Saturday, January 19, 2013

Yet another business leaves Fishers

Yet another in a recent string of businesses leaving Fishers has been announced.  Keihin North America has announced that it is leaving the Crosspoint Office Park in Fishers and relocating its headquarters to Anderson. Their corporate announcement is here:

The Fishers Town Manager and Town Council's major recent initiative has been the "downtown" redevelopment, which features the somewhat controversial idea of placing apartments and retail shops in the green space in front of Town Hall.

It seems to have escaped their attention that "economic development" means moving businesses and jobs INTO Fishers, not out.  Economic development is something the Town has sorely lacked, leading it to have only about one-third the assessed property value of neighboring Carmel.  Further, the new downtown would not add to the tax base in any meaningful way, as it would be supported by bonds paid for by a new TIF (tax increment financing), which dedicates the increased property tax revenue of the area into paying off the bonds, not to the general public treasury.  

Perhaps the Town administration should work on filling in the considerable amount of vacant space for business development by attracting businesses to USA Parkway and the Exit 5 Office Park.  These areas are in the geographic heart of Fishers, with interstate access.  Since business property pays three times the property tax rate of residential property, that seems the best way to grow the tax base and create jobs in Fishers.  

Whether or not the recent election of new leadership on the Town Council will change this direction in a positive way has yet to be seen.  Time will tell, and doubtless will have an impact on the 2015 election for the first Mayor of Fishers.