Ambrose Breaks Ground on Four-Building Logistics Center in Mount Comfort

INDIANAPOLISAmbrose Property Group broke ground November 5, 2019 on the first of four buildings for e-commerce and logistics tenants along the Mount Comfort Corridor in Hancock County. The logistics center—located on 166-acres of land on the north side of West County Road 300N and west of North County Road 400W—totals a $78 million capital investment.

“As we continue to focus our business on industrial and e-commerce development, we are excited to be part of Mount Comfort’s visionary plan for thoughtful economic growth,” said Grant Goldman, executive vice president at Ambrose Property Group. “Strong community engagement is the foundation of every project we pursue, and we picked this land because it was earmarked for exactly this type of development. We look forward to partnering with area residents and business leaders to create a space that benefits the community.”

On Oct. 9, the Hancock County Council unanimously approved a 10-year tax abatement on all four buildings. The first building will be a 508,098-square-foot logistics center that is expandable to 660,378 square feet. The other three buildings Ambrose plans to develop will be a combination of large and smaller buildings to attract a diverse range of businesses. The plan is flexible to accommodate potential users and clients’ needs.

A report released in January from Washington D.C.-based Urban Land Institute – guided by the Mt. Comfort Corridor Regional Development Plan – identified several opportunities for optimizing growth in the corridor, including:

  • Upgrading Mount Comfort Road as a boulevard with landscaped rights-of-way, roundabouts at major intersections, high-quality lighting, consistent signage, and a trail system that provides opportunities to walk and bike.
  • Making stunning “first impressions” at town and corridor gateways with landscaping, public art and high-quality signage.
  • Focusing economic development efforts to take advantage of the area’s rural heritage and convenient location, including agri-tech, agri-tourism, animal biomedical and advanced manufacturing.

“The Mount Comfort Logistics Center is a key component of our proactive plan to prepare for the growth we know is coming to the Mt. Comfort Corridor,” said Randy Sorrell, executive director of the Hancock Economic Development Council. “We look forward to working with Ambrose to market this future-focused development to high-credit e-commerce and logistics tenants.”

Mount Comfort has experienced nearly 40% growth in the past 12 months. It has an extremely strong labor market with 276,425 households within a 25-minute commute. It is also located less than one mile from Interstate 70, a major east-west interstate highway.

The Mount Comfort Logistics Center is currently for lease through CBRE. For more information, contact or visit


Duke Energy presents site development recommendations to Hancock County economic development group

PLAINFIELD, Ind. – Duke Energy is presenting site readiness recommendations to Hancock County economic development officials for a 67-acre parcel near the intersection of State Road 67 and U.S. 36 in Fortville, Ind.

A check for $10,000 from Duke Energy has been presented to the economic development officials to help implement the recommendations.

We are grateful for the professional commitment to economic development by Hancock County Economic Development Council,” said Erin Schneider, Indiana director of economic development for Duke Energy. “We admire their tireless dedication as they strive to improve their local and regional economies, and we are honored to play our part in their efforts.”

We are certainly fortunate to have a corporate partner like Duke Energy in our community,” said Randy Sorrell, executive director of the Hancock County Economic Development Council. “Their site readiness grant program provides our community access to top-notch professionals who can guide us on how best to develop and market our commercial and industrial sites.”

Banning Engineering of Plainfield, Ind., has produced conceptual drawings, engineering recommendations and site plans for the Hancock County location.

We are proud to partner with Duke Energy on this valuable program,” said Jeff Banning, president of Banning Engineering. “We appreciate the opportunity to share our site and economic development expertise to advance communities across Indiana.”

Ideal properties for Duke Energy’s Site Readiness program are typically 40 acres or larger, serviced by the utility, or a vacant industrial building of at least 20,000 square feet identified to support renewed industrial growth and sustainable development in the community.

In 2018 in its seven-state service territory, Duke Energy helped to attract $5.3 billion in capital investment, helping create 14,000 jobs. For the 15th consecutive year, the company was named to Site Selection magazine’s annual list of Top 10 Utilities in Economic Development.

For more information about Duke Energy Indiana’s economic development programs, visit

Duke Energy Indiana

Duke Energy Indiana, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, provides about 6,600 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 840,000 customers in a 23,000-square-mile service area, making it Indiana’s largest electric supplier.

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2019 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list, and Forbes’ 2019 “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

Hancock County recognized for economic vitality

Hancock County has received a AAA rating  from Fitch Ratings and an AA+ rating from S&P Global Ratings for its 2019 local income tax lease rental bonds.

Hancock Economic Development Council’s executive director Randy Sorrell traveled with county councilmen Jim Shelby and Bill Bolander and the county’s financial consultant, Greg Guerrettaz, to Chicago a few weeks ago to meet with representatives from the ratings agencies and discuss the county’s economic vitality.

The Fitch Rating is based on the county’s solid revenue growth prospects, ample control over expenditures, low long-term liability burden and sizable reserve cushion.

“The bond rating analysts’ glowing comments about Hancock County’s economy confirmed what we already believed to be true,” says HEDC Executive Director Randy Sorrell. “Hancock County’s economy is growing; it is strong; and it is expected to continue its upward trajectory. We are proud of all of the great things happening in Hancock County and are happy that Fitch and S & P have recognized us for it.”

Hancock County has a population of approximately 75,000 and is located east of Indianapolis, along Interstate 70. The county has experienced steady population growth of more than 65% from 1990.
Hancock Economic Development Council is proud to serve the communities of Hancock County, Indiana.
For more information, contact Executive Director Randy Sorrell at 317-477-7241 or e-mail

Awning Innovations moves to Hancock County

Awning Innovations, a Central Indiana sign manufacturer with customers across the nation, has moved into new manufacturing space east of McCordsville in Hancock County.

The 20-year-old company purchased and renovated a 123,000 square-foot building with a loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration 504 loan program through Lake City Bank and Indiana Statewide Certified Development Corporation.

Frank Green, who co-founded the company in 1999 and is a co-owner, says Awning Innovations manufactures “from scratch” signs on a wholesale basis and sells them to retail sign companies across the nation. Panera Bread, CVS, IU Health, the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, Trader Joes and Whole Foods are among locations that display signs from the company.

Awning Innovation’s 110-employee roster will grow by about 15 jobs each year as a result of the expansion. “The new building gives us a better floor plan with lower operating costs,” Green says. Taking over an old brake distribution plant required Awning Innovations to “significantly” upgrade lighting, electricity and data wiring, all of which was possible due to the loan from Lake City Bank and Indiana Statewide CDC.

Indiana Statewide CDC works with local Indiana lenders to issue SBA 504 loans to help owners of expanding or startup small businesses buy real estate, buildings and equipment. SBA 504 loans can give small business owners long-term, fixed rate financing similar to commercial loan terms available for large companies.

Lake City Bank’s Greg Lentz says the SBA 504 loan offers significant advantages for Awning Innovation’s day-to-day cash flow. “The 10 percent down payment is half the 20 percent for a conventional loan down payment,” he says. “The fixed interest rate on the SBA portion of the loan for up to 25 years is also better than conventional terms.”

Awning Innovations’ new location is just east of McCordsville at 7795 N. 200 W. It is a half-mile south of the Mount Vernon Township schools. The leased manufacturing plant it left is near 116th Street and I-69 on Exit 5 Parkway in Fishers.

Hancock Economic Development Council is proud to serve the communities of Hancock County, Indiana.
For more information, contact Executive Director Randy Sorrell at 317-477-7241 or e-mail

Yamaha Marine Precision Propellers breaks ground in Greenfield

A company that designs and builds stainless steel propellers for water craft is expanding to Greenfield.

Yamaha Marine Precision Propellers (YPPI), Inc. broke ground July 8 on a new 54,000 square foot manufacturing facility on the Barr South property in the 1600 block of West New Road.

“This is the largest expansion we have ever experienced at YPPI,” said Jonathon Burns, YPPI General Manager. “YPPI looks forward to developing our workforce with a strong pool of manufacturing talent. We’re proud to be a part of the growth in the community and we’re excited to show the people of Greenfield what YPPI has to offer through innovative technology and as an employer of choice.”

Burns told an audience of city and county officials at the groundbreaking ceremony that the company had three goals in building the new facility: keeping up with the high demand for propellers, building a facility where YPPI can use the latest manufacturing equipment and processes to increase output, and creating a better place for employees to work, where they have the best tools and facilities to do their jobs.

The company said in a news release that once the expansion is complete, YPPI will have the necessary infrastructure and workforce to increase annual propeller production from 60,000 to more than 100,000.

“Propellers are part of the integrated system that boats need today,” said Burns. “This facility will allow us to increase what we offer to our customers. It will also allow us to try new more efficient manufacturing technologies that will increase quality and reduce costs.“

YPPI also plans to add 30 new jobs, increasing its workforce to 200 employees, split between the new Greenfield facility and the Indianapolis facility. The $18.3 million investment includes 81 jobs in Greenfield. Construction is expected to be completed in mid-2020.

Earlier this year, the Greenfield City Council offered tax abatement and approved the creation of an economic revitalization area for the property.

“The key to this project is that it’s a multi-phase project whereby YPPI will substantially grow their existing production and could expand into other lines of production within Yamaha Marine as well,” said Randy Sorrell, executive director of Hancock County Economic Development Council.

Hancock Economic Development Council is proud to serve the communities of Hancock County, Indiana.
For more information, contact Executive Director Randy Sorrell at 317-477-7241 or e-mail

Groundbreaking held in Hancock County for Spectra Premium’s new distribution facility


Hancock Economic Development Council congratulates Spectra Premium on the groundbreaking for their new distribution facility, held Tuesday, June 18, 2019.

Philip Fallis, Spectra Premium Director of Corporate Distribution for North America.

“Spectra has had a presence here in Hancock County since 1995,” said Phillip Fallis, director of corporate distribution for North America, “with our location in Knightstown adding  the current location in 2013. Now, we are here in 2019 looking to future growth, in a new distribution facility. It is only possible  because of our family of associates who create the environment to succeed.”

Fallis said Indiana and Hancock County are global logistics leaders and offer Spectra Premium a strong competitive advantage when it comes to reaching North American and world markets.

“As the “Crossroads of America,” Indiana ranks in the top 10 amongst 46 significant logistics-related  categories across the U.S. Indiana is a national leader in pass-through interstates and truck tonnage,  experiencing more interstate commerce than any other state. Indiana is home to the 2nd largest FedEx air hub worldwide and is 3rd in total freight railroads. Our state is first nationally with 14 pass-through interstates. Indiana’s highways consist of 1,266 miles,  which connect 82 million people within a 500-mile radius of the state’s border. Indiana’s excellent highway network is accessible to 80% of the population of both the United States and Canada within 24 hours. This makes Indiana the first choice for business.”

Read more from the Greenfield Daily Reporter here.

Hancock County selected for Duke Energy’s 2019 Site Readiness Program that spurs economic development and jobs

PLAINFIELD, Ind. – Developing and promoting the economic and social growth of a community, state or region is rewarding, long-term work. That’s why Duke Energy and its predecessor companies in Indiana have been front and center in helping grow the communities we serve.

That vital work continues in 2019 as Duke Energy has selected six locations in Indiana to participate in the company’s Site Readiness Program, which identifies, evaluates and improves sites in the company’s 69-county Indiana service territory for potential industrial development.

The locations include:

  • The Kokomo Industrial Park, located at the intersection of County 50 East and County Road 300 North (Howard County)
  • A 186-acre parcel in the north portion of the South Madison tax-increment financing, or TIF, district in Fortville (Hancock County)
  • A 100-plus acre parcel located at 29579 State Road 1 in West Harrison (Dearborn County)
  • The Northpoint Business Park (Hamilton County), which is bordered by East 196th Street to the south, Grassy Branch Road to the east, 202nd/203rd Street to the north and U.S. Hwy. 31 to the west
  • The North Manchester Industrial Complex (Wabash County) at County Road 1100 North and Taylor Drive in North Manchester
  • The North Warrick Industrial Park (Warrick County) at 9988 North State Road 57 in Elberfeld

“Those of us who perform economic development work as a career know that our labor does not produce instant results,” said Erin Schneider, Indiana director of economic development for Duke Energy. “It is an honor to join forces with these hard-working economic development groups to help bring lasting change and improvement to their communities.”

Three site development companies and one engineering company will evaluate the sites and make specific recommendations for attracting large companies to build their facilities there.

Duke Energy will present its findings for each site – including a detailed report and conceptual drawings – to local economic development officials when the studies are completed later this year. Economic development organizations in Hancock, Hamilton, Dearborn and Wabash counties will also receive a check for $10,000 from Duke Energy to help implement the recommendations.

After each site’s state of readiness has advanced, Duke Energy’s business development team will strategically market those sites nationwide to companies looking to expand or relocate their operations.

Ideal properties for Duke Energy’s Site Readiness Program are typically 40 acres or larger, served by the utility, or a vacant industrial building of at least 20,000 square feet identified to support renewed industrial growth and sustainable development in a community.

Duke Energy’s overall economic development program has been consistently named by Site Selection magazine as one of the nation’s “Top 10 Utility Economic Development Programs.” Since 2008, the company has participated in the creation of nearly 20,000 jobs with a total capital investment of approximately $4.5 billion.

For more information about Duke Energy Indiana’s economic development programs, visit

HEDC awarded Duke Energy Marketing Partnership Program grant

Hancock County Economic Development Council is pleased to be a 2019 recipient of Duke Energy’s Marketing Partnership Program grant.

The program is designed “to help local economic development groups strengthen marketing efforts to help attract jobs and investment to the communities within our Indiana service territory,” said Erin Schneider, director of economic development for Duke Energy Indiana.

To qualify for program consideration, each applicant must submit a marketing plan that has a direct impact on the community’s economic growth and supports Duke Energy’s economic development goals.

“We are certainly appreciative of Duke Energy’s generosity and the funds are a very welcome addition to our marketing budget,” says HEDC executive director Randy Sorrell. “We will use the funds to make our website more appealing and user-friendly to visitors to our site.”

2018: Indiana Closes Out Record-Breaking Year for Small Business Growth

News from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation …

INDIANAPOLIS– The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) announced a record-breaking year for small business growth with the Indiana Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Indiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) helping launch 318 small businesses and secure $86.3 million in government contracts for Indiana businesses, respectively, in 2018. Together, the Indiana SBDC and Indiana PTAC assisted small businesses in the creation of 1,554 new jobs.

“With more than 508,000 companies employing 1.2 million Hoosiers, small businesses play a critical role in maintaining long-term economic growth in Indiana and supporting good jobs in our communities,” said Elaine Bedel, president of the IEDC. “As a state, we’re excited to celebrate not only another record-breaking year for job creation, but also for small business growth in Indiana. Working hand-in-hand with the Indiana SBDC and Indiana PTAC networks, we’ll continue to strengthen Indiana’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and provide Hoosier innovators with the resources and expert counseling needed to help launch and grow their dream businesses.”

Along with leading Indiana’s economic development efforts, the IEDC, which recently celebrated a second-consecutive, record-breaking year for new job commitments, works to support entrepreneurs and small businesses through the Indiana SBDC and Indiana PTAC networks.

  • INDIANA SBDC: The Indiana SBDC offers a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs looking to start and grow a business, delivering no-cost, expert guidance and resources ranging from business planning and valuation to export assistance and market research. Through its network of 10 regional offices across the state, the Indiana SBDC assisted in 318 new business starts and registered 2,266 new clients – the highest annual totals in the organization’s history.

    Moreover, of the 318 new business starts, 41 percent are women owned, 19 percent are minority owned and 5 percent are veteran owned. Together in 2018, Indiana SBDC advisers helped entrepreneurs and small businesses create 1,265 new jobs (+20% from 2017) and generate $97.9 million of capital infusion (+9% from 2017). For every dollar spent on Indiana SBDC services, $21.88 was earned or returned in various forms of capital infusion to small businesses.

    In 2018, Heliponix, an Evansville-based agbioscience startup which developed and commercialized an indoor plant-growing system called a GroPod while its founders were at Purdue University, utilized the Southwest Indiana SBDC to prepare its business plan and financial projections along with a successful loan application through the Vectren Foundation loan program.

  • INDIANA PTAC: The Indiana PTAC helps Indiana businesses compete for and win federal, state and local contracts. With free, one-on-one counseling, resources and training across its five regional offices, Indiana PTAC counselors registered 382 new clients (+15% from 2017) and helped secure 3,078 government contracts – which is an 805 percent increase from 2017. As a result of the $86.3 million (174%+ from 2017) in government contracts awarded, Indiana businesses created 289 new Hoosier jobs (+36% from 2017).

    Together in 2018, 78 percent of the Indiana PTAC clients assisted were either women-owned, minority-owned, service-disabled veteran or veteran-owned businesses. For every dollar spent on the PTAC network, $110 was earned or returned in contract dollars awarded to small businesses.

    Pro Seal & Plastics, a Fort-Wayne based stocking distributor specializing in industrial sealing solutions, recently announced plans to invest $2.5 million to double the size of its facility in Allen County. The company is growing in part due to securing more than $500,000 in federal contracts in 2018, which were awarded with assistance from the Northeast Indiana PTAC. To fulfill the contracts, Pro Seal & Plastics has already added 12 new jobs and plans to expand further.

According to the Small Business Administration, more than 508,000 small businesses operate across Indiana, and together those companies support 1.2 million Hoosier jobs. Indiana ranks first in the Midwest and top 10 in the nation for entrepreneur friendliness (SBE Council 2018) and received an A grade for ease of starting a business (Thumbtack 2018).

About Indiana SBDC
The Indiana Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is hosted by the IEDC, which leads the state of Indiana’s economic development efforts, helping entrepreneurs launch, grow and locate businesses in the state. The Indiana SBDC provides entrepreneurs with expert guidance and resources on how to start and grow a business. With a network of 10 regional offices through the state, the Indiana SBDC creates a positive and measureable impact on the formation, growth and sustainability of Indiana’s small businesses.

The Indiana SBDC is funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. For more information about the Indiana SBDC, visit 

About Indiana PTAC
The Indiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), which is a part of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), works to generate employment and improve the general economic condition of the state by helping businesses identify opportunities, compete smarter and win government contracts. With five regional offices across the state, Indiana PTAC provides procurement technical assistance through counseling and education to help businesses sell products or services to local, state and federal government agencies.

The Indiana PTAC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the Defense Logistics Agency. For more information about the Indiana PTAC, visit

About IEDC
 The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) leads the state of Indiana’s economic development efforts, helping businesses launch, grow and locate in the state. Governed by a 15-member board chaired by Governor Eric J. Holcomb, the IEDC manages many initiatives, including performance-based tax credits, workforce training grants, innovation and entrepreneurship resources, public infrastructure assistance, and talent attraction and retention efforts. For more information about the IEDC, visit  

Hancock Economic Development Council is proud to serve the communities of Hancock County, Indiana.

Let us put our resources to work for you. Call us at 317.477.7241 or e-mail executive director Randy Sorrell today. Like Hancock EDC on Facebook to keep up with the latest information.

Celebration of Life for Nolan “Skip” Kuker set for January 9, 2019 in Greenfield

Nolan Skip KukerNolan E. “Skip” Kuker, Jr., age 55, formerly of Logansport, passed away at 9:59 a.m., on Sunday, January 6, 2019, in Hancock Regional Hospital in Greenfield, surrounded by his wife and two sisters.

Born in Fort Wayne on June 9, 1963, he was the son of Nolan E. Sr. and Constance ‘Connie’ M. Miller Kuker.

On August 31, 2002, in Logansport, he was married to Ellen M. Williams.

Skip graduated from Paul Harding High School in Fort Wayne, Vincennes University, Indiana State University and Indiana University, culminating with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration along with the coveted Certification in Economic Development from the IEDC.

Economic Development became his career choice and concluded as Executive Director for Hancock County, for almost six years. He worked with many companies bringing almost a billion dollars of new investment and over 3,200 new jobs during his tenure. Continue reading…