The massive industrial building in Whiteland torn apart by a tornado can be salvaged, the logistics park’s owner says.
Mohr Capital, owner of Mohr Logistics Park in Whiteland, plans to salvage what is left of the Lot 6 building in the park, and rebuild it by the end of the year, said Gary Horn, chief development officer.
“After extensive evaluations by numerous vendors, we will be able to salvage the slab and rebuild. This saves us months of demo time and significant expense,” Horn said.
The March 31 tornado left a path of destruction through some neighborhoods along the south side of Whiteland Road before crossing over to the north, where its path went through Mohr Logistics Park and across Interstate 65.
It tore through an over one million square-foot building, splitting it right through the middle. The walls and ceilings of the east side of the building collapsed in on itself like a broken cardboard box, with the metal siding all twisted up in piles of rubble. Pieces of the building flew and landed all over I-65 going both directions.
As everyone affected in the town of Whiteland works to rebuild, Mohr Capital is doing the same. Crews have been working to clean up debris, and construction work is already underway rebuilding.
Labeled as “Lot 6” on Mohr’s master plan, that building had just finished construction this spring before the tornado and already had one tenant signed on to lease half of the building.
Cleanup at the industrial park has not been without a few problems, including two fires in the debris of the destroyed building.
One small fire broke out in the debris on April 13, and fire crews from around the county responded quickly and had it out quickly. Another, slightly larger, fire broke out in the debris again on May 8. Seven fire departments responded to that fire, and had it under control in 45 minutes, the Whiteland Fire Department said. Both fires emitted a black smoke that several residents in Whiteland reported seeing in town.
Horn said salvage fires can be common when doing demolition work that causes sparks. The May 8 fire was specifically caused by some back-up batteries in the lighting systems, he said.
“It was well managed and out quickly,” Horn said. “Additional safety measures are being employed to try and prevent future issues.”
Mohr Capital bought the 475-acre land for the logistics park in Whiteland back in 2020, with plans to build 10 industrial buildings between Whiteland and Tracy roads. The company is investing over $350 million into the park, and has $14.5 million in tax abatements from the town of Whiteland.
Horn has said plans are still on track to finish the park build-out this year, even with the tornado damage to Lot 6.
The dollar cost of the damage and rebuilding are still to be determined as Mohr continues to gather estimates, Horn said.