Board approves actions to build on business park’s ‘best year yet’
JEFFERSONVILLE (January 22, 2019) – Coming off a strong year of accomplishments, the River Ridge Development Authority (RRDA) is preparing for another year of dynamic growth at River Ridge Commerce Center through its continued partnership with nearby communities.
During its regular, monthly meeting, the RRDA approved its 2019 budget, taking into account anticipated costs and revenue associated with major projects planned for the year ahead. The board also elected its 2019 officers.
“The fall of 2018 marked a handful of significant milestones worth celebrating,” said Jerry Acy, Executive Director of the River Ridge Development Authority. “Those accomplishments laid the foundation for the Authority to charge on as we head into a new year, continuing our mission to bring new investment and jobs to Southern Indiana.”
Moving forward on the path of robust growth, the RRDA approved the following contracts for development projects to support growth at the commerce center:
- A $818,476 contract with Wooldridge Homes for a pending phase IV demolition project. The project will include site preparations on land near Charlestown, Ind., and continue the removal of former production facilities abandoned by the U.S. Army. This contract will bring the Authority’s total investments to remove the former Army structures in the north end of the park to approximately $5.5 million.
- A $401,101 contract with Duke Energy to relocate an electric utility pole, as well as overhead utility lines located on Trey Street, Safety Street and Eighth Street. This will remove the last remnants in the south side of the park of the Army’s old, electrical distribution system. Its removal will allow construction of underground, electrical lines and demolition of a former Army storage building.
In other board action, the RRDA board of directions elected its 2019 officers. The board members (appointing authorities in parentheses) are:
- J. Mark Robinson (Clark County), President
- Norman E. “Ned” Pfau (City of Jeffersonville), Vice President
- Philip W. “Phil” McCauley II (Ports of Indiana), Secretary/Treasurer
- Patrick J. Glotzbach (City of Charlestown), Member
- Edward Meyer (Town of Utica), Member
Acy noted that Mark Robinson is starting his 13th year as president of the River Ridge board.
“Through his leadership, Mr. Robinson has done so much for River Ridge and the entire region,” Acy said. “Our staff, his fellow board members and our community and economic development partners appreciate the steady leadership he has provided throughout his years of service.”
2018 was the “best year yet”
The Authority’s many achievements in 2018 set up River Ridge for continued success this year. In December, the Authority celebrated the completion of all requirements of the center’s master lease with the U.S. Army, 35 years ahead of schedule. As a result, the Army released all liens and reporting requirements on properties at River Ridge – a move that will simplify sales of real estate for future development projects at the commerce center.
In 2018, the Authority also continued its unprecedented growth, surpassing 9,000 workers employed within the park at major employers such as Amazon, Bose, Briova Rx, Enjoy Life Foods, and Tenneco. This year, new employers such as Bluegrass Supply Chain Solutions, Medline and Niagara Bottling will launch operations and expand overall employment to exceed 10,000 at River Ridge.
Meanwhile, River Ridge made moves to protect and complement the natural beauty of the commerce center by providing land to the City of Jeffersonville to develop a new, community park, investing in amenities such as multiuse walking and bike paths, and striking a deal with Hollenbach-Oakley LLC to serve as the master developer for a new River Ridge Gateway Office Campus and River Ridge Research Campus.
“It was our best year yet at River Ridge,” Acy said. “The park has grown to the size of a small city, and there is lots of interest in continued development – both on the industrial side and at the office campus. There is so much happening here, but our work is not done.”
River Ridge’s mission is to redevelop more than 6,000 acres of former U.S. Army property into a commerce center that creates jobs, local tax revenue and regional growth in Southern Indiana. A 2017 economic impact study found that River Ridge supports more than 27,000 regional jobs and generates more than $27 million in state taxes and more than $5 million in local income taxes annually.
RRDA’s primary sources of revenue are land sales and property taxes within the commerce center; the Authority continues to reinvest funds from those sales in infrastructure such as roads, utilities, water and sewer structures, demolitions, environmental remediation, and site clearing to bring additional jobs and employers to the Southern Indiana and Louisville area.