Tuesday, June 28 2022

At least part of Cummins’ plans for a new facility on Interstate 65 in Greenwood were revealed Monday night.

The Columbus-based company announced in May 2019 that it would build a 100,000 square foot information technology and digital center on 31 acres of land located at the southeast corner of I-65 and County Line Road under an agreement between the City of Greenwood and the company. The city offered taxpayer-funded incentives totaling more than $10 million, as Cummins agreed to invest at least $35 million and create 500 new jobs, paying about $100,000 each with benefits.

In December 2020, Cummins purchased the parcel for $4.5 million from the City of Greenwood as part of a new agreement between the city and the company. The company requested a new deal due to pandemic challenges and changes in the industry, and the new deal gave Cummins more time and flexibility to determine the best future use of the property. officials said at the time.

The company appeared before the Greenwood Board of Zoning Appeals on Monday after filing two waiver applications for a service center on about 10.1 acres of property accessible from McColgin Road. Preliminary site plans show that the facility will include retail space, warehouse, an immediate assessment bay and several service bays. The remaining 20.9 acres will remain undeveloped for the time being, according to city documents.

The center would service existing customers with Cummins engines and retail parts, said Mark Krenzke, engineering consultant for the company.

The vehicles would be on site for repair no more than 80 days, but it’s more likely the vehicles would only be on site for a few days, Krenzke said.

“It is intended to service customer vehicles on demand,” he said.

The company was granted a special exception to operate a major-use vehicle maintenance service facility in an interstate commercial area. Use is permitted in this zoning area by special exception.

City staff recommended approval of the special exception with conditions. These include tracking city landscaping requirements, conducting a traffic study, and tracking city improvement requests on McColgin Road based on that study, the documents show. from the city.

The BZA approved the special exception unanimously, however, Cummins’ request for seven plant design deviations was not unanimous.

The council disputed Cummins’ request for a deviation from the city’s requirement of at least 50% masonry for the front elevation of the building and asked to use 60%, rather than 50% of maximum allowance for precast concrete panels using 60% not 50%. The company said the use of concrete was a brand standard and that reducing the area by 10% would lead to a design overhaul. However, like the masonry waiver request, the company said the city’s requirements presented no practical difficulty, according to city documents.

At Cummins’ request, the company had said that under its own brand standards, the building’s exterior would include insulated precast concrete panels. The company said the panels were a more economical and sustainable use of labor and materials and would allow them to use higher quality and more visually unique materials, according to city documents.

However, Cummins also said that while the city’s requirement poses no practical difficulty, deviating from the city’s requirements would allow for an “elevated” design that would be “consistent with the Cummins brand and Greenwood standards.”

BZA member Ken Knartzer was concerned about this statement and asked Allison Zuck, an architect working on the design of the facility, if strict enforcement of the city’s zoning code would cause a structural problem with the facility. .

“It wouldn’t be a structural problem,” Zuck said. “We would be willing to consider it if that is the decision.”

The BZA ultimately rejected both requests for deviations from the city’s design standards.

Only one person spoke out against the demands. Hal Lambert, Vice President of Regency Windsor Capital, was concerned that the proposed building would not fit the area. Regency Windsor Capital affiliate The Hamptons LLC owns 67 acres of commercial businesses and multi-family properties located on the east side of Graham Road, he said.

Lambert has seen many promising developments come and go for the property over the years, and said a service center was not the right use of space, he said.

“We strongly believe that this development will be a poison pill that will stifle and diminish the quality, character and value of future development in the immediate and surrounding areas,” Lambert wrote in a letter read to the BZA on Monday.

The service center is not the city’s first choice for property, but with the design provided by Cummins and the company’s willingness to meet city architectural and landscaping standards, the Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers thinks it could still be a good project for the property, he said.

Greenwood is not aware of any additional plans by Cummins to build on the remaining vacant property the company purchased from the city in 2020 at this time, but the company still has enough room to build one there. great facility, Myers said.

“They don’t have any plans at the moment other than this repair center,” Myers said.

Cummins America facilities manager Larry Schofield told the BZA he believed the company’s landscaping plan would address concerns about how the facility would fit into the area. The facility would be in harmony with neighboring businesses, he said.

Cummins spokesman Jon Mills said there are no further development plans at this time. However, the company is open to all options and wants to do whatever is best for the community, he said.

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