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SHELBYVILLE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Pennsylvania-based Penske Logistics LLC says a change in operation of a Kroger warehouse facility in Shelbyville will affect more than 500 employees. In a notice to the state, the company says Kroger, which owns the building, will take over operation of the facility in September.

Penske says it has performed warehousing services for Kroger at the 600,000-square-foot facility, located at 4301 N 125 W in Shelbyville, since 2013.

Penske currently employs 517 workers at the facility. The company says those employees will be permanently laid off, however there will be opportunities for continued employment with Kroger.

“Kroger and Penske will work together to communicate a transition plan and direction on applying for employment with Kroger,” Penske said in the WARN Notice. “Penske has been honored to provide service at this facility on behalf of Kroger, and will work diligently to ensure a smooth transition of the operation to Kroger as it takes over operation of the facility.”

Penske says many of the affected employees are represented by the Teamsters Local 135.

The transition of operations to Kroger will be effective September 11.

SHELBYVILLE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A site in Shelby County is one of four selected for waste heat to power (WHP) projects being developed by Kansas-based Tallgrass Energy and Houston-based Kanin Energy. The developers say when complete, the Indiana project will create enough emission-free energy to power more than 8,500 homes annually.

Kanin Energy says the WHP projects will capture heat that is a byproduct of industrial processes and converts the heat into electricity with no additional fuels.

The energy created through the WHP process is described as 24/7 carbon-free energy because it does not create emissions and offsets the need to generate additional electricity.

Janice Tran, chief executive officer of Kanin Energy, says 24/7 carbon-free energy is the next frontier of sustainability.

“We’re excited to be working with Tallgrass to develop these waste heat to power projects,” Tran said in written remarks. “We are focused on our proprietary waste heat to power projects because they provide baseload power from heat in industrial processes that would otherwise not be used and to create something valuable – clean energy. This is a great opportunity to help the industrial sector quickly meet their decarbonization goals.”

The site near Shelbyville is being developed along with two near Dayton, Ohio and one near Columbus, Ohio. Details of the financial investment in the projects are not being disclosed.

A spokesperson for Kanin tells Inside INdiana Business the locations were selected based on the available waste heat from existing natural gas compression assets on the Rockies Express Pipeline, which Tallgrass operates.

All together, Kanin and Tallgrass say the projects will generate a combined 48 megawatt hours of energy, enough to provide power to 38,000 households.

Construction on the projects is expected to begin in 2023.

SHELBY COUNTY, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A Shelby County farm that has been in existence since the 1850s has received the 2021 John Arnold Award for Rural Preservation by Indiana Landmarks and Indiana Farm Bureau. Owners Kris Meltzer and Karen Meltzer-Armstrong have incorporated the farm’s historic buildings into modern farming operations. The family will be presented with the honor next week during the Indiana State Fair.

“The commitment generations of the family have demonstrated to preserving and maintaining the farm’s heritage is extraordinary,” said Tommy Kleckner, director of Indiana Landmarks’ western regional office.

Indiana Landmarks says the 19th century frame barn still houses farm equipment, hay and straw. A log barn on the farm stores grain. The farmstead also includes an original farmhouse, a log cabin, and a one-room brick schoolhouse.

“The award committee was deeply impressed by the unique and diverse collection of historic agricultural buildings still in use at the Meltzer Farm,” said Kleckner.

Indiana Landmarks says Frederick Meltzer moved from Germany to Shelby County and purchased the homestead in 1857. It’s been farmed continuously by the family ever since.

PLEASANT VIEW, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Philadelphia-based Five Below Inc. (Nasdaq: FIVE) has made official its plans to open a new distribution center in Shelby County.

The specialty discount retailer says it will invest more than $100 million to build the 1-million-square-foot facility, which will be known as Ship Center Indiana, near the Marion-Shelby county line and create more than 470 jobs by the end of 2025. The company joined Gov. Eric Holcomb Wednesday morning for a ceremonial groundbreaking at the 100-acre site, which is located along the I-74 corridor.

Plans for the facility were first detailed last month through documents filed with the county. Five Below says the project will support its continued growth and expansion in the Midwest.

“Five Below strives to offer the best products, at an unbeatable value, to more customers every single day,” Five Below Chief Executive Officer Joel Anderson said in a news release. “This can be achieved with continued distribution expansion. Ship Center Indiana is going to be an incredible facility filled with state-of-the-art technology, and great for boosting the local economy by creating jobs.”

The company currently employs more than 900 workers at its existing distribution centers in Georgia, New Jersey, Mississippi and Texas, and says it will begin hiring at the Shelby County facility in 2022. According to county documents, the new jobs would come with an annual payroll of $17.4 million.

The new distribution center is expected to be operational in the summer of 2022.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered Five Below up to $2.8 million in conditional tax credits, which the company will not be eligible to claim until Hoosier workers are hired for the new jobs. The IEDC also plans to offer up to $1 million to the local community through the Industrial Development Grant Fund to support infrastructure improvements.

Shelby County has approved additional incentives for the project as well.

The facility’s address will be 12050 S McGregor Road.

SHELBY COUNTY, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Philadelphia-based Five Below Inc. (Nasdaq: FIVE) is looking to build a major distribution facility in Shelby County. According to documents filed with the county, the specialty discount store chain plans to invest approximately $100 million to construct the nearly 860,000-square-foot facility and create up to 470 jobs.

The facility is planned for a 100-acre site, according to the documents. The company says the new jobs would come with an annual payroll of $17.4 million.

Five Below plans to invest $55 million to build the facility, plus another $40 million for logistical distribution and information technology equipment. The Shelby County Council has approved a 10-year tax abatement for the facility’s construction and operation, as well as a five-year abatement for the equipment.

