More than 300 new jobs are coming to Carmel during the next five years, as two major companies announced plans to either expand or relocate to the area.
Baldwin & Lyons, Inc. hopes to create 133 new jobs during the next five years, as it moves its corporate headquarters from Indianapolis. Meanwhile, NextGear Capital, an automotive financial services provider, will expand its existing headquarters, adding 169 new jobs by 2015.
Mayor Jim Brainard says companies are drawn to Carmel’s “entire package.”
“They like our schools, our library system, low property taxes and newer infrastructure,” Brainard said, adding city officials will make themselves available to ease the companies’ transitions.
Brainard was unable Wednesday to give an exact number of companies and jobs brought to Carmel in the last five years.
Both companies were also offered major incentives from the Indiana Economic Development Corp.; NextGear Capital is slated to receive up to $1.3 million in conditional tax credits and up to $60,000 in training grants, while Baldwin & Lyons can earn up to $3.5 million in conditional tax credits, with an additional $200,000 in training grants. According to the IEDC, the company can’t claim the incentives until the agreed-upon new employees are hired.
NextGear, which provides inventory-financing programs for more than 17,000 automotive dealers, plans to invest nearly $20 million in its new 33,000-square-foot Carmel office at 11799 N. College Ave. The facility will house its dealer services, auction services and business development center, while NextGear’s other operations will be handled at its current City Center headquarters.
Carmel offered a10-year real property tax abatement to Baldwin & Lyons, which provides property and casualty insurance products and risk management services to companies. Brainard was quick to point out the taxes abated would only be in excess of what’s being paid now on the 184,000-square-foot facility at 111 Congressional Blvd. Baldwin & Lyons plans to invest $20 to $30 million to revamp the facility for its needs.
NextGear was not offered additional city incentives. Brainard said that was due to the number of high-paying positions that will be offered at Baldwin & Lyons. The average salary for the 350 current employees is about $90,000.
“We only do tax abatements when we absolutely need to,” Brainard said. “If everyone pays their fare share of taxes, everyone’s taxes go down.”
Brainard said the city was currently negotiating with several other companies to bring to Carmel – saying one was “close” – but refused to elaborate further.
What else is happening in Carmel?
Polleo Systems Inc. recently announced it would add 36 new jobs as a result of its upcoming $2.5-million expansion. The cloud-computing firm will hire technicians, engineers and sales staff. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. will provide up to $300,000 in performance-based tax credits and up to $40,000 in training grants to assist the company’s hiring efforts.
MacKenzie River Pizza, Grill & Pub will officially open March 18 in its new location, the former Bike Line at 11596 Westfield Bvd. Details can be found on its Facebook site, http://www.facebook.com/mrpcarmel.
Teddy’s Burger Joint, in the former Carabba’s spot in Merchants Square, should be opening soon, per its Facebook page.
Goldfish Swim Club is opening in the former Play It Again Sports spot across from the Marsh Supermarket in Merchants Square, Chamber of Commerce President Mo Merhoff said.