ARGOS, Ind. (WNDU) - Some say it could be the biggest thing that ever happened in the town of Argos.
A start-up manufacturer will locate there and create more than 100 high-paying jobs.
It’s a twist on the old Field of Dreams premise: “If you build it, they will come.”
Community leaders found a way to build a 50,000-square-foot factory complete with loading docks in the hopes that a manufacturer would someday come.
“They will be manufacturing wire and cable out of this facility,” Marshall County Economic Development President and CEO Jerry Chavez said. “And [the will] employ somewhere in the neighborhood of about 120 employees right around the $25-an-hour to $30-an-hour. Be one of our higher salaries for industry in Marshall County.”
Sequel will have three to four years to ramp its employment up to 120 workers.
The only problem with the plan was that the building in the North Central Indiana Rail Park was too darn small. Sequel Wire and Cable is adding on to the building before it even moves in, tripling the total square footage there.
Sequel will spend $53 million to expand and equip the facility in the hopes of being operational in early 2020.
“I think this project will bring a lot of jobs to town, and with new jobs and good paying jobs brings more housing, the need for housing, more residents, more students to our schools,” Argos Town Council Member Bob Byers said.
Fellow Town Council Member Suzanne Umbaugh said this was the biggest thing to happen in town in the 40-some years she has lived there.
“This is just huge, and it’s exciting. It’s industry coming into our community. The people behind it, good people,” she said.
In this case, the town of Argos spent $700,000 to buy 75 acres of land in the industrial park, while the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation borrowed $1.6 million and oversaw the construction and marketing of the building.
The project also utilized a $400,000 loan from the Regional Cities program, designed to fund transformational projects in northern Indiana.
“I think you can safely say that you'll probably see this application in several other communities in Marshall County. We’ve already started having those discussions with community leaders,” Chavez said.
Chavez said the next speculative manufacturing facility will be built in the same city where the first one went up: in the city of Plymouth.
According to Chavez, Sequel purchased the building in Argos for $1.9 million. While the company founders are laying low for now, Chavez said some are from northern Indiana.
A written press release quoted company co-founder James Merritt, of Minneapolis, saying, “We appreciate the support shown by Indiana Economic Development Commission as we have put together our plans to make this investment. Sequel looks forward to becoming part of the Argos community and being able to give back to the community that has helped us make this business a reality.”