The development northwest of Shelbyville continues to take shape after the County Council passed a preliminary resolution Tuesday evening requested by Browning Investments.

The resolution designates the acreage under contract as an Economic Revitalization Area (ERA), which is the first step for a tax abatement, according to attorney Peter DePrez, who was representing the company. The area must be designated as an ERA in order to have a tax abatement.

Browning’s request was passed 7-0, meaning DePrez and the company will reappear at the council’s December meeting to ask for the resolution to be confirmed. The council can pass, modify or rescind the resolution on a final vote at that meeting.

Browning Investments will be putting a “spec building” on the site. The property, which is off Frontage Road near where HIS Constructors will be located, does not have a company already selected to rent the building.

That is unusual, DePrez told the council.

DePrez said he did not believe the county had done a tax abatement for a spec building because typically when building a building, the owner wants to know who the end user is.

So when Browning called him and updated him on what the plan was, it got him thinking.

“They’re saying, ‘we’re going to invest $40 million in Pleasant View energy,’” he told the council. “‘We don’t even have a customer.’”

There are things that need to take place in that area that are not there yet, he added.

By asking for the resolution to be passed without an end user, Browning is counting on being able to work with the local government agencies, DePrez said.

“They’re putting their money down on the bet that what we’re telling them as a government unit, we’re going to deliver,” he said. “I’ve never had somebody make a bet like that. I think it speaks volumes for where this county is.”

Shelby County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Brian Asher told the council that he has spoken with Northwestern Consolidated Superintendent Chris Hoke about the development plans taking place within the school district. Hoke has expressed his support, Asher said.

The proposed resolution made it more marketable for Browning, Asher said.

“What makes this very important is there are other areas that are doing the same thing and they are offering the tax abatements to these people,” he said.

DePrez told the council that Browning was going through its due diligence in the process but if all went well, planned to begin construction in the spring. Construction would then be completed the following year.

“Everybody’s competing in the central Indy area as far as spec buildings so they’re all getting tax abatements, for obvious reasons,” he said. “If we don’t get tax abatements, we’re no longer competitive.”