VanTrust begins construction on Innovation II in New Albany business park

Gary Seman Jr.
ThisWeek group

Shovels went into the ground for construction of Innovation II, a second spec building to be constructed by VanTrust Real Estate LLC, but the facility already is 100% leased. 

The 234,000-square-foot building in the New Albany International Business Park is expected to be completed in December. 

This is a rendering of VanTrust Real Estate LLC's Innovation I building in the New Albany International Business Park. The company broke ground on Innovation II, which will be similar in size and appearance to the first building.

“It’s a big win,” said Phil Rasey, company vice president of development. “We’re very happy with the activity out there.” 

The tenant for Innovation II is Rieke, part of TriMas Packaging group, a designer and manufacturer of highly engineered closure and dispensing systems for both boutique manufacturers and other brands in the consumer-packaging and industrial-end markets. 

The new building will be about 10 feet away from Innovation I, a 253,000-square-foot building that also has reached its leasing capacity with two tenants – Voyant Beauty and a leading manufacturer who wished to remain unnamed, said Rasey, who would not disclose the cost of the investment. 

“We saw a really good development opportunity there,” he said of the New Albany International Business Park. “We didn’t build them at the same time just so they could compete with each other.”

VanTrust received a 15-year, 100% abatement for both projects.

The developer has to generate a minimum of $1.18 per square foot annually in income tax revenue to receive the property tax abatement, said Scott McAfee, spokesman for the city of New Albany.

The abatement is only on the building, so the developer will still pay property taxes for the land, McAfee said.

VanTrust also must pay the schools, city and other taxing districts for the abatement: $1.8 million to New Albany-Plain Local Schools, $1.8 million to the city’s general fund, $1.55 million to the infrastructure fund, $600,000 to the tax-increment financing fund and roughly $1 million to the Community Authority East fund, McAfee said.

Innovation II adds to VanTrust’s presence in the industrial park. In 2019, the company opened Northeast 302, a 302,000-square-foot building just east of the beauty park. It has been leased to Hims & Hers Health Inc., a personal-wellness company. 

VanTrust has other properties central Ohio, such as the Pointe at Polaris, with 85,000 square feet – or 50% occupied – in the second phase of that project, Rasey said. 

Rasey said VanTrust is looking for additional opportunities in the New Albany International Business Park. 

City Manager Joe Stefanov said the business park has proven to be a successful recruiting model. 

“Our strategic planning efforts and infrastructure investment have allowed us to respond proactively to different-sized companies in the speculative manufacturing market,” Stefanov said. “We are simultaneously meeting their needs and creating manufacturing jobs for New Albany and central Ohio workers.” 

gseman@thisweeknews.com 

@ThisWeekGary