Shelbyville, IN - City officials are looking into constructing a 50,000-square-foot brick building at Intelliplex Certified Technology Park to be used as an incubating facility to help develop startup businesses.
According to Mayor Scott Furgeson, such a facility would satisfy the request by state economic officials for a specific building type at the certified technology park. The creation of a spec building was one of the stipulations cited by state officials in a memorandum agreement signed two years ago as a condition for recertification.
"I talked with members of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. last week, and they thought it was a great idea," Furgeson told members of the Shelbyville Redevelopment Commission during its meeting Monday night. "This would not be a warehouse for storage, but rather a facility we could lease to fledgling life-science industries to be used for office, laboratory or educational purposes while they grow for the first three or four years."
Furgeson noted that the city could use that portion of racino money dedicated to economic development to have the building constructed, then pay for it out of recouped tax revenues from the park. The city would make a lease payment then have a buyout, he said.
"The incubator examples we've seen around the state offer space at minimal cost to startup companies for the first several years until they've grown to the point where they're able to move out and build their own larger facility," he said. "I like the idea of dividing the building into five different 10,000-square-foot spaces for five separate businesses."
Shelbyville City Council member Jeff Sponsel said he also likes the concept of a business incubator facility. He noted that he, along with other city and county council members, have met with state economic officials and received much positive feedback.
"Members of the IEDC have sent us suggestions, ideas and the names of several businesses that they believe would be a good fit for this type of facility," Sponsel said. "I think it's a great idea and a marvelous opportunity for Shelbyville and Shelby County."
Dan Theobald, executive director of Shelby County Economic Development Corp., was more circumspect about the proposal. While endorsing the idea and expressing hope for its success, he noted that this is the first time something like this has been tried in a place such as Shelbyville.
"In places where it's been successful, like at Purdue University, there already is an existing student labor pool," he said. "That's something that wouldn't be available here. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see how it goes."
Also Monday night, Furgeson gave an update on the proposed issue of a bond this summer to help pay for the construction of a Fairland Road extension south to Mausoleum Road.
"We've been waiting for the auditor and assessor to get together on the final assessment numbers for the casino, and they finally did that last week," Furgeson said. "That information has been given to our financial adviser, Herschel Frierson of Crowe Horwath, and he will help determine the amount of the bond we need to issue."
Furgeson said the bond issue would go before the city council in June, then come back to the redevelopment commission for its consideration. He added that road construction plans are now 70 percent complete, and the city will be purchasing easements and rights-of-way this summer and hopefully begin road construction next spring.
"Of course, we still plan to give some bond money to the Fairland Volunteer Fire Department and Northwestern Consolidated Schools district. That hasn't changed," he said.
(May 20, 2010 Newspaper Article by Ron Hamilton - Content Copyright The Shelbyville News)