Elkhart in competition for development project

Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 5:46 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Project Whinnie on Thursday won the unanimous approval of the Elkhart County Plan Commission.

Project Whinnie calls for the construction of a five-story high tech distribution center north of the toll road between County Roads 17 and 15.

The name of the company behind the $200-milllion plus project is not being released at this time.

Elkhart County is competing with Grand Rapids to land the project.

A previous version of this story reads:

To the winner, goes Project Whinnie.

Elkhart County is in competition for an economic development investment of up to $250 million.

By October first, we should know if the distribution facility project—code named Whinnie—will be in Elkhart County or in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Project Whinnie calls for the construction of a five-story building with some four million square feet of space that would serve as a regional distribution facility with high tech robots.

The project price tag is pegged between $200 and $250 million, and it will create as many as 1,800 jobs in distribution, management, and maintenance.

The company behind the project remains un-named for now.

“Since this is in competition, there’s limited information we can tell about the merits of the company until the agreements are like finalized and so forth and then some sort of announcement that will come at that point,” said Elkhart County Planning and Development Director Chris Godlewski.

The Elkhart County site lies north of the Indiana Toll Road near its intersection with Count Road 17. “It’s undeveloped at the moment. A new road has to be designed then constructed which will happen next year, and city utilities from the City of Elkhart will be run out there.”

Local government is being asked to commit some $15 million in road and utility work.

The project goes before the county plan commission this week and before the count council and commissioners in September.

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