JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. – River Ridge Commerce Center continued to serve as an economic driver of local employment and investments in 2018 for the Louisville/Southern Indiana region, despite sluggish land sales compared with the previous year. Those were among the key findings detailed in the center’s 2018 Economic Impact Analysis, conducted by Policy Analytics.
The report was presented during the monthly board meeting of the River Ridge Development Authority.
Overall, River Ridge helped create or sustain more than 16,000 regional jobs, which equates to an estimated $2.3 billion in annual economic output. Those numbers were up from 13,000 jobs and $2.0 billion in economic output in 2017, according to the report.
Meanwhile, River Ridge businesses generated $39.4 million in tax revenue for state and local governments, compared with about $32.6 million in state and local tax revenue in 2017. Preliminary estimates show that state and local tax receipts collected from River Ridge businesses will surpass $40 million in 2019, comprising state sales taxes as well as state and local income taxes.
“This report reinforces what we’ve known for several years, that River Ridge is going to be a focal point for regional growth for years to come,” said River Ridge Executive Director Jerry Acy. “The investments being made here pay huge dividends to our community partners, the state of Indiana and throughout the region.”
The report also noted that sales of land by the RRDA to private developers slowed in 2018. According to the report, River Ridge collected $3.3 million in revenue in 2018 from sales of land – a substantial decline from $11.6 million in land sales collected in 2017. Overall, revenue for the RRDA declined to $12 million from $19.8 million in 2017.
Historically, land sales have been the greatest source of revenue for RRDA, and the Authority reinvests proceeds to demolish old structures and develop infrastructure such as roads, sewer and water lines and lighting required to fully develop its 6,000 acres to meet the needs of major employers. However, in 2018, the largest source of revenue for the RRDA was the incremental property tax income collected from property developed at the former Indiana Army Ammunition Plant.
Among the key highlights from the report were:
- RRDA invested more than $13.2 million in 2018 in new capital infrastructure, including utilities, sidewalks and more than 3,000 linear feet of new roads.
- Private development activity added more than 2.0 million in usable square footage to the footprint of the Commerce Center, including a new 1.2 million-square-foot logistics center operated by medical supply distributor Medline and a 469,000-square-foot building was constructed by Niagara Bottling.
- River Ridge comprises more than 50 companies operating onsite and more than 13 million square feet of commercial and industrial space, including 6.4 million square feet added since 2015.
- River Ridge generated substantial tax revenue for state and local governments in 2018
- $6.4 million in local income tax
- $16 million in state income tax
- $17 million in state sales tax
- The first, major Class A office building was completed at River Ridge in 2018 by America Place. The 40,000-square-foot office, designed internationally renowned architect Kulapat Yantrasast, serves as the company’s headquarters.
- RRDA entered into a long-term master development agreement with local firm Hollenbach-Oakley to develop up to 300 acres of commercial and office space within the Gateway district off of the new SR 265 interchange.
“Our land sales were down last year, which affects our ability to reinvest and prepare land for future sales,” Acy said. “But 2018 was still a great year and one of the busiest years we’ve had for construction activity and job creation – work that will pay dividends for decades to come. Based on current activities, we anticipate a sufficient increase in land sales in 2019 as private developers and companies continue to grow at River Ridge.”