|Wed, Oct 22, 2014 05:37 AM
|Issue of October 15, 2014
June 25, 2014 | 09:56 AM
The Harrison County Economic Development Corp. recently purchased 54-plus acres in north Corydon near the Harrison County Hospital campus and plans to help get the property developed with the intent to create jobs.
Almost three years ago, the connector road some called "a mile of opportunity" opened, connecting Corydon-Ramsey Road with Pacer Court and Federal Drive.
Development in the area has been slow since, but the EDC hopes to spark business interest with the purchase of the land.
The property is immediately north of the Homestead Manor housing development and it is south of the extension road and bordered to the west border by Corydon-Ramsey Road. The east border is adjacent to the Northfield area.
"Our objective was to stimulate the economy, and that is slowly happening as an expanding Harrison County business has moved their office to the newly improved Northfield Commercial Development," Darrell Voelker, EDC director, said. "Additionally, one of the other property owners was the Chamber of Commerce (of Harrison County), and they have sold their parcel and repaid the EDC for the infrastructure improvements.
"While I think we all hoped for a faster realization of return on the investment, economic times have really presented our community with a challenged market for new business growth, particularly in the commercial sector," he said.
The EDC purchased the land from a regional financial institution.
"Today, while some of the property has changed hands from the original parties involved, the development opportunity is still outstanding," Kenny Saulman, Harrison County Board of Commissioner chair, said.
While people have inquired about the property within the last year or so, Voelker said it's way too early to tell if a deal can be made.
"But I consider them potential purchasers, not just dreamers," he said.
In order to stimulate economic growth in the county, the EDC entered into an agreement in 2010 with Harrison County to borrow the funds necessary to complete the roadways, water, sewer and storm drainage work along Federal Drive and Pacer Court. This connected the largest commercial development area in Corydon to the Harrison County Hospital campus. The cost was $1.6 million. The loan agreement to the county included the three property owners impacted repaying the EDC, which would then repay the county for improvements.
As of today, Voelker said the EDC has repaid $439,000 to the county.