River Ridge board approves changes to bring major tenant to park

The board of directors of the River Ridge Development Authority approved a measure during a special meeting Thursday aimed at helping land a major tenant at the River Ridge Commerce Center in Jeffersonville.

By Ed Green  –  Senior Reporter, Louisville Business First

Feb 9, 2012 Updated Feb 21, 2012, 8:47am EST

The measure, which offers exemptions to some of the park’s development standards, is related to a plan to build a 1 million square-foot warehouse/distribution facility on about 70 acres of the Southern Indiana industrial and office park.

According to a development plan submitted to the authority by Maryland-based real estate investment trust KTR Property Trust I, the new facility would have nearly 2,600 parking spaces. The plan notes that the number is based on having one parking space per employee.

The resolution passed by the River Ridge authority cites confidential negotiations between an unnamed tenant and KTR, an affiliate of New York City-based private-equity firm KTR Capital Partners LLC.

Officials have declined to identify the tenant. But as Business First reported in its Feb. 10 print edition, online retailer Amazon.com Inc. is considering opening a distribution center at the park.

The resolution also said KTR is in confidential negotiations to buy 16 acres of land from the authority.

According to Jerry Acy, executive director of River Ridge, that land would sell for about $450,000, but no closing date has been set.

Acy said during the board meeting that the development plan submitted by KTR also involves about 54 acres owned by Crossdock Development Inc.

Lee Wilburn, president of Crossdock, declined to discuss any potential deals with KTR.

The exemptions, approved unanimously by the authority, are relatively minor, Acy said, adding that most would not be noticed by visitors. The waivers relate to the dimensions and location of the parking, the dimensions of parking spaces and landscaping requirements.

During a meeting late last month, the River Ridge board passed two other resolutions to help ease the sale of properties, as Business First reported.

With the changes in place, Acy said, the authority has “pretty well done everything but the closing.”

He added that making the minor changes to help draw a tenant to the park was a relatively easy decision for the authority, which was formed by Clark County government to redevelop about 6,000 acres that once housed the Indiana Army Ammunition Plant.

“That’s what we are here for,” Acy said.

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