The more than 400-acre Mohr Logistics Park project in Whiteland is speeding ahead and expected to be mostly built out within the next year.
Mohr Capital, a Dallas, Texas based real estate development company, is investing about $350 million to build the 475-acre industrial park at the Whiteland Road exit of Interstate 65. Plans include to have up to 10 industrial buildings in the park along both sides of Graham Road just north of Whiteland Road.
Construction started back in 2020 on the first 966,000-square-foot building that was complete in 2021. It has been home to Cooper Tire and Rubber Co. for the past year.
Since then, one other building has finished construction in the park and the third is nearing completion, said Gary Horn, chief development officer at Mohr Capital. The complete building, referred to at Lot 9, is around 875,000 square feet at the northeast corner of Cooper Tire, closest to the interstate.
It already has a tenant, too. It will be leased to a leading east coast supply chain company, which is not yet ready to announce its new Whiteland location, Horn said.
The building north of that, referred to as Lot 6, is one of the largest buildings in the park at just over 1 million square feet. The walls are going up on that building, and the roof is set to go on soon, Horn said. That building should be finished by Sept. 1. It already has a tenant contracted to lease out half the space, but that tenant is also not ready to announce its new location, he said.
Construction is underway for the five remaining buildings in the park, which include another 845,000-square-foot building and two smaller buildings on the east side of Graham Road. Three buildings on the west side of Graham Road are also planned as part of Mohr’s phase two, which was platted in April this year.
“We’re building them out stair-stepped up along 65, and then we go across Graham Road,” Horn said.
For the building directly north of Lot 6 on the east end of the park, it is 845,000-square-feet, and the foundation is set and walls are ready to go up in the next month. Earth work is being done on the rest with foundation starting soon, Horn said.
The timeline is to have everything built out within the next year, he said.
“Right now, we’ve got seven buildings going up in the park that will be delivered within the next 12 months,” Horn said.
Mohr’s original goal was to be done by 2024, with the park expected to be fully operational by 2025. Horn said they are moving along right on schedule.
The developer has faced delays with weather and getting supplies, such as steel and roofing materials, as any development company does, Horn said. But those issues were resolved, and did not delay the overall timeline.
He said the company has been “bullish” at making sure it has enough building materials in advance before construction starts on each building.
For the entire park, Mohr received a 10-year real property tax abatement when the project was approved in 2020. During the course of the 10-year period, Mohr will pay an estimated $17.1 million in taxes to the town , and $14.5 million will be abated.
Cooper Tire, as a company, also received a 10-year real property tax abatement of $5.3 million for its building in 2020. It, along with Mohr, also got a short two-year personal property tax abatement of over $400,000 from the town to recoup costs Cooper Tire and Mohr incurred to make infrastructure improvements for the town.
At the time this method was, in Mohr’s eyes, the best way for the town of Whiteland to reimburse the companies for $340,000 in infrastructure improvements made to the roads, parking areas, ponds and landscaping in the area by the Cooper Tire building.
Mohr Capital does not plan on asking the town for more tax breaks as the park is built out, Horn said. Individual tenants likely will ask for abatements when they move in, however, but that is up to them. The unnamed supply chain tenant in the complete building at Lot 9 is planning to ask the town for an abatement, he said.
Homeowners around the park still remain concerned about the development, and they have been vocal since plans were first approved for the massive development in summer of 2020.
Mohr has worked with the landowners on their concerns and worked with them in setting up berms to hide the development and building retention ponds for drainage. Horn thinks the public is starting to come around to the development, he said.
“I think they’ve seen the product and like it,” Horn said. “You know, the town has granted other industrial going on in the area. So I think, it kind of fits in with what the town wanted.”