Cummins looked outside state for office project

August 14, 2008

The 500-employee office complex Cummins Inc. is building near its headquarters in downtown Columbus might have ended up in another state had the city not offered to pay for a new parking garage.

The claim came Tuesday during Mayor Fred Armstrong's mid-year State of the City report, according to The Republic of Columbus. Armstrong's remarks were confirmed by a Cummins executive who was on hand for the address.

The city is paying for the $4 million garage along with a $6 million renovation of The Commons Mall, also downtown.

Cummins considered Minnesota, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin for the offices, chief administrative officer Mark Gerstle said, because the company needed a site with parking. In Columbus, the company also looked at a site at Columbus Municipal Airport.

A remonstrance is expected against the city's $10 million total bond commitment. One citizen likely to lead the protest, Mike Lovelace, complained that the highly profitable Cummins should have paid for its own garage.

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