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Company seeks tax abatement extension for Hobart expansion

Updated: April 22, 2013 12:08PM



HOBART — Hanson Logistics is considering expanding its Hobart location, provided the city agrees to extend the company’s tax abatement by one year to fill a financial gap.

The City Council on Wednesday set a public hearing on the proposed extension, to be held at its April 3 meeting.

Jason Bransteter, vice president of design and engineering at Fort Wayne-based Tippmann Group, which is working with Hanson Logistics, said Wednesday the extension from five to six years would enable the company to recoup the unexpected cost of building detention ponds on its site at 6301 Northwind Parkway.

Bransteter told the City Council that when Hanson purchased the property in North Wind Crossings in 2006, the company was told stormwater detention was developed for the entire park.

“Now we’re told Hanson is required to provide stormwater detention on their site. This is an added expense,” Bransteter said.

Bransteter said Hobart is one of three sites within the Hanson network being considered for expansion, with Benton Harbor, Mich., the main competitor.

“If we can get over this, then Hobart would be our choice,” Hanson president Andrew Janson said outside the meeting.

Janson said the company is looking at two expansions, each of which would add 85,000 square feet to the building. He said the first expansion would cost $9 million with an additional $1.5 million for new equipment.

Janson said 10 to 12 employees would be added to the existing 39 employees with this expansion.

Janson said he’d like to begin the first expansion in April and have it completed by Sept. 1.

No date has been set for the other expansion.

The City Council was receptive to working with Hanson, which has operated Hanson Cold Storage of Indiana in Hobart since 2007.

“This is the type of quality light industry we like to see in this development. This company provides good, quality jobs,” Mayor Brian Snedecor said.

Councilman Pete Mendez, D-2nd, said he hopes the company would hire qualified Hobart residents for the new positions, and Councilman Dave Vinzant, D-4th, said he’d like to see the company more involved at the community level.

“Whether it’s for the food pantry or special events sponsorships, let the community know you’re out there,” Vinzant said.

Janson said he would be willing to be involved.



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