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Casket maker plans $16.5M investment, 300 jobs

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Indianapolis-based Genesis Casket Co. plans to invest $16.5 million to open a manufacturing and distribution operation on the city’s far-east side, creating 300 jobs over the next three years.

Mayor Greg Ballard joined company officials to announce the plans Wednesday morning.

Founded just last year, Genesis Casket expects to hire the first 150 employees at an average wage of $26 per hour by the time the facility opens in the summer. Management, sales and marketing, engineering, and production and distribution positions will be among those filled.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered the company up to $4.5 million in performance-based tax credits. In addition, Develop Indy will support the company’s request for a personal property-tax abatement before the Metropolitan Development Commission based on job-creation and capital-investment plans.

EmployIndy, formerly the Indianapolis Private Industry Council, has offered recruiting assistance and a $300,000 job-training grant.

Genesis Casket, which expects to produce 30,000 metal caskets in its first full year of production, is partnering with Troy, Mich.-based Gestamp North America Inc. to open the facility.

William Anthony Colson has been named CEO of Genesis Casket and will relocate to Indianapolis. He most recently served as president and CEO of Wilbert Funeral Services in Chicago, a manufacturer and distributor of burial vaults and cremation products.

“Indianapolis is central in proximity to many major markets, which makes it a preferred location from an operations and logistics perspective,” Colson said. “My team and I considered several possibilities.”

Genesis Casket will occupy the 241,000-square-foot building at 3011 N. Franklin Road sold recently by SMC Corp. and listed for $3.9 million. The sale price wasn’t disclosed.

SMC Corp. is a Japanese manufacturer of pneumatic valves and actuators whose U.S. headquarters are now in Noblesville.

In 2008, the state gave SMC $4 million in tax credits plus $387,000 in training grants to move 500 jobs to the Hamilton County city. The company expected to create another 250 jobs by moving to Noblesville.

In addition to the state incentives, SMC received $14.6 million in incentives and infrastructure improvements, such as road widening, from the city of Noblesville.

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  1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

  2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

  3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

  4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

  5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.

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