Public hearing set for tax abatements in West Fork Whiskey’s Westfield development


West Fork Whiskey has plans to break ground on its new 33,000-square-foot agritourism facility on 13 acres at the northeast corner of 191st Street and Horton Road near Grand Park in Westfield this summer. Before the facility breaks ground, the owners are requesting more than $382,000 in real and personal property tax abatements from the City of Westfield.

A public hearing for the request will be at the March 8 Westfield City Council meeting, the same meeting in which the council is expected to vote on the abatements. The council heard an introduction to the project at its Feb. 8 meeting, in which Westfield Director of Economic Development Kai Chuck presented an overview of the project.

Chuck said the facility includes manufacturing, distribution and retail areas and that West Fork Whiskey hopes to create 52 new jobs with an average pay of $22 an hour. The company is planning a total investment of $10 million on the development.

West Fork Whiskey is requesting a 10-year real property tax abatement and a five-year personal property tax abatement. The 10-year real property abatement will be applied to the 13,700-square-foot manufacturing area, which is estimated to be $2.4 million in value. The abatement will be applied in 10 percent increments, with a 100 percent tax abatement the first year and a 10 percent abatement in year 10. The total real property abatements would equal $282,533.

The personal property abatement only applies to the manufacturing equipment, valued at $2.5 million. The abatement will be applied in 20 percent increments, with 100 percent tax abatement the first year and 20 percent tax abatement in year five. The total personal property abatements would equal $99,617.

“The abatements were integral in leading us to Westfield,” West Fork Whiskey co-owner David McIntyre said. “We are hoping to break ground early summer.”

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