Project brings economic revitalization, jobs 


Indianapolis-based biotech firm Algaeon Inc. has passed the first of three hurdles to move to Westfield – investing $25 million and adding at least 25 jobs in the next five years.

The company makes dietary supplements for humans and nutritional ingredients from for animal/fish feed markets derived from algae. Mike Neibler, vice president of business development, said Algaeon is finalizing a lease for vacant industrial space at 17406 and 17408 Tiller Court. Plans are to transform the property into a high-tech lab that Algaeon will use in conjunction with its partner lab at Heartland Growers in Westfield.

“We’re excited about moving from northwest Marion County to Westfield,” Neibler said.

Algaeon grows two different forms of algae – one requires sunlight and is grown at Heartland, the other is fermented, which will grow in a large tanks. Neibler said the new lab will grow 60 metric tons of diet supplements and will expand to 300 metric tons by 2019. Neibler said Algaeon has two multi-million dollar contracts and needs to expand.

“We’re building this facility to meet the requirement for this four-year deal,” he said. “We’re looking forward to moving here.”

Neibler said the company will move its 14 employees to Westfield and will add five a year through 2019 – expecting a total of 39 employees by that time.

“We’ll have the same number at Heartland as well,” he said, adding that the average employee wages are $80,000.

Earlier this year, Algaeon announced a $2.75 million investment with Heartland Growers to provide greenhouse space and infrastructure.

Westfield City Council members unanimously approved a resolution establishing the Tiller Court properties as an economic revitalization area, the first of three steps in the tax abatement process. At its next meeting in July, the council will hear and vote on the second and third steps – a tax phase-in for personal property on new equipment.

Other business at the council meeting included:

What happened: Adoption of Unified Development Ordinance

What it means: The city is looking to adopt the UDO to replace zoning and subdivision control, which was originally created in 1977 and has had various amendments during the years.

Create user friendly document, incorporation revisions

Senior planner Jesse Pohlman said 85 percent of the revisions are minor corrections like grammar and reducing duplication and 15 percent are changes or modifying standards and are new standards. “I think this ordinance is very well done. We know this is not a complete list of items we know need attention. It has addressed a considerable amount of several issues that have come up in the last couple of years,” Councilor Steve Hoover said.

What’s next? The ordinance will have a public hearing at the July 21 Westfield Advisory Plan Commission meeting.

What happened: Frampton Estates zoning commitments amendments

What it means: Approximately 54 acres in the northeast corner of 161st Street and Ditch Road was rezoned in 2006. The new property owner, Grand Communities, does not intend to change the maximum number of lots of 82, but would like to make changes to commitments with the 14-acre smaller lot. Instead of nine homes plans call for 11 homes. The only other change is making lots 80 to 90 feet wide.

What’s next? The amendments will have a public hearing at the July 7 Westfield Advisory Plan Commission meeting.

What happened: Voluntary annexation of Chatham Hills

What it means: Two phases of Chatham Hills have 100 percent voluntary annexation. Phase III is 163 acres between 199th and 206th streets, east of Horton Road. Phase IV is 103 acres north of 206 Street and east of Oak Ridge Road. Chatham Hills is a Henke Development Group project is a residential community featuring a championship golf course designed by Pete Dye.

What’s next? The ordinance was adoption unanimously.