Economic Development

Incentives abound to help backfill old GM sites:

October 31, 2005

Anderson officials are taking advantage of two incentive programs-one state and the other federal-to lure users to former General Motors Corp. factories.

A collection of vacant buildings and empty lots where more than 24,000 GM employees once worked was designated last December as a state Community Revitalization Enhancement District, or CReED.

Anderson is one of only seven Indiana cities to have a CReED, which offers tax advantages to private companies that locate in the district. The program is funded by the capture of incremental sales tax and state income tax from the district.

Anderson's 510-acre CReED encompasses a large parcel bisected by Scatterfield Road that includes two former GM plants. It includes another parcel winding from 38th Street to almost 31st Street on the west side of Scatterfield Road, and a third parcel stretching from 29th to 23rd streets where another vacant GM plant sits.

The CReED includes vacant land and buildings that could be up and running with just a little work. Plant 18, the old Delco Remy headquarters, offers 117,000 square feet of office and lab space.

"We think this gives us a distinct advantage in economic development," said Anderson Mayor Kevin S. Smith. "We have something to offer not many other communities have."

Developments on the old GM sites not far from Exit 26 along Interstate 69 are also eligible for federal new market tax credits. The NMTC program was created to attract capital investment from financial institutions willing to make loans or capital investments in businesses in disadvantaged census tracts.

The state and federal tax incentives, along with adjacent rail access and proximity to I-69, should spur growth on the former GM sites, Smith said.

The two tax-incentive programs have already landed three hot business prospects, Smith said.

"We feel good about our GM exit strategy right now," Smith said. "In the past, there was a piecemeal approach to this. We want to take an overall approach to deal with this that will be good for the city's long-term future."
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