Franklin Electric Co. Inc. says it will move its corporate headquarters from Bluffton to Fort Wayne.
According to the Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne, the company plans to build a 110,000-square-foot facility on Coverdale Road if the sale is approved by the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority.
The newspaper said the company plans a development of at least $25 million to be finished by early 2013. Franklin Electric has hired Turner Construction Co. of Indianapolis as construction manager.
The company has 220 employees in Bluffton and expects to add 35 more by 2014.
Franklin Electric designs and makes water and fuel pumping systems. The company on Wednesday reported second-quarter earnings of $21.7 million compared with $11.1 million posted for the same three months of 2010.
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Franklin Electric up to $2.7 million in performance-based tax credits based on the company's job-creation plans. Allen County will consider additional property tax abatement.
Additionally, Franklin Electric worked with the city of Fort Wayne, Allen County, and the state to secure economic incentives worth up to about $3.3 million. The company also is working with Allen County to secure tax increment financing
Founded in 1944 by Fort Wayne businessmen E.J. Schaefer and T.W. Kehoe, Franklin Electric got its start in Bluffton selling electric generators to the U.S. military. Today, the company operates 20 facilities in 13 countries. The company employs 3,500 worldwide.
"Although Bluffton and Wells County have been a wonderful home for Franklin Electric since our founding, the current facilities that we lease are increasingly inadequate for the growing needs of our company, especially with respect to the engineering laboratory that is used for our global product development and testing," CEO Scott Trumbull said in a prepared statement. "At the request of our board, we evaluated five locations in three other states and, in the end, we concluded that locating our headquarters and engineering center in the Fort Wayne area makes the most long-term sense for our employees and shareholders."