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Electronics maker buying former GM factory in Anderson

November 30, 2010

Northwind Electronics LLC will invest $954,000 to buy, renovate and equip a former General Motors factory in Anderson—creating as many as 100 jobs in the next two years, state economic development officials said Tuesday afternoon.

The year-old firm, which makes electrical systems for work vehicles and heavy equipment manufacturers, has agreed to buy Plant 16 from the city of Anderson. It will be the last of three factory buildings to change hands since the city took possession of the automaker’s properties in 2006.

Northwind now employs 10 manufacturing workers, the state said in a news release. Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered up to $475,000 in performance-based tax credits and $22,500 in training grants. Anderson officials also will consider a property tax abatement.

The 168,268-square-foot former GM plant is located about two miles from Interstate 69, according to a real estate listing for the property. The asking price was $350,000.

IBJ reported earlier this month that the property was under contract to an unnamed Indianapolis company. The sale comes just three months after Anderson-based S&S Steel Services Inc. bought GM’s former Plant 20 for $1.5 million.

The city also has 70 acres of vacant land—another former GM site—under contract with an unidentified company from out of state.

"It's great to see new operations coming to this currently vacant facility," Gov. Mitch Daniels said in a prepared statement. "It proves that Anderson and Indiana are competitive places to locate a new venture."

Anderson was once the largest GM town outside of Flint, Mich. When the automaker pulled the plug on the last factory, it turned over three buildings and 180 acres to the city. Much of the vacant land contained factories that GM razed.

An Anderson company, Hy-Tech Machining, bought the former Plant 18 at 2900 Scatterfield Road for $425,000 in 2008. The building is something of a local landmark because of its turquoise exterior.

The city has offered low prices on the GM properties as a lure for growing companies.

Northwind's investment comes as good news to the city, which recently lost out on a bid to land Bright Automotive's tech center. The Anderson-based company chose Michigan for the facility, which could employ as many as 200 workers.

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