Posted: Wednesday, December 3, 2014 8:56 pm | Updated: 6:58 am, Thu Dec 4, 2014.
ANDERSON – A developer has expressed an interest in purchasing two parcels of the former Guide Corp. property for two new manufacturing operations.
The Anderson Redevelopment Commission on Tuesday approved a request to transfer $100,000 from $1.4 million set aside to pay the interest on the construction of a spec building on the property.
Greg Winkler, executive director of the Anderson Economic Development Department, said the potential developer wants to purchase 30 acres on the north side of the property between Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and 25th Street and 30 acres east of Raible Avenue that was an entrance to a parking lot.
The developer has indicated to city officials that two companies are interested in opening manufacturing facilities on the property.
The RACER Trust has agreed to replat the Guide property into three lots.
Winkler said the developer has made an offer to purchase the property from the RACER (Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response) Trust.
He said the developer has some concerns about potential issues on the property on the north side of the property.
The $100,000 will be used to pay for a Phase II environmental study of the property and legal costs to reach an agreement with the RACER Trust and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
Winkler said the developer wants to limit any potential costs if a cleanup is required on the north property. He said it’s believed there are no environmental concerns.
Michael Frischkorn, deputy director of the Economic Development Department, said IDEM, which oversees the federal Resource Conservation Recovery Act, will only recognize the new owner of the property and not the trust if an environmental cleanup is needed in the future.
“We’re trying to reduce potential problems,” he said.
Ann Marie Bauer, attorney for the Redevelopment Commission, said that when General Motors went through bankruptcy, the federal bankruptcy judge ruled that the RACER Trust is responsible for any environmental cleanup costs.
“The developer doesn’t want to be held liable for something they didn’t do,” Bauer said. “RACER is obligated to clean the property.”
Winkler said the developer is willing to purchase the 30 acres along Raible Avenue if the other sale can’t be finalized.
The developer is interested in purchasing the 26.8 acres on the north end of the property to construct a 100,000-square-foot building, which could be expandable to 300,000 square feet.
The Redevelopment Commission earlier this year approved $1.4 million to cover the interest costs on the building for three years.
The entire site is a part of the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District. TIF districts are created so that property taxes from new commercial, industrial and manufacturing businesses are captured and spent on infrastructure improvements within the district or to benefit the district. Those improvements are then used as an economic development tool to lure more businesses to the city.
The cost of a building was estimated at between $4 million and $5 million.