LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - It's official. A Lafayette automobile parts supplier plans to double the size of its plant and more than double its workforce.
Heartland Automotive is looking to invest $38 million into its Lafayette plant, $19 million to expand the facility, $19 million for new equipment.
As News 18 reported earlier this month, it was news that was hinted at by Governor Mike Pence while on an economic trade mission to Japan.
Heartland's expansion is a ripple effect of Subaru of Indiana Automotive's (SIA) $400 million expansion announced in May.
While Heartland's expansion wasn't necessarily a surprise to Lafayette Redevelopment Director Dennis Carson after SIA's major expansion announcement in May, the size of Heartland's expansion is unexpected.
"We were actually very surprised by the number of the expansion, the total cost of the expansion. They are more than doubling the size of the building, we weren't expecting that. They will be more than doubling the size of the workforce as well too," said Carson.
Heartland currently employs 93 people and the expansion is expected to add 224 jobs. However, Heartland had already announced plans in 2012 to employ about 150 people in Lafayette.
Heartland's new $8.4 million facility just opened last fall.
Carson says the requested tax abatements, which phase in taxes for the new building over 10 years and the new equipment over 7 years, are an important incentive.
"Heartland does have options. They wouldn't necessarily have to make this expansion here in Lafayette. They can make it some place else. They do have another facility in Indiana as well,” Carson said. “We want them to do it here, to expand here. It's very important for us that we facilitate that."
The Lafayette Redevelopment Commission recommended approval of the abatements Thursday. Lafayette City Council is expected to vote on them next month.
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