River Ridge megasite receives certification, could land automaker
JEFFERSONVILLE — River Ridge Commerce Center’s single largest site has finally received a certification that will make it “more attractive” to potential developers, River Ridge Executive Director Jerry Acy said.
The 1,730-acre site advertised for automotive original equipment manufacturing is officially certified as a megasite through McCallum Sweeney Consulting, said River Ridge Planning and Development Manager Tom Vittitow at Monday’s board meeting.
The River Ridge Development Authority paid McCallum Sweeney in 2013 to certify the commerce center’s megasite. The certification process involved additional environmental and geotechnical reports and a full infrastructure plan.
While the site has already been available for purchase, certification ensures any potential buyers that the due diligence items are already completed, thus it costs less to develop.
Acy said that River Ridge has had some inquiries on the site but nothing serious yet because such large tenants can be hard to come by. If no single tenant offers to buy the property in three or four years, Acy said they’d likely look toward breaking the site down into smaller and less-expensive parcels.
More information is expected to be released later this week from River Ridge.
Two years after it was approved for a federal grant, River Ridge is receiving the funds and can move forward with its proposed projects. Mark Hildenbrand, director of project management and utility operations, presented the board with four projects to be funded in part by the U.S. Economic Development Administration, or EDA, public works grant. River Ridge will be matching the $1.8 grant, totaling $3.6 million worth of projects.
Acy said the Amazon distribution center was the “impetus” for the EDA grant. All four construction projects will center around Amazon and its neighbors, such as BriovaRx.
“That really kind of spurred the need to improve Trey Street all around and tie it into this center section … which will eventually become a signalized intersection,” Acy said after the meeting.
River Ridge applied for the grant in 2012 with its list of projects. Acy said while the projects are important, they weren’t vital to development in the area — or else River Ridge would not have waited.
Environmental review and construction drawings review were among the criteria the federal government considered during the last two years.
“It just takes some time, but it’s worth it,” Acy said.
The first project involves demolishing structures and extending Trey Street. The board agreed to pay Louisville Paving Inc. $1.47 million for the work.
Another project involves improving the water main around Patrol Road. Acy said the work will finish a water line loop around the Amazon area.
Dan Cristiani Excavating Co. Inc. will perform that work for $359,700.
Sanitary sewer connector work also was contracted to Dan Cristiani Excavating at $368,960 will extend a sewer line already constructed by the city of Jeffersonville and River Ridge.
The last project involves removing a 1,500 feet of rail line and replacing it what Hildenbrand said will be the main rail line. Clark Nickles Inc. will construct the project for $378,650.
Hildenbrand said every project came in well under engineer estimates — one by $500,000 — which means he may propose miscellaneous projects to reach the 50 percent of grant funds.
The projects passed Monday totaled $2.58 million, which means about $500,000 in a 50 percent match remains.
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