Council supports tax abatement requests, promising jobs

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - There was a lot of talk about jobs at the South Bend Common Council meeting Monday night. Several companies requested tax abatements, with the promise to bring more than 250 jobs to the city. Council members threw their support behind four separate tax abatement requests.

Lock Joint Tube was one of the companies seeking tax abatements. They are already located in South Bend, but plan to expand.

Other companies are moving into properties that sat vacant for years, and are ready to get people working. South Bend’s ethanol plant has been a headache for residents, but now there's promise, with new owners willing to invest $40 million in improvements over the next four years.

“We are filling the economic gap and filling the water gap with wells being put out there,” said South Bend Sixth District Councilman Oliver Davis. “This is a great day for South Bend.”

Noble Americas’ goal is to hire 50 people and have the plant back up and running by this summer. The council unanimously supported the measure for tax abatements for the new owners.

Then, there are the properties with historical value that have sat dormant. Great Lakes Capital is setting out to revamp the LaSalle Hotel building, and turn it into apartments and a first floor retail project. They asked for a ten-year tax abatements. They also plan on creating at least nine new jobs, along with around 140 contract positions, for work on renovating the building.

“It’s a property that’s historically been a liability for city, turning it into tax producer for the city,” said Davis.

There's also the former A.J. Wright building, which will soon be home to Lippert Components.

“I remember the day it became vacant when A.J. Wright left,” said Davis. “It’s nice to announce jobs are coming back.”

This facility will employ 180 by the end of this year, and the potential for tax abatements was a big draw for the company.

“It's a huge factor in their decision to take the building on, if they can get abatement,” said Chris Fielding of the Department of Community Investment. “Especially for the first two years when they are paying rent the first few months and still ramping up non-operational.”

The average wage for new employees at Lippert will be $12-50 an hour. They're already hiring. You can apply in person at their Goshen location, or apply online at the link below this article.

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