Big bakery meets early goals, plans $16.5M in new equipment

April 17, 2017

A fast-rising bakery operation wants to sweeten its investment and hire more workers by expanding production capacity at its $75 million headquarters and manufacturing facility built in 2014 in Indianapolis.

CraftMark Bakery LLC has applied to Indianapolis officials for a tax break worth nearly $1 million on $16.5 million in equipment it plans to install in its plant in the Purdue Research Park near Indianapolis International Airport.

The new machinery would include manufacturing, information technology, and research and development equipment needed to set up a new bread dough production line, according to CraftMark’s application to the city.

As a result of the project, CraftMark would retain 237 jobs created at the facility since 2014 and add another 32 by the end of this year.

The Metropolitan Development Commission will consider the tax abatement request at its meeting scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday.

The 237 existing jobs, including managerial positions, have an average hourly wage of $23.78. The 32 new workers—mostly in “semi-skilled” positions—would have an average hourly wage of $16.06, according to CraftMark’s filing.

City staff for the MDC has recommended approval of the tax abatement.

Over the course of the eight-year abatement, Craftmark would save about $966,000. During the abatement period, it still would pay $601,000 in taxes related to the new equipment, then $162,000 annually after the deal has expired.

The firm manufactures frozen bread, dough and cookies for quick-service restaurants and the food-service industry.

At the time known as Specialty Bakery LLC, CraftMark in 2014 applied for tax abatements on a $75 million, 225,000-square-foot headquarters and production facility to be built at 5202 Exploration Drive. About a third of the project cost was for developing the real estate, and the remainder for equipment in the plant.

In 2013, it pledged to create 241 jobs by 2018.

Craftmark already has met its obligations under the existing project agreement with the city, in terms of investment and employees hired, according to Lindsey Richardt, chief communications officer for the Department of Metropolitan Development.

CraftMark is a portfolio company of CIC Partners, a Dallas-based private equity firm.




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