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Developers Celebrate Construction of Industrial Shell Building in Northeast Indiana

August 31st, 2021

Noble County Spec Building Adds to Regional Inventory

Kendallville, IN - Though rainy weather thwarted plans to put shovels in the ground, about two dozen stakeholders from multiple organizations gathered for a ceremonial groundbreaking and to celebrate Noble County, Indiana's first industrial shell building project in over a decade. The economic development project is the first of its kind in the county, one made possible by a private-public partnership.

"It's a good day to be in Noble County," said Gary Gatman, executive director of the Noble County Economic Development Corporation (EDC). Gatman welcomed representatives from the City of Kendallville, Kendallville Local Development Corporation, Noble County Investment Trust Fund, Kendallville Economic Development Advisory Committee, Noble County Shell Building LLC, and Leatherman Construction Inc. to celebrate the milestone.

"We have a great building going up. Once the steel is up, it will be the nicest building in northeast Indiana and will put many opportunities on the table for Kendallville and Noble County. When we all come together, it is amazing what we can do", Gatman said.

Drew Welborn, representing developer Simon Dragan and Noble County Shell Building LLC, first approached the EDC in January to explore the possibility of a private-public partnership to build a shell building on 8.5 acres on Ohio Street, just off State Road 3 on Kendallville's west side. Gatman convened stakeholders and encouraged their support for the project, which was unanimously approved for a 10-year tax abatement.

Phase I construction will result in a 75,000 square foot, widespan design building featuring 30' ceilings and is slated to be complete in January 2022. Other Phase I amenities include a six inch thick concrete floor, 3-phase electric service, interior and exterior LED lighting, daylight ceiling strips, thermo cycler air heat/rotation units, and a fire suppression sprinkler system. Phase II construction will enable expansion up to 100,000 square feet and any number of custom options a new occupant may require. Gatman said his office has already been fielding inquiries, even before the groundbreaking celebration.

Kendallville Mayor SuzAnne Handshoe shared Gatman's optimism.

"This is an unusual project, one that required thinking outside the box," Handshoe said. "For all of us to work together is so important so we can make this project work. We need taller ceilings. I know this building will be occupied quickly. I truly believe that."

"A project like this does not happen overnight," noted Welborn. "There have been a lot of people who were instrumental in this process. It's good to see everyone come together. We really expect this to be a win-win for everyone."

To inquire about the Noble County Shell Building, contact the EDC at (260) 636-3800 or More site information is also available via the EDC's Sites and Buildings interactive tool at To learn more about the contractor, Leatherman Construction Inc., or to inquire about Phase II build-out options, call (260) 636-7576 or go to

Click here to download a brochure on the building for more information >>

Noble County Leadership

Image caption: Among the private-public stakeholders who recently celebrated the beginning of construction of a 75,000 square foot industrial shell building in Kendallville, IN are, from left: Josh Rosenogle and Matt Young, Leatherman Construction Inc. (contractor); Bob Marshall, Noble County Investment Trust Fund; Gary Gatman, Noble County Economic Development Corporation; Kendallville Mayor SuzAnne Handshoe, Jerry Stienbarger, Kendallville Local Development Corporation; Drew Welborn, Noble County Shell Building LLC; Kristen Johnson, Kendallville Economic Development Advisory Committee; and Simon Dragan, developer.  (Photo contributed.)

- By Lori Gagen, Operations Director at Noble County Economic Development Corporation (EDC)

Click here for more information on the Noble County shell building. 

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