sized at 143,000 and 260,000 square feet at 600 Graham Road. In return, the company is asking for a 10-year, $2.4 million tax break from the city. With the break, the property still will generate $2.8 million in property taxes during that time period.

The request is the latest in a series of speculative and shell buildings that have been given tax breaks by the Greenwood Redevelopment Commission and the Greenwood City Council. Since 2015, $5.7 million in tax breaks have been approved for four speculative buildings, including one prior project by The Peterson Company in 2015.

The redevelopment commission has unanimously approved the tax abatement request for The Peterson Company. The city council also will need to approve the request.

“I think they are good for the city,” redevelopment commission and council member Mike Campbell said. “I’ve been involved in discussions where we have considered paying someone to build one. Here we have companies volunteering to pay.”

Construction on the first building is projected begin in August and will take a year to complete. Work on the second building will begin by August 2018 and wrap up by August 2019, The Peterson Company representative Larry Siegler said.

The 143,000 square foot building may not be rented by one tenant, as it is designed in a way that it could be divided into as many as four sections to make room for smaller manufacturing businesses, he said.

These smaller sections are in high demand, especially from manufacturing companies, Siegler said.

A company that builds a 500,000 square foot shell building isn’t likely to partition off a 30,000 square foot section for a tenant, he said.

Developers have expressed interest in smaller speculative buildings, specifically ones geared toward new manufacturing companies, said Johnson County Development Corp. acting director Dana Monson.

“It is for the good of growing the community that we go forward with some of these,” redevelopment commission member Mike Tapp said.

The focus on bringing in manufacturing, rather than the distributing businesses targeted by some of the prior speculative buildings, is beneficial, he said.

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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.