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Dow Agro plans $340M expansion, 577 new jobs

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Dow AgroSciences on Thursday morning announced plans for a $340 million expansion of its Indianapolis headquarters that is expected to create 577 high-paying jobs over the next five years.

The huge investment will greatly expand the company's research and development capacity and is a major win for the Indiana life sciences industry.

The company expects most of the positions to pay between $65,000 and $95,000 annually.

Dow AgroSciences, a subsidiary of Midland, Mich.-based giant Dow Chemical Co., produces agricultural products, such as seeds and pesticides. In recent years, it has moved heavily into biotechnology, and plans to roll out five products by 2012 that could generate $800 million annually in new sales.

The first phase of Dow AgroSciences’ expansion will be the addition of a 14,000-square-foot greenhouse and a 175,000-square-foot research and development facility at its corporate campus on the city’s northwest side. The greenhouse should be finished by year’s end, according to the company, while the R&D facility slated to open in early 2012.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. gave Dow AgroSciences $12.5 million in performance-based tax credits and another $205,000 in training grants to encourage the company’s expansion. The city of Indianapolis will kick in another $500,000 from its Industrial Development Grant Fund to help pay for road, sewer and water improvements related to the project.

Indianapolis has also committed to establish a property tax increment financing, or TIF, district to help Dow AgroSciences defer $20 million in project costs. The TIF district must still be approved by city and state officials.

Gov. Mitch Daniels and Mayor Greg Ballard joined Dow AgroSciences CEO Antonio Galindez on Thursday morning to announce the expansion.

“R&D leadership in the life sciences is a dream of every state in the union,” Daniels said in a press release. “Here in Indiana, it’s not a dream, but a vibrant reality, and Dow AgroSciences’ steady growth is a major reason why. This expansion makes Indiana a true world capital of agricultural science.”

Today’s Dow AgroSciences announcement comes on the heels of two expansions last year. In July, the company signed a 15-year lease spurring construction of an 80,000-square-foot R&D building adjacent to its headquarters. In September, Dow AgroSciences revealed it will expand its presence in Purdue University’s West Lafayette Research Park, adding up to 30 jobs there.

Dow AgroSciences was originally formed in 1989 as a 50-50 joint venture between the Elanco Plant Sciences business of locally-based Eli Lilly and Co. and Dow’s agricultural products division. Dow acquired complete ownership in 1997. Dow AgroSciences now employs 5,400 people globally, with 1,200 at its local headquarters.

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  • Poor Jeff
    Jeff, I feel your pain, and read your sarcasm from the get go ... ouch, some people have such harsh things to say ... kind of like that "Let It Out" section in the Indy Star ... watch out for the guy on the grassy knoll!
  • Jobs
    Daniels does nothing different than any of the other previous administrations with respect to jobs announcements.
  • No way! Really?
    I really thought that my reponse was far enough over the top that everybody would recognize the sarcasm aimed at WTHR's ridiculous fluff piece. Oh well.
  • Jeff C.
    Uh Jeff, Mitch can't get re-elected, he is in his second term. Try using your brain. Oh wait, left wing dingbats don't have brains do they?
  • Wink wink
    Jeff C you are thankfully misinformed. Dow expansion is very real and great for this state.
  • Don't believe it!
    If you saw WTHR's attack piece on Mitch Daniels, then you would realize that all of the people at the announcement were probaly paid actors standing there with Mitch and that there is no "Dow Agro". It's all just a ploy to make him look good and get him re-elected.

    Wink, wink, nod, nod, know what I mean, know what I mean.
  • WOW
    Fantastic economic news! DowAgro has become a very important player in the corporate environment of Indianapolis.

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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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