Indianapolis’ Metropolitan Development Commission awarded property tax abatements on Wednesday afternoon to Downers Grove, Ill.-based DeVry Inc., which plans to start a nursing school at its campus at 9100 Keystone Crossing.
The request for abatement, however, drew opposition from the Nora-Northside Community Council and Metropolitan School District of Washington Township.
The Chamberlain College of Nursing, a for-profit division of DeVry Inc., is set to open in October in 24,000 square feet of leased space. The school would employ 55 people at an average wage of $28.85 an hour, according to city filings.
To offset the $2 million investment, DeVry will receive a four-year abatement enabling it to save $44,103.66 in real property taxes and $17,839.16 in personal property taxes. The opening of the school should result in an increase of $1.3 million to the city’s tax base.
DeVry will sign a 10-year lease for the space and hopes to enroll 650 students within the next three years, according to city documents.
But Ruth Hayes, president of the north-side community council, questioned why MDC would grant economic incentives to a company moving into such a bustling area.
“To name a high-end, upscale commercial neighborhood as being in the need of revitalization is absurd,” she said. “To claim such is a sham, a phony claim.”
Phil Smith, the school district’s director of operations, echoed Hayes’ concerns. He said the school system’s capital projects fund, used to support building maintenance, would suffer if the abatements were granted.
DeVry also has been awarded $425,000 in state tax credits.
In addition on Wednesday, the MDC granted property tax abatements to locally based Heritage Technologies LLC. Its Micronutrients subsidiary, a manufacturer of animal trace mineral nutrients, plans to invest $23 million to grow its west-side operation, adding 44 jobs over the next three years.
The company broke ground last month on a new plant, which will be located next to its existing production facility and headquarters at 1550 Research Way near West Washington Street and South Girls School Road.
The first of three production lines should be completed by October.
MDC awarded the company seven years real property tax abatement and 10 years personal property tax abatement.