HANCOCK COUNTY — Walmart announced Thursday that it has finalized plans to establish its largest e-commerce fulfillment center in the United States near Mt. Comfort.

The company, which has been reported to be behind considerations for the project for months, plans to build a 2.2-million square foot facility near the southwest corner of County Roads 500N and 500W. The site is north of Indianapolis Regional Airport and abuts McCordsville’s southern border. Walmart said in a news release from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation Thursday that the facility will create up to 1,000 jobs by the end of 2025.

According to real estate transfers recently recorded in the Hancock County Recorder’s Office, Walmart Fulfillment Services LLC bought more than 200 acres for the site for more than $9.8 million from Century Soil LP and Brock Farms Inc.

Walmart, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, will invest about $600 million to construct and equip the facility.

The facility will allow the company to expand e-commerce operations for its own online inventory and third-party fulfillment for vendors who hire Walmart to store, pack and ship items. Construction is slated to begin this month and the company expects to start operations in fall 2022 before reaching full operational capacity by spring 2024.

“We’re pleased to work with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation on this project and appreciate their support to help bring new development and jobs to central Indiana, which is a key market for Walmart,” said Steve Miller, Walmart senior vice president, fulfillment operations, in the news release. “We look forward to utilizing this fulfillment center to help meet increasing online shopping demands and ultimately serve our customers.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Walmart Fulfillment Services LLC up to $1.25 million in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans and up to $4.75 million in conditional tax credits from the Hoosier Business Investment tax credit program based on the company’s planned capital investment in Indiana, according to the news release. The tax credits are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim incentives once workers are hired and investments are made.

This summer, the Hancock County Council approved tax abatements for Walmart’s planned investments of $150 million in real estate and $456 million in personal property equipment. The county is committing to road improvements in the area as well. Duke Energy has also offered additional incentives, according to the news release.

“This is a major win for Hancock County and we’re very fortunate that the world’s largest retailer looked at Hancock County and said this is where we want to build our next-generation, state-of-the-art distribution center,” Randy Sorrell, executive director of the Hancock Economic Development Council, told the Daily Reporter. “That speaks well for the community, our leadership and the fact that we are a very business-friendly community.”

Bill Bolander, Hancock County Council president, agreed.

“We are very, very pleased that Walmart has found Hancock County, and the Mt. Comfort Road Corridor in particular, to be ideal for their operations,” he said in the release. “Both Hancock County and the Hancock Economic Development Council will continue to work with Walmart to ensure a smooth and successful launch and continuing operation of their facility with regard to workforce, infrastructure and overall economic development improvements within the county.”

Those representing Hancock County in the Indiana House of Representatives expressed their compliments as well Thursday.

“Time and time again, Indiana proves to be an attractive place for employers to establish and expand their operations,” State Rep. Bob Cherry, R-Greenfield, said in a statement. “This project and the 2.2-million square foot facility employing Hoosiers has the potential to be transformative for our area while boosting our local and state economy.”

State Rep. Chris Jeter, R-Fishers, shared that sentiment.

“As more and more consumers choose to buy products online, e-commerce is a rapidly growing industry, and I am thrilled our area was selected,” Jeter said in a statement.

See the original article here: http://www.greenfieldreporter.com/2020/09/25/walmart_finalizes_plans_for_hancock_county_facility/