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Is Cummins coming to Greenwood? It's complicated

New deal gives company leeway
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Posted at 8:37 PM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 20:57:23-05

GREENWOOD — In May of 2019, everything seemed to be in place.

Columbus-based Cummins announced plans for a new office building in Greenwood to serve as a hub for digital and information technology employees. An estimated 600 people would work there, many of them moving from other Cummins facilities.

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Then the pandemic struck. Cummins lost business, some of which has come back, but the company needs more time to decide if its really needs the Greenwood hub planned near Interstate 65 and County Line Road.

The company got the 31 acres from the City of Greenwood for just $10 and the city is anxious to see the land developed. So, a deal has been worked out, one that was approved Thursday by the Greenwood Redevelopment Commission.

Cummins is buying the land for $4.5 million and will control it for as long as five years—enough time to decide if it wants to build there.

“This is a significant accomplishment given the circumstances created by this unprecedented pandemic,” said Greenwood Mayor Mark W. Myers. “Cummins has been a great partner throughout this process, and we appreciate the productive collaboration. This agreement provides a structure for Cummins to retain the potential to develop while allowing the city to recoup expenses and move forward with redevelopment of the surrounding property.”

In a statement, Cummins said it needed more time to figure out the best use of the property, given challenges related to COVID-19, industry changes, and the trend toward remote working arrangements.

“We are thrilled to secure the property and want to extend our gratitude to the city and the Redevelopment Commission in this effort,” said Lawrence McCormack, Director, State Government Relations, Cummins Inc. “Cummins shares the city of Greenwood’s vision for this area, and we are continuing to evaluate uses that will ultimately contribute to development that is beneficial to the city and surrounding areas for the long term.”

Meanwhile, Greenwood will look for development projects on the land next to the Cummins property. And if Cummins decides not to build, the city can buy back the 31 acres.

“Similar to the RDC’s purchase of the former Greenwood Middle School property, this was a rare opportunity for Greenwood to take control of its own destiny,” said Myers. “While we had hoped for Cummins to serve as an immediate anchor, our decision to purchase all of the land was clearly the right one."

"Previous attempts to parcel individual pieces of the property for development impeded successful outcomes. Once fully matured, the tax revenue generated from the entire property will allow our citizens to continue benefitting from economic growth while also enjoying Indiana’s fourth lowest tax rate." said the mayor.