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Local automotive supplier in line for new city incentive

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A vacant industrial building on the city’s near-west side that’s been damaged by vandals is expected to get a second lease on life thanks to a new property-tax abatement available from the city of Indianapolis.

The 84,000-square-foot warehouse at 1850 Oliver Ave. is set to be purchased and rehabbed by Van’s Electrical Systems, a supplier of automotive components, pending approval by Metropolitan Development Commission members May 16. MDC staff have blessed the abatement.

What’s unusual about the three-year abatement is that it would be the first given by the city under a program passed by the Legislature in 2011. The incentive allows an owner to pay no property taxes for three years if a building is at least 50,000 square feet and is still vacant after being on the market for more than a year.

The goal is to attract tenants to older, unoccupied industrial or commercial buildings that typically would not qualify for normal tax abatements. The warehouse at 1850 Oliver Ave. was built in 1983.

The abatement won’t result in a lot of new jobs—just five, paying $14.71 per hour. Twenty-two retained positions pay $17.45 per hour. But the benefits extend beyond employment figures, said Ryan Hunt, the MDC’s senior project manager.

“When a building stays vacant for a long time, there can be vandalism,” Hunt said. “In this case, it was pretty extensive.”

Thieves stripped the building of its electrical wiring, air-conditioners and copper wiring.

A paper company moved out of the warehouse a few years ago, and the building’s out-of-state owner had let it slide into foreclosure.

A normal abatement that typically is longer than three years wouldn’t benefit Van’s as much because the $427,000 the company will spend to refurbish the building will increase the assessed valuation only $149,450, Hunt said.

Van’s is expected to save $155,644 in property taxes during the three years.

Company President Andrew Van Vlymen declined to discuss the incentive prior to its approval.

Van’s is located at 2541 Kentucky Ave. on the southwest side, south of the company’s proposed new location on Oliver Avenue. The company has committed to the city to find a buyer for its old location.

Founded in 1959 by Van Vlyman’s father, Marvin Van Vlymen Sr., Van’s supplies vehicle electrical systems made by 45 manufacturers. Andrew’s brother, Stephen, also is involved in the family business.
 

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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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