River Ridge Economic Report Shows Record $2.5 Billion in Regional Impact
The River Ridge Commerce Center grew employment, expanded development and generated increased economic output in 2019. These and other key findings are detailed in an Economic Impact Analysis conducted by Policy Analytics. (The full report is available at www.riverridgecc.com.)
In 2019, the Commerce Center produced an estimated total of $2.5 billion in economic output, or the total value of all transactions resulting from the center. This business activity helped to create or support over 16,900 jobs across a wide variety of sectors, equating to $630 million in labor income for the Southern Indiana/Louisville region.
Significant employers beginning or expanding operations at River Ridge in 2019 included Medline Industries Inc., Ingram Micro, Niagara Bottling, PharmaCord and Denso. The U.S. Census Bureau also runs a significant operation at River Ridge, employing approximately 800 workers throughout the duration of the 2020 census count.
The increased development and job creation came as the River Ridge Development Authority (RRDA) invested approximately $23 million in capital projects in 2019 to support future development. That activity included extending major roadways within the Commerce Center, improving water utilities and demolition of abandoned Army structures that remain on the site. The report noted that RRDA has invested more than $100 million overall in roads, sidewalks, site preparation, demolition, and utilities to facilitate growth.
“This year’s report confirms that River Ridge is continuing to attract strong companies and high-quality jobs and provide increasing economic value to the Southern Indiana region,” said River Ridge Executive Director Jerry Acy. “The jobs at River Ridge provide a great impact on the entire region by supporting jobs outside the park and generating revenues for the state and local governments.”
The Commerce Center continues to attract private commercial development and competes nationally and internationally to attract new businesses to the region.
Key highlights from the report include:
- In 2019, River Ridge’s total revenues from all sources amounted to $18.5 million— an increase of $6.5 million over 2018 revenues, mostly due to an increase in land sale activity, which was up by $5.1 million.
- River Ridge generated substantial tax revenue for state and local governments in 2019, including:
- $6.8 million in local income tax
- $16.9 million in state income tax
- $18 million in state sales tax
- Capital improvement projects included several investment projects to lay the groundwork for new development and to help buildout the River Ridge roadway network to allow better traffic circulation and access to new sites. These projects included roadway extensions and improvements on Jacobs Way, Lewman Way, and International Drive.
- The Commerce Center continued to see strong levels of private investment throughout 2019. Two facilities, Medline and Niagara, which were substantially completed in 2018, were finalized and occupied in 2019. The Medline facility is a 1.2 million square foot logistics and distribution center. Niagara now houses a 500,000 square-foot water bottling and distribution facility at River Ridge and is planning an expansion.
- More than 60 River Ridge companies employed nearly 10,300 workers in 2019. That number is expected to grow to at least 10,600 this year.
- An additional 400,000 of commercial space was added in two facilities. America Place continued its investment at the Commerce Center, beginning construction of a 150,000 square-foot structure. The second structure is a 256,000 square-foot facility built by Gray Construction. These investments will increase the capacity of the RRDA to further attract employers to the Commerce Center.
- River Ridge is in the planning stages for the first, Class A office building located in the Gateway district. The RRDA is working with its master developer to begin marketing more commercial/office sites in the Gateway district.
“We made tremendous progress in 2019 as we generated more capital from land sales that could be invested back into further development at the Commerce Center,” Acy said. “This is a cycle that will continue as we transform this 6,000-acre site into one of the nation’s largest business parks.”