WARSAW — “This is a very gratifying moment to celebrate, but we have a lot of work to do to fill this whole place up,” stated Mayor Joe Thallemer following the official ribbon cutting Wednesday of Warsaw’s Tech Park, Polk Drive.
He acknowledged how the city arrived at the monumental moment. He recognized former Mayor Jeff Plank who had the “great vision to get out this way,” former Mayor Ernie Wiggins who “TIFFed this district. We wouldn’t have been able to do anything without either one of their leadership. We just took the building blocks and put them together a bit.”
Thallemer recognized the city’s building and plan department has done a yeoman’s job, starting with the annexation process, through the TIFF process and through the certified technology process. “It took us a year to get the table set, then we sat down with the Groninger family and the Robinson family, we all had the same thing in mind. We had a great discussion, very good development agreement come out of this. Now we have a show building and lots ready to go.”
Recognition was also given to the city council who supported the project. “We could not have done this without the council. Redevelopment commission took their cue, this is what we have to do … Everybody is thinking the same thing.” Others recognized were Kosciusko Economic Development Corp., Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce, Ivy Tech Community College and OrthoWorx.
“Part of the certified technology process through the state is that you have to add an accelerator or incubator to feed the tech park. We’re certainly working with OrthoWorx on that right now,” said Thallemer.
Thallemer noted the “bobbers have been jiggling a little bit” on interest in the park. “Hopefully we have some great interest … I would have loved to make a few announcements today, but I would have been a little premature.”
G & G Hauling & Excavating, Warsaw, was hired to do the site work with the shell building being built by Robinson Construction, Inc., Warsaw.
Following the ribbon cutting those present were invited to get a look at the building.
The first phase of the development will feature a 63,000 square foot shell building (capable of expansion to 125,000 square feet) along with three available shovel ready, fiber connected industrial building sites. The Tech Park is situated on US 30 and Silveus Crossing.
Phase 2, when completed, will offer another 70 acres that may be divided to suit individual client needs. The Warsaw Redevelopment Commission expects to complete Phase 2 of the Technology Park within the next two to three years. In total, roughly 1.2 million square feet in future manufacturing and research and development space will be created in the park.
The property is currently marketed by the Bradley Company. Workforce Development partners include Orthoworx, Grace College, Ivy Tech, and Warsaw Community Schools and the Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce. Local and state incentives can be requested from the Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation.