JEFFERSONVILLE – River Ridge Commerce Center is nearing a new stage of development, striking a deal with an experienced firm to help build and market a new office campus that is expected to attract higher-paying jobs to the Southern Indiana and Louisville region, according to a River Ridge news release.
During its regular, monthly meeting, the River Ridge Development Authority approved a master-development agreement with Hollenbach-Oakley LLC that would allow the firm to create one of the area’s largest office campuses, and it will be located inside River Ridge.
The agreement — effective Jan. 1 — gives Hollenbach-Oakley the exclusive right to develop up to 600 acres at River Ridge, near the entrance off State Road 265 near the new, Lewis and Clark Bridge across the Ohio River. The development would be completed in two phases — the first developing 300 acres as the River Ridge Gateway Office Campus. The remaining 300 acres would be developed as the River Ridge Research Campus.
“This is a real game-changer for River Ridge,” Jerry Acy, executive director of the River Ridge Development Authority, stated in the releease. “To date, most of the development at the center has been logistics, manufacturing and warehousing jobs. We love the firms that are here, but the office and research park will be the perfect complement and draw a different type of employer to River Ridge.”
Hollenbach-Oakley has a successful track record as a commercial real estate developer. Notably, the company planned and developed Blankenbaker Station in East Louisville and is the master developer of Oldham Reserve in La Grange.
River Ridge is currently home to more than 50 businesses. A 2017 economic impact study found that businesses at River Ridge have generated more than $36 million in local income taxes since 2006. Local governments received more than $5.3 million in local income taxes last year, and will receive an estimated $5.8 million in 2018.
In addition, River Ridge businesses generated more than $27 million in state income and sales taxes last year and are set to top $30 million in 2018.
“We’re excited to bring our expertise and background to such an exciting project,” John Hollenbach, managing partner of Hollenbach-Oakley, stated. “The location and amenity package presented by River Ridge means we will be able to develop true Class A office facilities and attract top employers.”
The office campus will remain part of River Ridge Commerce Center, and River Ridge Development Authority will continue to develop significant pieces of infrastructure, such as roads, sidewalks and gutters. But Hollenbach-Oakley will develop office buildings, handle the day-to-day marketing, sales and leasing efforts and maintain campus infrastructure.
One of the firm’s first tasks will be to present proposals for a building that will house the River Ridge Development Authority Offices, community event space, and office areas for lease as well.