Becknell building

In this 2016 file photo, construction continues by Becknell Industrial on an industrial building in Hobart. The company now plans to build a 263,000-square-foot industrial structure in the 6500 block of Mississippi Street in Merrillville. It's estimated at $19.7 million.

MERRILLVILLE — Becknell Industrial has plans to build another large facility in Merrillville after finding a tenant for an existing building it has in town.

Paul Thurston, of Becknell, said the company plans to build a 263,000-square-foot industrial structure in the 6500 block of Mississippi Street. He estimates the investment to be about $19.7 million.

Construction could begin this fall, Thurston said.

The new building doesn't yet have a tenant, but Becknell has had success finding occupants for speculative structures created in Merrillville and the company's NorthWind Crossings business park in Hobart.

The company constructed a 182,000-square-foot industrial building to the north of the site of the new facility proposed for Mississippi Street.

No immediate tenants were lined up when that project started, but Schilli Distribution is now leasing the property, Thurston said.

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Councilman Shawn Pettit said the new building won't require Plan Commission approval, but it will go through the process of obtaining necessary building permits before construction starts.

Becknell received 10-year tax abatement associated with the 182,000-square-foot building, and it has submitted another abatement request for the new facility.

The latest abatement was sent to the Town Council with a favorable recommendation from Merrillville's Economic Development Committee.

Pettit said the council could act on the abatement before June.

Several town officials have indicated they are supportive of the abatement and pleased with the work Becknell has done in Merrillville.

“It's good to see things going up,” Plan Commission member Brian Dering said.

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