|Prime Conveyor moves to Merrillville|
date: 08-02-94 Source: Times Online
Article Title: Prime Conveyor moves to Merrillville
By: Kris Falzone
MERRILLVILLE - Tax incentives, lower insurance rates and a good work force are attracting 25 jobs from Illinois to Northwest Indiana.
Prime Conveyor Inc., a maker and designer of conveying and material handling equipment, will break ground today for a 27,000-square-foot manufacturing, sales and administrative facility in the Southlake Industrial Park. The company will move its headquarters from west suburban Hillside to the three-acre Merrillville site, located at the southeast corner of Louisiana Street and 89th Avenue.
"Incentives, insurance and quality of work" were motives for relocating the company to Indiana, said Dennis Armstrong, vice president of Prime Conveyor. "I ran some ads out there (in Northwest Indiana) to get responses on workers, and I got a good response for qualified personnel."
Armstrong said he also was impressed with "the willingness of the community to want business there. If you have (community leaders) who want business there, we can work with them."
Prime Conveyor will receive a 10-year tax abatement on its property and a five-year abatement on its equipment. The arrangement will save the company about 50 percent on taxes during the 10 years.
Prime Conveyor is just five years old and has been looking to move to Indiana for two years, Armstrong said. He said Illinois still offers some tax incentives, but the cost of workers compensation insurance is "forcing people out."
Lower real estate taxes and lower land and housing costs also were factors in the decision, said David Lasser, whose real estate company, Merrillville-based Commercial In-Sites Inc., is the broker assisting in Prime Conveyor's move.
"A lot of companies from Illinois and other states are looking in our area," Lasser said. "We have more activity with out-of-state industrial companies than local ones moving around."
Most of the activity is in new construction, Lasser said. Occupancy is very high in local light industrial buildings, so companies are finding it more advantageous to build their own space to suit their needs.
Armstrong said Prime Conveyor employs about 25 people, many of whom will move with the company to work at the new plant. Armstrong has moved to Lake of the Four Seasons.
He said the company expects to hire 10 to 15 local workers within the next six months.
The Northwest Indiana Forum, Northern Indiana Public Service Co., the Merrillville Chamber of Commerce and other local advocates of economic development also helped convince Prime Conveyor to move to Merrillville, Lasser said.