Genesis Property Development revealed more details about the plans for the property development off State Road 44 during Monday’s city council meeting.

A European-based company is looking to house its U.S. corporate headquarters in Shelbyville, Genesis told the council.

The $70 million investment would include several facilities of a combined approximately 250,000 square feet off State Road 44 for an agricultural-based manufacturing facility. That investment would also include the downtown area, according to Ron Kelsay of Genesis.

The company, which he said he could not identify Monday morning due to it being confidential until the project was approved, wants to have its corporate headquarters in downtown Shelbyville as part of the city’s revitalization efforts. Agreements are in place at the Methodist and Chase buildings and an agreement is being finalized at the Knights of Pythias building for housing needs and office space, Kelsay said.

“That is a huge portion of all of the vacant buildings in downtown Shelbyville,” he said. “It’s a huge investment to redevelop those and to bring those fantastic old buildings back to life. Those types of developments are expensive and they’re risky because they’re old. Sometimes they’re historic buildings, so it’s very difficult to find someone to come in and take that risk, to make that investment in those types of buildings. This is an opportunity, in addition to everything I just mentioned, to have a partner come in and invest in the community.”

The City Council approved an annexation and rezoning request with a 5-0 vote on the 33 acres that the company wishes to build on.

Much of the initial $70 million investment is in the building itself but there would be a lot of high-tech equipment and specialized farm equipment that will all be part of the purchase that goes onto the tax rolls to provide revenue to the community, Kelsay said.

The company is also looking into building a maintenance and repair facility in the future.

“They’re looking at growth opportunities that will create more jobs,” he told the City Council. “It’s a large investment, and I think there’s growth that will continue.”

And the company is already in talks with other companies that are interested in becoming partners in Shelbyville. Those companies could be within close proximity of the current one looking to build its headquarters in town.

Kelsay said he has had numerous conversations with the company he was representing at the meeting. He compared the company’s goals to the investment Knauf Insulation has made in Shelbyville.

“They want to be that type of player, they want to be an important asset to the community, and all the things that happen,” he said.

The 55 acres of farmland behind the property that was annexed and rezoned will still be farmed. However, one resident in the area, Richard McDonald, pointed out during the public comments portion of the meeting that that could change.

He said that eventually companies that come in will want more of that land to develop.

That could be the case, Mayor Tom DeBaun said. But the mayor also said that there could be physical barriers that prevent that growth.

And any further development would include the same process that Genesis has been going through.

Kelsay also addressed concerns that were previously brought up by residents, including drainage and traffic concerns.

As part of the project, there will be complete site engineering and Genesis was looking at retention ponds, Kelsay said regarding drainage. Anything that is done regarding construction will have site development that goes through tech review.

He suggested that the process could improve any current issues with drainage in the area.

He also said that State Road 44 is already a major thoroughfare that already sees significant traffic. Any proposed changes would have to meet the Indiana Department of Transportation’s standards.

At the previous City Council meeting, one resident expressed concern that the proposed facility will be a concrete warehouse, similar to facilities being built along Interstate 65 in Johnson County.

On Monday, Kelsay attempted to reassure local residents that the facility would not look like that.
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