INDIANAPOLIS—Few cities in the US have seen moreexpansion in their distribution sector thanIndianapolis. And the Ford Motor Co. has becomethe latest to take advantage of this metro area's strategiclocation and set of modern facilities. The OpusGroup has just gotten a contract to complete a set ofimprovements to a portion of Airwest Building 9, at thePlainfield Business Center in suburban Plainfield,which the car company will occupy this August.

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“Plainfield Business Center is in a prime location and offersideal space for an automotive manufacturer,” ManishGandhi, director of project management of OpusDesign Build, LLC, tells GlobeSt.com. Located north ofI-70 and near the Indianapolis InternationalAirport, Ford will use its new 280,000 space as adistribution center for automotive parts. Opus will add newshipping and receiving capabilities, build office space, andupgrade electrical systems, lighting and ventilation.

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Opus has been one of the more active developers in the region.It developed the 482,308-square-foot Airwest 9 and recentlylaunched Airwest 12 and Airwest 13, two speculative warehouses witha total of 924,530-square-feet. Each will have 36' clear ceilingheights, T5 lighting and 45 to 48 docking spaces.

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By this March, developers in Indianapolis had 11 buildings,which will total about 6.5-million-square-feet, either underconstruction or in the planning stages, according toJLL. And the average vacancy rate for bulkdistribution space throughout the Indianapolis market was 6.1% atthe end of 2013.

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Opus companies have developed 13 industrial buildings in thePlainfield Business Center as well as two additional build-to-suitindustrial projects in the Indianapolis market totaling6.8-million-square-feet. The firm will complete that project inspring 2014.

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“We've got some active prospects and have had a number ofshowings,” says Gandhi. “We're seeing a lot of general distributionactivity.”

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Brian J. Rogal

Brian J. Rogal is a Chicago-based freelance writer with years of experience as an investigative reporter and editor, most notably at The Chicago Reporter, where he concentrated on housing issues. He also has written extensively on alternative energy and the payments card industry for national trade publications.