GREENFIELD — Greenfield officials preliminarily OK’d some $7.6 million in tax breaks Wednesday for a China-based car parts maker opening a manufacturing plant in Greenfield.
The agreement was approved on first reading — a public hearing will be April 26 before the final vote — on the heels of BeijingWest Industries’ announcement of plans to build an $80 million facility in Progress Park.
The Greenfield City Council heard a proposal Wednesday night from the automotive manufacturer, which serves companies including Audi and Ferrari, and voted to preliminarily approve a 10-year tax abatement on equipment; in addition, council members supported a break on taxes charged to the building, which gives the company a three-year window during which it will pay no taxes on the facility.
After tax breaks, the company will pay $9.2 million in taxes over 10 years, officials said.
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The promise of 441 jobs — and the possibility for more in the future — at the proposed 276,500-square-foot facility just west of Elanco’s world headquarters drew praise from local officials.
Council president Gary McDaniel said approving the tax abatement is a common-sense tradeoff for creating new jobs in the city, which hasn’t seen this size a development since Elanco built its world headquarters in Greenfield in 2008.
“We’re very excited. This is going to benefit our city in so many ways we don’t know yet,” McDaniel said. “I see a lot more (development) coming down the road because of it.”
Gregory Dronen of BWI told the council the company has already ordered equipment that’s set to arrive in this fall, so construction could begin as soon as July.
The manufacturer will begin the hiring process for roughly 40 employees starting in November; while plans give BWI until 2021 to hire all 441 employees, Dronen expects the company will already have hired about 300 people by the end of next year.
The 40-acre site leaves room for a business expansion, Dronen added, which he said will likely be necessary after 2021; company leaders hope to eventually grow the employee base to 900.
As part of the deal, the city will expand Opportunity Parkway, which currently dead-ends past Elanco, allowing more development to be build in the area, Hancock Economic Development Council director Skip Kuker said.
City officials said they hope the new manufacturing site leads to further development in Progress Park.
The new company will enhance the business park and open new lots for other companies to build on, Mayor Chuck Fewell said.