Another big company eyes New Carlisle for $11 billion development

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -- Another big company has its eyes set on St. Joseph County for new development.

As ABC57 reported Tuesday, this project is still in the early stages and the county still hasn't named the company considering Michiana, but work is already getting started.

Even though county officials say they've been in talks with this company since November, it's still not a done deal. 

However, if built, it has the potential to be the largest private development that the state of Indiana has ever seen.

"This kind of all just started over night," says Dan Caruso, a New Carlisle resident.

Over the past several weeks, Caruso has been keeping an eye on the crew moving dirt off Larrison Road while on his way home every day, wondering what the next big project is. 

"The project has been announced in the paperwork at $11 billion, which would make it the biggest project in the history of the state of Indiana," says the Economic Development Director for St. Joseph County, Bill Schalliol.

The unnamed international company going by Razor5 for now is looking at developing two sites in New Carlisle into a multi-building campus staffed with more than 400 full-time positions. 

The two sites will sandwich the General Motors Electric Vehicle Battery Plant under construction, and crews have already begun earthwork on the north site which Razor5 already owns. 

"It's land and power and water and the ability to get to technology," Schalliol explains. "We're right on the quantum fiber corridor that connects the west coast and the east coast, so a lot of reasons why we're very attractive as a site." 

For Caruso, who was already worried about having an electric vehicle battery plant down the street from his home, he worries about the resources this new project will strip from the area. 

"Number one, the water usage, the draw on the aquifer that's going to happen which I understand the type of operation which we hear is coming in here uses a lot of water, and whether we can support that," explains Caruso.

He also says it's upsetting to see once rich farmland turned into another development, but he also knows it's needed for a thriving economy. 

"It seems we're just not putting much value in what we have here, and letting people take what they want," Caruso says.

"This will really put us on the map," says Schalliol.

In two weeks, the county council will have a first reading on tax abatements for the project. 

By June 11, Schalliol hopes the project will get final approval. 

Between now and then he says more information should be available on who the company is and what kind of project it is. 

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