The Herald Bulletin

March 27, 2012

Flagship forms hub of Exit 22

By Meira Beinstock
For The Herald Bulletin

— Besides the fact that companies sited along Interstate 69 are within a day’s drive of more then half the U.S. population, being located on I-69 has other advantages, according to DeWayne Landwehr, executive director of The Flagship Enterprise Center.

The interstate runs in close proximity to I-70, I-65, and I-64, he explained, and Indiana is considered one the best states to locate a business because of several factors: tax climate, low cost of living, cheap real estate, low taxes and the presence of multiple logistics firms that cover every type of transportation.

“I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to have a business along the I-69 corridor,” Landwehr said. “It’s just like any business you have; the closer you get to the interstate, the more expensive the land is. So if you can locate a few miles off the interstate, land is less expensive, but I’m hard pressed to come up with a disadvantage.”  

The Flagship Enterprise Center at Exit 22 was created in 2005. The business incubator has helped more than 100 companies get a start. Those 100 companies, together, now employ nearly 1,000 people.

The Flagship’s immediate area is home to several other businesses, including a massive Nestle production and distribution facility, Walker Research, Central Indiana Orthopedics and Carter Express.

Nestle’s operation has grown to include 800 employees, and one of the call centers now employs more than 1,000, according to Landwehr.

“There is a CPA pro that has grown from a very small office in downtown Anderson to an office out here, and they’ve really expanding their workforce,” Landwehr noted. “They’re probably double what they were a year or two ago,”  

“If you live here and you drive here every day, you can see growth coming right up from Indianapolis,” Landwehr said of the I-69 corridor. “There’s almost always a building under construction. ... In a few short years, it’s going to be solid with businesses from Indianapolis.”