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By Ken de la Bastide The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON – The first steps were taken toward the construction of a building for an Italian company to begin operations in Anderson by the end of the year.
The Anderson Redevelopment Commission on Tuesday approved a resolution to include the project for Sirmax to locate on the former Guide Corp. property along Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard into the city’s redevelopment plan.
The inclusion of the project has to be approved by the Anderson Plan Commission and the Anderson City Council.
The resolution also pledged $3 million in Redevelopment Commission funds to be eventually transferred to the Anderson Economic Development Commission and then to Sirmax for the development of the site.
Once the measure is approved by the Economic Development Commission and the City Council, the city will issue bonds that will repay the funding to the Redevelopment Commission.
Sirmax announced last month that it would be locating in a 144,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, making a $26 million investment in Anderson and creating 50 jobs with an average salary of $40,000.
A private developer is working with The RACER (Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response) Trust to purchase 26.6 acres on the north end of the Guide property from the intersection of 29th Street along Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to 25th Street.
Sirmax is a leading international supplier of plastic compounds and resins for white goods (appliances) and the automotive industry.
The company anticipates opening the Anderson operations in October based on a $20 million contract with a U.S.-based company.
Anderson is providing $3 million in incentives through tax increment financing and the state of Indiana is providing $600,000 to complete a rail spur to the site.
The entire site is a part of the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District. TIF districts are created so that property taxes from new commercial, industrial and manufacturing businesses are captured and spent on infrastructure improvements within the district or to benefit the district. Those improvements are then used as an economic development tool to lure more businesses to the city.
Greg Winkler, executive director of the Anderson Economic Development Department, said the city’s $3 million in incentives will be provided to Sirmax once the company spends $3 million on the Anderson facility.
He said at a later date the Redevelopment Commission will issue a bond in an amount greater than $3 million that will include other economic development projects.Sirmax has agreed to pay the city $5.1 million over the next 14 years with the first payments starting in 2017.
Winkler said the TIF funds will be used to pay the bonds. He said the additional $2.1 million generated by the Sirmax project can be used for other economic development projects in the city.
The Redevelopment Commission currently has reserves exceeding $3 million.
Winkler said an additional 11 acres are available for future development on the site where the Sirmax facility will be constructed.
He said the private developer remains interested in additional former Guide property east of Raible Avenue.
The RACER Trust is in the process of replatting the Guide property into three parcels for sale to the developer.