A developer wants to bring new distribution, industrial and manufacturing businesses to the east side of Greenwood.
GLA Properties has requested that 350 acres of farmland and residential property at the southeast side of Graham and Allen roads be rezoned for industrial use.
The last time a developer requested that a property of this size be rezoned for a business park was nearly two decades ago for the 400-acre Precedent South Business Center, Greenwood Planning Director Bill Peeples said. If approved, the new business park would be the city’s second largest.
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Currently, the property is mostly farmland, with about a dozen homes lining Graham Road and Allen Road. The rezoning request would allow for businesses in the light industrial, manufacturing and distribution industries similar to the city’s other industrial parks.
The business park would join at least eight other business and office parks in the city. Precedent South Business Center, south of Main Street on the east side of Interstate 65, was developed in the 1990s, and the area is now nearly full of businesses, including United Natural Foods, Nestle Waters, Poynter and Mays Chemical but is still adding more, with a distillery proposed on the south side of Main Street.
The creation of another industrial business park highlights the amount of interest companies have in the city, Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers said.
“I’m excited to see the amount of interest we have in Greenwood and the amount of businesses we’ve had approach us,” he said.
Myers cited the recent completion of the interchange at Worthsville Road and Interstate 65 as a key reason for the development at this site. The new business park is about a half-mile away from the interchange.
Plans from GLA Properties call for seven buildings on the property, Peeples said.
The developer has expressed an interest in constructing speculative buildings, Myers said.
Speculative buildings are ones constructed by developers without a specific tenant in mind, which have become popular in Greenwood. Six speculative buildings have been approved the past two years, all of which have received financial incentives from the city.
Projects in this new industrial park will likely be no different. The developer would come to the city with a request for financial assistance, either through a tax break or a financial incentive from the Greenwood Redevelopment Commission, in order to make the project financially feasible, Myers said.
While the area of the proposed industrial park was originally designated as being for apartments and professional office space in the city’s comprehensive plan, Myers said he has no problem with the land being used for more industrial development instead.
City officials don’t know when any construction would begin and what specific tenants may have already expressed interest in part of the property.
“This is step one of a development process,” Peeples said.
Development of the site is happening faster than the city anticipated, he said.
“We weren’t expecting anything for 10 to 15 years,” he said. “The timeline has been accelerated.”
Water and sewer lines will need to be extended to the property, and road improvements will likely be needed as well, though discussions with the developer haven’t reached those stages yet, Peeples said. Plans for the property would still need to be approved by the city.
The rezoning request is set to be heard by the Greenwood Advisory Plan Commission next week. The board will make a recommendation about the rezoning request, which will then be sent to the Greenwood City Council for a vote.