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Elanco to expand, add jobs

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GREENFIELD — After several years of explosive growth, Elanco is looking to expand its operations and add 200 new jobs. Whether those jobs are added at the company’s world headquarters in Greenfield or somewhere else is still up in the air.

Elanco, the animal health division of Eli Lilly and Co., is requesting the Greenfield City Council consider a 10-year tax abatement on $10.5 million in real property. Taxes would be phased in over the 10-year period starting in 2013, resulting in a savings to the company of more than $300,000.

The $14 million project calls for two new buildings to be added to the company’s Progress Park Campus and the hiring of an additional 200 administrative employees by the first half of 2015.

Ted McKinney, Elanco’s director of global corporate affairs, said the company would prefer the project take place in Greenfield, but that will depend on how much the city is willing to give.

“We have always had a terrific relationship with the City of Greenfield,” McKinney said. “We remain hopeful that our elected officials will see the benefit to this abatement and the growing of Elanco in Greenfield.”

It’s no secret that Lilly is working through several tough years of slim profit margins following the expiration of a number of lucrative drug patents. Because of that, McKinney said Elanco needs help and cooperation from city and state officials now, more than ever.

“It’s very crucial,” he said.

Elanco is also looking for an incentive package from the state, including an infrastructure grant from the Indiana Economic Development Council. If Elanco receives approval all around, construction could begin as early as July.

Infrastructure for a fourth building is already in place at Progress Park. The city built that in anticipating future expansion during the first phase of construction in 2009.

“We certainly hope they locate here after we’ve already made that investment,” Mayor Dick Pasco said. “The prestige of having Elanco’s world headquarters here is quite a feather in the cap for Greenfield.”

The proposed project calls for 77,000 square feet of new office and support space. The largest of the two new buildings would sit adjacent to the current facility and house primarily office space. The second building would act as an expansion to existing buildings B and C. It would be built on the south side of those structures and contain primarily a new cafeteria, meeting spaces and conference space.

Along with the building project, McKinney said Elanco would also add another access road, a walking trail and approximately 300 new parking spaces.

The 200 new jobs will be administrative positions in departments like company leadership, marketing, manufacturing, operations, finance and legal. The existing facility includes a small laboratory area, but the expansion would not include labs.

The positions would pay an average salary of $60,000, adding $12 million in payroll. That would be on top of the 475 employees and $38 million payroll already at work in Greenfield.

While there might be an opportunity for local hiring, Elanco will recruit from around the country and internationally, which could be good news for the local economy.

Skip Kuker, director of the Hancock Economic Development Council, said the trickledown effect from new employees living, working and shopping in Hancock County could provide a huge boost.

“These people will be buying houses, furniture, gas,” he said. “There’s a trickledown effect.”

The Greenfield City Council will hear the abatement proposal at its next meeting at 7 p.m. June 13.

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