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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. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

  2. Shouldn't this be a museum

  3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

  4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

  5. Build the resevoir. If built this will provide jobs and a reason to visit Anderson. The city needs to do something to differentiate itself from other cities in the area. Kudos to people with vision that are backing this project.

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