Ken De La Bastide, The Herald Bulletin
July 27, 2023
ANDERSON — With the hope of attracting future industrial development the Anderson Plan Commission has approved the rezoning of 252 acres.
The Plan Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to rezone the acreage that runs from West 53rd Street, west of Park Road, bordered by West 67th Street and on the east by the railroad tracks.
Tim Stires, deputy director of the Anderson Municipal Development Department, said the rezoning is being done to comply with rezoning in the area of the Indiana Municipal Power Association (IMPA) solar park in the area.
He said the rezoning request is compatible with the city’s comprehensive plan and the surrounding zoning.
Rob Sparks with the Madison County Corporation for Economic Development, said there is a potential project that is considering development of 35 acres of the site.
“We looked at the areas when the IMPA plant was approved for future development,” he said. “There is no project looking at the 252 acres.”
Sparks said the rezoning request was a collaboration between the Corporation for Economic Development, Anderson and the property owners.
He said the existing residential housing and the Blue Grass Farms tree farm will not be impacted until there is a specific project for those properties.
“We want to maximize the investment made by the city for utilities in the area,” Sparks said.
Greg Winkler, executive director of the Anderson Economic Development Department, said the Flagship Enterprise Center started by former Anderson Mayor J. Mark Lawler is full.
He said over the years the city has made a lot of infrastructure improvements in the area.
Winkler said there is one 126-acre parcel near the Flagship Enterprise Center that will be difficult to develop.
Several residents asked about the impact of the future development on property values. Winkler said the hope is that property values will increase over the next 15 to 20 years as the area develops.
When the Flagship was started the price of an acre was approximately $5,000, Winkler said, and that cost has now increased to the range of $55,000 per acre.
He said the city is in discussions with one development group that would not utilize the entire 252-acres.
“This helps us prepare for hundreds of millions of dollars in future development,” Winkler said. “We have several potential opportunities.”
Sparks said the rezoning is laying the ground work for future development.
“There is a lot of infrastructure in the area,” Sparks said. “This is preparing the area for an opportunity that comes along in the future.”
Work will be done to prepare the site and will include environmental studies of the acres, Sparks added.
“We’re preparing it for projects,” Sparks said. “We have been shopping the area with potential developers. We’re laying the ground work.”