The Syracuse Town Council passed a resolution on a tax abatement request from Patrick Industries during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night.
Patrick Industries, which is in the RV industry, recently purchased AIA, a local company, and plans to expand its operations into the former Liberty Homes building. The company requested a 10-year tax abatement on personal property and a 3-year real estate abatement under the “dinosaur” law.
George Robertson, president of the Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation, explained the state is in the process of approving an incentive package for Patrick Industries based on it anticipated expansion. The expansion is expected to bring 65 new jobs to the area.
Robertson explained the “dinosaur” law was to bring new tax revenue from existing buildings by providing an abatement on at least some of the tax revenue.
In addition to the state incentives and requested tax abatements from the town, KEDCO has a new program for manufacturers who are in a growth mode and pay an above average wage to its employees. Robertson explained KEDCO will approve a $25,000 grant to Patrick Industries to assist in moving and renovating the Liberty Homes building.
Andy Nemeth, chief financial officer for Patrick Industries, explained the company is a $400 million company with manufacturing based in Elkhart County. In September, Patrick Industries purchased AIA. Nemeth called the merger a great partnership and said it is expected to increase business.
Current revenue projections are $21 million this year with expected growth to $32 million next year and $50 million the year after that.
There are currently 175 employees and Patrick Industries expects to hire an additional 65.
AIA is located in the former Dana Building and the purchase of the Liberty Homes building will double its space. Nemeth said Patrick Industries could have moved operations to one of its units in Elkhart County but decided to stay in the community instead.
“We’re dedicated to the local community … We’re excited to be here and make that long-term commitment,” Nemeth said. He pointed out due to the economic downturn a few years ago, Patrick Industries had taken the position not to purchase property, so this purchase is a bit out of the company’s comfort zone.
Initial investment will be $750,000 to $1 million to get the Liberty Homes building up and running, and another $1 million in equipment which will be purchased in the next 6 months to a year.
For complete coverage, see today’s issue of The Mail-Journal.