HQ move earns pharma firm another tax break

A Carmel-based institutional pharmacy plans to invest $8 million expanding its Noblesville operations, adding 150 jobs there by 2019 as it moves its headquarters to the site.

Pharmakon LTC Pharmacy and sister company Pharmakon Pharmaceuticals received tax breaks from Noblesville last year when they took over a vacant industrial building on Getz Road in the city’s Saxony Corporate Campus, promising to employ 135 within five years.

On Tuesday, Noblesville Common Council approved a separate incentive deal tied to the planned construction of a 50,000-square-foot facility next door.

The city agreed to phase in property taxes on the $5 million building over a 10-year period, and ramp up taxes on $3 million in new manufacturing, distribution and information technology equipment over five years.

As an added bonus, when construction is complete the Noblesville Redevelopment Commission will purchase $200,000 worth of equipment on Pharmakon’s behalf.

The companies, which supply long-term-care facilities and government hospitals with pharmaceuticals packaged for convenience, last year had more than 200 employees in Carmel. Some of them shifted to Noblesville in January, and Pharmakon expects to move the rest along with the corporate headquarters to the Noblesville campus when its Carmel lease expires in early 2016.

“This fits within our life-sciences strategy for the Saxony campus,” Noblesville Economic Development Director Judi Johnson said of the new Pharmakon deal. “Their belief in Noblesville and our ability to help them serves us all well.”

As IBJ reported last month, Carmel City Council just canceled a 10-year property-tax abatement awarded when Pharmakon LTC Pharmacy moved its headquarters from Indianapolis in 2008. The company had not filed its annual compliance report since 2012.

Founder Paul Elmer told IBJ last year that the Carmel tax break—worth about $16,700—“wasn’t worth the trouble” of completing the required paperwork.

The jobs Pharmakon promised last year were expected to pay about $45,000 a year. The new positions will pay about $35,000 plus benefits, the company said.

Elmer said last year he was looking for a location that could accommodate both firms.

The new building would be erected on seven acres just east of Pharmakon’s existing facility at 14450 Getz Road. Plans call for completing construction by the end of next year, Elmer said. An enclosed walkway is planned to connect the buildings.

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