Biotech firm Algaeon plans $25M lab in Westfield

June 10, 2014
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Biotech firm Algaeon Inc. plans to move its algae-growing operation from Indianapolis to Westfield, investing $25 million and adding 25 jobs over the next five years.

The company, which makes dietary supplements derived from algae, is finalizing a lease for vacant industrial space it wants to transform into a high-tech lab, said Mike Neibler, the company’s vice president of business development.

Plans calls for installing fermentation tanks capable of producing 300 metric tons of algae by 2019, he told Westfield City Council on Monday. The facility at 17406-17408 Tiller Court also will process a different variety of algae Algaeon is growing in nearby greenhouses owned by strategic partner Heartland Growers.

Algaeon raised $5 million from investors in the past three years to fund the first phase of improvements at both locations, Neibler said, and revenue from two lucrative contracts is expected to finance planned growth. Construction could begin as soon as this month.

The company hopes to have its staff of 14 working in a new facility by mid-August, before its lease on space at 8440 W, 82nd Street expires. It plans to add five positions each year beginning this fall, Neibler said. The average annual salary for the advanced jobs: $80,000.
 
Council members unanimously approved a resolution establishing the Tiller Court property as a so-called economic revitalization area, the first of three steps in the process of authorizing a tax abatement. Algaeon will seek to phase in personal property taxes on new equipment during the five-year buildout, Neibler said.

The General Assembly this year passed a package of statewide business-tax cuts that allow municipalities to offer personal-property abatements for up to 20 years, twice as long as now allowed, as an economic development tool. Counties also have the option of eliminating the obligation for companies with less than $20,000 in taxable business equipment.

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  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

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