President & CEO
South Bend Regional Chamber on Friday, September 21, 2018 at 8:00:00 am Comments (0)
The Indiana Enterprise Center (IEC) development on the county’s west Side is getting a lot of attention in the news these days. This includes that area near New Carlisle where major industrial projects like IN TEK/Kote, St. Joseph Energy Center, Unifrax, and several other large industrial developments have occurred throughout the past 30 years.
The presence of large tracts of land, utilities, the two highways, potential rail connections, and its proximity to major markets made it an attractive location for those businesses and has piqued the interest of many others over the years looking at business opportunities in our region. But development has been complicated because of the lack of shovel-ready sites.
Issues like zoning, wetlands, land control and utility connections meant a great deal of uncertainty about development and has often caused developers and companies to quickly rule out this area and move on to other sites.
The county is undertaking a comprehensive planning process in the area. That process includes a closer look at all factors that influence development, as well as what types of uses are ideal. Careful consideration has been made to provide a balance between the need for growth, development and new jobs and the need to protect the town, its residents, and the people that have made major investments in and around the area.
Despite what the media would have you believe, there are no plans to develop 20,000-plus acres. The planning area is that big, but that is because it is important to plan any new development within the context of what exists in and around the area.
Projects like this are complicated and complex. Without the plans, critics would complain planning was done in a vacuum and wasn’t inclusive. With plans, come fear and misinformation about the true intentions of the county. It’s complicated, and that is a big reason development in this area has been intermittent at best. The county is seeking to make it less complicated.
We believe the county is approaching planning for this area the right way, and we commend them for the efforts they are making to ensure planned and orderly growth and development. We hope it advances, and we encourage those that have concerns take some time to be involved in the process.
Learn more about the plans.