The county documents say construction on the facility could begin this month and be complete by April of next year. Installation of the equipment is expected to continue through 2023.

Five Below has 26 locations throughout Indiana, including 10 in central Indiana.

SHELBYVILLE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – Girls Inc. of Shelbyville & Shelby County is being honored with the Outstanding Affiliate of the Year award by its parent organization, New York-based Girls Inc. The organization was one of three affiliates selected for the award, which was presented during the Girls Inc. 2020 Virtual Annual Conference.

Girls Inc. says the award is given to organizations that meet an extensive list of criteria. Award winners are honored for their business practices and revenue growth, the strength of their board involvement as well as their participation in Strong, Smart and Bold Outcomes Measurement and their “generosity and willingness to act on behalf of the good of the whole network.”

“This award is such an honor, and I thank the National organization for recognizing our efforts,” said Amy Dillon, president of Girls Inc. of Shelbyville & Shelby County. “I could not be more proud of the Girls Inc. of Shelbyville & Shelby County Board or Directors, staff, and girls, and this is an amazing way for them to be recognized. I am honored to be a part of such a wonderful, change-making organization, and I feel very blessed to have the support of our community and a support network that allows us to do something so impactful for our girls.”

Girls Inc. of Shelbyville & Shelby County serves about 3,300 girls each year through its after school programs, summer camp, gymnastics and school-based programs. The organization says it has expanded its services to include residents of Decatur and Rush counties.

“This year’s recognized affiliates had many individual achievements that made them worthy of being called outstanding,” said Dr. Stephanie Hull, president of Girls Inc. “Girls Inc. of Shelbyville & Shelby County demonstrated excellence in strengthening and expanding their services to support the unique, ever-changing needs of girls. They are also committed to the use of data to improve outcomes and results for girls.”

Girls Inc. says it has 78 affiliates around the U.S. and Canada.

SHELBYVILLE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The Central Indiana Land Trust has purchased an agricultural field adjacent to the Meltzer Woods Nature Preserve in Shelbyville with a plan to plant more than 20,000 trees. CILTI says the $260,000 purchase was made through the organization’s Evergreen Fund for Nature and Land Trust members. A portion of the funding also came from American Electric Power under a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, eight states and 13 citizen groups. 

“By converting the agricultural land to forest, we’ll allow species in the old-growth ecosystem to expand their territory over time and magnify this venerable site,” said Cliff Chapman, executive director of CILTI. 

CILTI says the 60-acre preserve has been left undisturbed for more than a century. The 35-acre addition to the preserve will add to the preservation of trees in the area, which was recognized in 1969 by Purdue ecologist Alton Lindsey’s book Natural Areas in Indiana and their Preservation. The preserve was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1974 and includes oak and hickory trees estimated at more than 300 years old.

SHELBYVILLE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The city of Shelbyville is upping the ante on providing assistance for small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The city says it is adding $50,000 to the $250,000 in CARES Act funding it recently received from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.

The funding, according to the city, will be distributed to businesses with fewer than 100 employees. Mayor Tom DeBaun says the additional funding is being administered with the help of several nonprofits, including Mainstreet Shelbyville, the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, the Blue River Community Foundation, and the Shelby County Development Corp.

“Shelbyville has a proud history of cooperation,” DeBaun said in a news release. “Our partnerships with the state and the nonprofits in our community will help keep Shelbyville residents working.”

The city says it plans to continue applying for future rounds of CARES Act funding.

SHELBYVILLE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Japan-based Sumitomo Corp. has acquired a minority interest in Kimura Foundry America Inc., which operates a manufacturing facility in Shelbyville. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, however Sumitomo says it plans to work with Kimura’s parent company to expand the business in the U.S. and beyond.

KFA is a subsidiary of Kimura Foundry Co. Ltd., also based in Japan. The company uses 3D printing technology to manufacture prototype casting for a variety of industries, including automotive, agricultural, and gas and oil.

Sumitomo says its investment in KFA continues a longstanding partnership with Kimura Foundry, which has included the overseas sales of castings made by the company. 

“Through investment in KFA, Sumitomo Corporation is aiming to generate synergy effects between the business and the Sumitomo Corporation Group’s business such as auto parts manufacturing, while making effective use of its overseas customer network to expand the prototype casting business across the fields of construction and agricultural machinery, industrial equipment, and others,” the company said in a news release.

Kimura Foundry will retain the remaining 65% interest in KFA. The company did not state whether any new jobs would come as a result of the investment.

Kimura Foundry broke ground on the 35,000-square-foot facility in Shelbyville in 2017. The facility opened nearly a year later.

SHELBY AND JOHNSON COUNTIES, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – The Central Indiana Land Trust Inc. was awarded a $600,000 grant from American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), parent of Fort Wayne-based Indiana Michigan Power. The trust says the funds will enable it to purchase and protect the 60-acre Meltzer Woods Preserve in Shelby County and Johnson County’s Hills of Gold Conservation Area.

The funds come from AEP under a legal settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, eight states and 13 citizen groups.

“These funds will allow us to protect more of Indiana’s natural heritage in areas that have unparalleled biodiversity and significance,” said Cliff Chapman, executive director of CILTI. “We’re delighted to have this opportunity to make these areas available for study and enjoyment forever.”

The settlement included an agreement by AEP to invest $3.5 million to improve air quality and to reduce pollution in Indiana through various projects.

The AEP settlement funds are being overseen by a committee that includes Citizens Action Coalition, Clean Air Council and Indiana Wildlife Federation.

Earlier this month, IIB reported the Indiana State Department of Agriculture’s conservation program was the recipient of a $500,000 grant from AEP under a legal settlement.