The shell game of jobs in Muncie, IN
By Rick Yencer
MUNCIE, IN - More shell buildings means more jobs in Muncie and Delaware County as local economic development showed off the latest facility Thursday and will break ground on another in Daleville on Monday.
The latest addition to the Airpark Center off Riggin Road and around the corner from Keihin Aircon and Sallie Mae, saw more than 40 visitors looking over 40,000 square foot empty space inside.
It's always good to have a ready building in the pipeline when new business comes calling, whether it is a Honda supplier or some high tech company like IBM, says Todd Donati, president of the Delaware County Commissioners.
Donati had seen the six shell building constructed by the local economic development alliance fill up quickly like Magna Powertrain taking over the last building in an expansion and the city recently agreeing to sell another building to Sallie Mae that is expanding and adding 200 more jobs.
"These are very valuable tools at our disposal," he said.
George Branam, a physician and member of the Muncie Community School Board said the new building represented opportunity for the community in terms of jobs and investment. And as a chamber member, Branam has been supportive of the good relationship between business and government in promoting economic development.
Garmong Construction, of Terre Haute and Indianapolis, built the poured concrete and slab building that built this summer. About one million pounds of Indiana limestone was used in the concrete panels that were set in place The ultimate strength of the panels is 8,000 psi that will handle any industrial assembly or parts making.
Dan Zuerner, a director for Garmong, said he liked doing business in Muncie since officials worked together and had great success with their building program.
The open interior leaves the building flexible for whatever use, whether it is industrial, commercial or professional office. And what's what new companies want, to see since as much as 80 percent companies wanting to locate or expand first consider available building space.
And the local chamber of commerce uses its economic development corporation to help finance the projects with help from local government, which saves taxpayers and government from bearing the total expense.
Donati hoped to get the Daleville building up by the end of the year and then turn attention to another building in the Park One industrial site at Ind. 332 and Interstate 69 in new Yorktown. Brevini snapped up the last shell building constructed in Park One that also has seen growth from Mursix, that moved to the interstate.