Honda Plant Drives Growth Spurt

New housing developments along with new shops and stores are drawn to Greensburg, Ind., by prospect of Honda coming to town.

GREENSBURG, Ind. (AP) — Greensburg is already seeing increased housing values and proposed commercial projects, even though the town is still a year away from the opening of a new Honda plant that will employ 2,000 workers.
 
Homes in Greensburg and Decatur County averaged a price of $126,337 in June, compared with $109,125 a year earlier, according to the Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors. The gain of 15.8 percent far exceeds Central Indiana's 3.6 percent average appreciation during the same time.
 
''Honda is bringing new growth to Greensburg,'' said real estate broker Gloria Paras, owner of Greensburg Realty Group.
 
Greensburg isn't a boomtown, but no one would mistake it for a faded factory city. Plans call for new housing developments along with new shops and stores drawn to Greensburg by the prospect of Honda coming to town.
 
''Looking around town, you don't see a lot of change yet,'' said Decatur County Commissioner Charles Buell. ''I'm sure when they get going in 2008 at Honda, we'll see a lot of change.''
 
Honda's first group of engineers and administrators is moving into southeast Indiana, many relocating from the company's Marysville, Ohio, manufacturing complex.
 
''We have Honda engineers coming in, and they're looking for new homes, but it's not only Honda,'' Paras said. ''We're also seeing a lot of interest from people who are going to work in and manage the restaurants and other businesses that are following Honda in here.''
 
The prospect of hundreds of Honda workers moving to Greensburg could also help the county's jobless rate. In June, Decatur County's unemployment rate was 4.5 percent, up from 4.3 percent a year earlier.
 
Construction jobs are expected to increase as developers work on houses for the influx of new employees. Honda took applications for administrative and engineering positions in the spring and expects to begin hiring production workers this fall, company spokesman David Iida said.
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