South-side manufacturer Brehob plans expansion of 65-year-old plant

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A 65-year-old Indianapolis-based manufacturer plans to spend more than $3 million to renovate its aging headquarters on South Meridian Street in an expansion that is expected to grow its workforce by two dozen employees.

Brehob Corp., a manufacturer of electric motors, cranes, air compressors and hoists, has proposed spending $1.8 million to expand its original building at 1334 S. Meridian St. by 17,000 square feet, according to property tax abatement documents filed with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Development Commission.

The company said the project would help it retain 113 employees making an average of $24.40 per hour and add 24 workers who will make an average hourly wage of $24.50.

In addition to the $1.8 million project to add production space, the company said it plans to spend about $450,000 to expand parking by 36 spaces, $380,000 to improve stormwater infrastructure and $570,000 on additional equipment for the facility.

Brehob is seeking a real property tax abatement from the city on the expansion that would save it about $133,056 over a six-year period. The company would pay an estimated $93,744 in real property taxes on the new investment over the abatement period, plus about $37,800 annually after the period ends.The new taxes would be in addition to the $15,219 in real property taxes the company is already paying annually on its existing facility.

Brehob said it would likely undertake the expansion at one of its other facilities without the tax break. It has additional operations in Fort Wayne, Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan.

Department of Metropolitan Development staff have recommended the company receive the abatement because of its potential for new taxes and job creation and retention in Center Township.

Brehob was founded in 1953 by Al Brehob and Charles Smither, two coworkers who acquired the motor division of Indianapolis-based Meier Electric Machine Corp., one of the state’s largest electrical companies. Smither’s son, Pat Smither, is now president and owner of the company.

The MDC is expected to hear the abatement request Wednesday.

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