Meyer NajemThe Meyer Najem Corporation is coming to downtown Fishers through a public-private partnership that will redevelop a vacant parcel near the railroad tracks.

The construction firm plans to establish a two-story, 40,000-square-foot facility on 1.72 acres of town-owned land off Maple Street. The company expects to invest $5.5 million in the facility and take up occupancy in late 2014.

Fishers Town Council President John Weingardt described the company as an important piece of the community, in a recent release announcing the agreement.

“Meyer Najem is one of the Midwest’s leading construction firms,” said Weingardt. “Their expansion in downtown Fishers and construction of a new building show not only a strong commitment to our community, but a desire to be part of Fishers’ downtown revitalization.”

Currently located at 13099 Parkside Drive in Fishers, Meyer Najem has operated locally since 1987. In a release, company President Tim Russell said they’re happy to stay and grow in Fishers.

“Meyer Najem is very pleased to continue our growth as a member of the Fishers business community,” said Russell. “We have seen and experienced the benefit of the business-friendly environment here, which has been important to the success of our firm over the last 15 years.”

Town Assistant Director of Redevelopment Shelby Bowen listed several community benefits to the agreement, which was approved by the town council, the Fishers Redevelopment Commission and the Fishers Economic Development Commission on Dec. 2.

Bowen described the town-owned parcel as a triangle of land between Maple Street, Lantern Road and the railroad tracks. He said the facility would go at the southern end of the parcel and would require demolition of a small vacant building on the property.

Under the deal, Fishers would also contribute $1.4 million in bond proceeds, but Bowen said that additional tax revenue from the developed property would offset any debt service cost.

In return, the Fishers Redevelopment Commission will have a master’s lease on the entire second floor of the building. Bowen said that will give the commission up to 17,500 square feet available for sublease to high-growth, high-potential companies.

“We’re excited about that because we get a lot of calls from people who are looking for space,” he said. “We kind of see that as a tool to incentivize people to bring their business down to Fishers.”

“The rate is below market, so we’re not only getting a great rate, but we have the flexibility to put some municipal offices there as well,” continued Bowen.

From an economic development standpoint, Meyer Najem has 71 employees, with average salaries of $81,000, according to Bowen. He said the downtown will benefit from having those employees as part of the community, adding that the discussions got started when local officials heard the company’s lease was up and that Meyer Najem was considering relocation.

“When we found out they were looking elsewhere and essentially being recruited, we stepped in as well,” he said. “It was a great deal for them and us to keep them in town.”

The development will also include a surface parking lot with more than 100 parking spaces, which will be available to patrons of the downtown on holidays and weekends.

Bowen said the project is slated to break ground April 1.