The Shelby County Commissioners heard an update from Shelby County Development Corp. Director Brian Asher during their Monday morning meeting.

Asher began his update by reporting on what projects Shelby County would be working on as a result of the READI grant that the county partnered with other regions to receive.

Shelby County joined forces with Batesville, Rush County and Decatur County to form the region Accelerate Rural Indiana, which received $20 million from the state’s Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI).

The projects the region intends to complete include three Shelby County-based projects: a sports complex, an early learning center, and apartments behind the Porter Center.

The state released the following information about the sports complex in a July press release about the ARI projects:

The proposed athletic facility in Shelbyville’s Blue River Memorial Park will provide a safe, indoor, multi-purpose sports venue that can be utilized for a wide variety of sporting and community events, including hardcourt and turf sports, sports training, cooking demonstrations, tradeshows, concerts and more year round.

The facility, which will be owned by the City of Shelbyville Parks and Recreation Department and operated by a private entity, will improve the region’s tourism economy, which was deeply impacted by the global pandemic. According to a 2021 feasibility study, the Indoor Sports Complex is expected to attract roughly 140,000 annual visitors, 26,000 annual hotel room nights, and $30 million per year to the regional economy once fully operational.

The total investment for this project was $21 million, with $2.5 million coming from the READI allocation.

The early learning center will be located next to the YMCA facility on Intelliplex Drive and is expected to serve 200 children from ages 0-3.

“We will continue moving forward with those projects in the region that will benefit not only Shelbyville/Shelby County, but also our region, Decatur and Rush County, and Batesville,” Asher said.

He said there has been one expense from the READI grant so far that the city and county intend to split. The total expense was $32,857, and the city has paid their portion, Asher said.

He clarified the state will reimburse the expenses of these projects, rather than provide the money up front.

New projects

In addition to the READI grant projects, Asher reported more than 1,200 new homes are in the works and SCDC is working on several other projects. The North Tindall Ground will be purchased by a developer in the next 60 days, he said.

“We’ve had about 75 projects come through the Shelby County Development Corporation so far this year, which is kind of a record,” Asher said. “Those are all the ones from the state, not mentioning the ones that come in just on member calls or site selectors I’ve been meeting with.”

Up in Pleasant View, work is continuing on the developments already in place, and work is beginning on a new development. Browning Investments began “moving dirt out there,” and Five Below is set to open soon, he said.

“Sunbeam is the new one that was just announced as well,” Asher said.

The County Council approved a tax abatement for the Fishers-based company at its July meeting. Sunbeam intends to invest $200 million into the development.

County Council approves tax abatement for $200 million investment

In Morristown, one company is working on a $445 million expansion and another new company is investing $66 million to venture into the town.

“They have not announced that yet, so I will let them do that and not steal their thunder,” Asher said of the new company.

The commissioners approved to renew their annual membership fee with SCDC. The fee cost $85,000.

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