Three 10-year tax abatements for local projects were approved by the Greensburg City Council during their August meeting Monday.
The first 10-year tax abatement approved was for a project being developed by Jeff Whitaker. It involves a new hotel in the Veterans Way area. The hotel would be built just north of the small body of water located near Veterans Way with the main entrance facing the road itself.
The hotel will be a Fairfield Inn and Suites, which is operated by Marriott, and is expected to be a three-story building. The number of rooms has yet to be determined. The total cost of the project is just above $12 million.
“I think definitely the 10-year abatement is the kind of investment we want to make in particular in that area to increase traffic and create more focus on that area,” Greensburg-Decatur County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Bryan Robbins said.
The second abatement, also awarded to a project being developed by Whitaker, is for a convenience store and a Sonic fast-food restaurant as part of a four-acre travel plaza across from the Shell gas station along Michigan Avenue.
The project is expected to be around the $2.5 million mark.
“That’s another good addition to the area,” Robbins said. “Those types of developments drive traffic off of the interstate onto that road, and once we get increase vehicle counts, then we can take those numbers and market that area even more. Usually, when areas are first developed, some of the first things you’ll see there are these larger convenience stations.”
Robbins also said placing a walking path in the area of this project has been discussed.
The final 10-year tax abatement was given to a project being developed by Keegan McCamment, which is for a convenience store and a yet-to-be-determined food establishment in front of the Hampton Inn and Suites. Another food establishment is expected to be a part of the convenience store.
The project being developed by McCamment is approximately $2.6 million.
“That’s incredibly important, as the Hampton Inn will tell you,” Robbins said. “Not only that, but the lot next to it will have an impact when developed. He (McCamment) has some interesting ideas with that as well. He’s been working with the Hampton, and as he said, we’ve met and sat down with them and talked about what their patrons are looking for when they stay there. Those lots represent a northern corridor to our community, on 421off of I-74—and we want to make sure we have some nice businesses to welcome those coming from that direction.”
Robbins said Whitaker has indicated the travel plaza project, which includes the Sonic and convenience store on Michigan Avenue, is expected to begin as soon as possible. As for the other two projects, Robbins said those are still up in the air.
All in all, the city continues its mission of bring more business to Greensburg and Decatur County.
“This is the start,” Robbins said. “I attribute everything to the developers, to Jeff and to Keegan. It really takes a person like that to take the risk and have the drive– and both individuals are incredibly driven. I’m there helping when I can and making contacts, but really it’s the efforts like these, from these types of developers, that are improving the community. And again, it’s a great testament to the city to be able to partner in helping them out on these endeavors and those to come. We still have a lot of potential in the Veteran’s Way area, both in the existing property and the growing community.”