The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Annual Report: Business & Industry

March 29, 2010

Economic woes slow commercial development

Elwood and County optimistic for 2010

ANDERSON, Ind. – Like most business sectors in 2009, Madison County commercial development suffered from the economic downturn; however, economic commissioners are hopeful for a better 2010.

“The challenge all over the nation is the economy was in a recession,” said Bill Savage, economic development director of Elwood. “I don’t think Elwood had any special circumstances.”

Cory Wilson, the executive director of planning for Madison County, said the county itself did not oversee any projects in 2009. He said some companies were in the process of lobbying the county for commercial developments in 2008, but paused when the economy proved unsteady – the worst of which was in 2009.

“They were all put on the back burner when the economy turned,” Wilson said.

Wilson said the county’s count does not mean there were not any commercial developments in the towns and cities of Madison County. He noted that towns and cities regularly annex land from the county, as a way to provide the required water and sewage.

Savage said his city did not annex any property for commercial development last year.

“We’ve got a 53-acre site that was annexed a few years ago,” he said, adding that the city installed water and sewage in 2009. “That is now ready for development.”

Savage said the city is also hopeful to find developers for the abandoned plant left empty after plastic injection-molding plant Plastech Engineered Products Inc. closed in 2008, laying off about 300 workers.

“There’s some work that needs to be done for the person who wants it,” he said. “We do have a few leads.”

Businesses interested in those two large properties have gone into a holding pattern, Savage said.

The 53-acre land, owned by Red Gold Corporation, has been matched for an Aldi’s grocery store. However, the company has halted.

“There’s a lot of companies like that, that are just on hold,” Savage said. “The economy the way it is, we have to deal with it like everybody else.”

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Annual Report: Business & Industry
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