A large injection molding plant Berry Plastics Corp. bought from Landis Plastics Inc. and shut down a year ago soon could be back in business with a local owner.
Adkev Inc., a Goodland, Ind.-based automotive injection molder, may purchase the vacant plant in Monticello, Ind., President Gary Rheude said Feb. 3. The firm has submitted plans to the Monticello City Council in advance of a Feb. 7 vote on proposed 10-year tax abatements.
Adkev will make a decision on the purchase in two to three weeks, after it completes due diligence, he said. He added that the 184,000-square-foot plant would help meet Adkev's expansion needs. The plant is only 35 miles from Adkev's sole site.
``It's a big building that would [satisfy] our needs, but it's also a big step for us,'' said Rheude, who owns Adkev with his wife, Cathy. ``We have no pressing new projects that require us to [open] the plant. We're just pretty full here and continue to need additional space.''
The company has proposed spending $2.8 million on equipment and $425,000 for physical improvements, said Valerie Hunter, director of the White County Industrial Foundation in Monticello. The private, countywide development group has been working with Adkev since the project's inception last fall.
Adkev would install eight injection presses with clamping forces of 85-500 tons, and would employ about 25 at the site, Rheude said. The facility could open in nine months after some improvements are made. The plant also sits on about 17 acres of land.
The plant closed in January 2004, leaving 255 workers without jobs, Hunter said. The site was one of the top 10 employers in northwest Indiana, and several other large facilities in the area also had closed.
``It was about the last blow for the area,'' Hunter said.
Adkev plans to model the plant after its Goodland facility, with a mix of automotive, electronic and other custom molding work, as well as tool repair.
Adkev also is expanding its Goodland plant, adding 25,000 square feet to enlarge storage, Rheude said. That project is to be completed in the next few months. Currently, Adkev employs 125 at the 100,000-square-foot site.
The custom injection and insert molder started in 1987 making electronics parts and shifted into automotive when much of the electronics work moved offshore. The small-parts molder has gained new business, some of it from area auto assembly plants, he said.
The company recorded close to $20 million in sales last year.
The Monticello City Council is considering a 10-year abatement on real estate and personal property tax that would cover the assessed cost of the equipment and building improvements, Hunter said. The proposal has been approved by the Monticello Economic Development Commission.