Holladay Properties donated 50 acres of land from its AmeriPlex complex to the Central Indiana Land Trust to be enhanced and maintained as a nature preserve. The property in southwest Marion County is valued at $4.3 million.
Chris Wilkes, partner with Holladay Properties, said it was always a goal to be able to donate the property back to the community.
“The piece of land is a very natural green space that Decatur Township has always enjoyed,” Wilkes said. “We’ve always hoped to keep this as a green space but it was never guaranteed until now. We just felt we were in a place where we could comfortably donate the property.”
The parcel of land in question is 50 acres, adjacent to about $100 million of commercial and industrial projects that have been developed over recent years.
“I’ve been working on this project for the past 12 years and this is a beautiful piece of property,” Wilkes said. “It has been serving as a buffer for one of the neighborhoods in Decatur Township. The neighborhood has been very supportive for nearly two decades. We really wanted to partner, and I know this is overused, but to give back to the community. We really do develop our parks in an environmental way.”
Holladay Properties will also be making cash donations to help the land trust enhance the area with plantings of native trees and shrubs, as well as other restoration work that will encourage Indiana bats and other wildlife to use the property.
“We are also going to help build a number of walking trails and other amenities like parking spaces,” he said. “We were really excited about the project. The Central Indiana Land Trust outright owns the property. Their mission is to preserve their land donations as a nature conservancy. It will remain in its natural state forever.”
“This is one of the most valuable gifts of land to a land trust in Indiana’s history,” Cliff Chapman, interim director of the Central Indiana Land Trust, said, in a press release. “It’s not only the economic value of the land, it’s the fact that one of our region’s most endangered species proliferates in the surrounding area.”
Holladay will be donating an additional $125,000 for a stewardship fund.
“This donation is especially important because it is not only to be enjoyed by residents of Decatur Township and the 7,000 employees of the AmeriPlex business park, but it’s another link in the larger preservation program in Marion and Hendricks counties to preserve habitat for endangered species and ‘quiet enjoyment’ by people seeking natural areas in an otherwise urbanized environment,” he said.
Holladay Properties is a South Bend-based company founded in 1952. It is a privately held, full-service commercial real estate company owned by 10 active partners.
“We’re not your average real estate company,” Wilkes said. “We’re a small, nimble company that is plugged into the community.”
The land will be named at a future time.