CHURUBUSCO, IND. — BRC Rubber & Plastics Inc. is planning to move its headquarters and technical center to Fort Wayne, Ind., and in the process create room to expand manufacturing at its Churubusco plant.
Cost of the project is estimated at $365,000. The company hopes to complete the move from Churubusco by the end of September or early October, according to Mike Meyer, BRC executive vice president.
The company is expected to spend about $250,000 on improvements to the Fort Wayne site, $75,000 on research and design technical equipment, and $40,000 on information technology equipment.
BRC's headquarters and research and design technical center currently are located at the plant in Churubusco, and both were running out of space, as was its manufacturing operation, he said.
The manufacturer owns the 30,000-sq.-ft. facility in Fort Worth, parts of which are being remodeled, and it plans on occupying about 27,000 square feet of the building for the headquarters staff and members of the R&D team, Meyer said. The remaining 3,000 square feet is being leased to another company.
He said about 55 employees will relocate to the Fort Wayne site from the almost 100,000-sq.-ft. Churubusco factory.
Once the headquarters and R&D staff moves, the rubber and plastic product maker will convert the vacated space, estimated at about 20,000 square feet, at the Churubusco factory to manufacturing, Meyer said. "We have the business coming in over the next two years to cover that."
Incentives from the city to make the move to Fort Wayne are on the table, he said, but they have yet to be approved. The Fort Wayne economic development department is expected to introduce tax abatement requests at the city's Aug. 13 meeting that could save the company almost $46,000. In addition to picking up needed space, BRC's new location moves the company closer to the highway and to its sprawling manufacturing operations throughout Indiana.
BRC does rubber and plastic injection molding at its Churubusco and Hartford City plants; rubber transfer and compression molding at its Bluffton and Li-gonier factories; and rubber compounding and metal bonding prep at its Montpelier facility.
Founded 40 years ago as Bluffton Rubber Co. in Bluffton, Ind., BRC expanded its operations in northeast Indiana a year ago when it purchased Veyance Technologies Canada Inc.'s equipment and intellectual property assets.
The company consolidated the acquired business to plants in Hartford City, Montpelier and Ligonier, with about 90 percent going to Hartford City.