New plant and jobs coming to South Bend

A South Bend based gear manufacturer appears ready to ‘gear up’ for some job creation.

A joint venture between Schafer Gear Works and a foreign based company is in the works that could result in the construction of a new manufacturing plant in South Bend worth nearly $15 million.

“And the purpose of the joint venture is to build timing gears for engines for the heavy duty truck market,” said Kathy Hahn, with the South Bend Community and Economic Development Department. “And it's a long term contract going through the end of 2020,”

The plant will be built on the South Bend campus of Schafer Gear Works, at 4701 Nimtz Parkway through SBG Realty, LLC.

During the first year, 12 new jobs will be created with a payroll of $605-thousand. During the second year, total employment will grow to 26 with a payroll of $1.3 million.

“And I should mention that eventually this building may be larger than 50-thousand square feet. They’re thinking of putting in a heat treating process, and adding on to the building to accommodate that, right now they do their heat treating out-sourced,” said Hahn.

Documents requesting property tax abatement for the project indicate that the size of the plant may double in subsequent years.

The tax abatement request was approved Monday morning by the South Bend Redevelopment Commission.

The measure goes before the South Bend Common Council on January 10th and 24th.

City reports indicate that the project qualifies for an eight year property tax abatement that should save the company $233-thousand, while total taxes paid during that period would total $267-thousand.

A separate tax abatement request for machinery (personal property) is expected to be submitted at a later date.

The plant itself will cost $2.1 million but $13.2 will be spent on equipment over the next two years.

“And eventually they’ll produce about 60-thousand engines from this joint venture on an annual basis,” said Hahn.

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