City is working with developer for construction of 225 houses
Ken De La Bastide, The Herald Bulletin
March 27, 2023
ELWOOD — During the past year three local manufacturing companies invested $14 million in Elwood. In addition to the expansion of the manufacturing base in the county’s second largest community there has been new housing starts with more expected this year.
The Elwood City Council last year approved a 10-year tax abatement requested by Red Gold.
The company is planning an $11.1 million investment and retaining 510 jobs. Matthew Tebbe with Red Gold said the company packages all its ketchup products in Elwood.
“This will maintain the jobs we have in Elwood,” he said. “We’re not adding any jobs. We’re investing to remain competitive.”
Elwood Mayor Todd Jones said Red Gold is a vital part of the city’s success, employing 510 people with an annual payroll of $33.9 million. The council this year approved tax abatements for two local companies that are expanding with the creation of 26 new job positions.
The council voted to approve a 10-year tax abatement to Manasek which operates Warner Truck Bodies and Steel Mart. Brian Lapp, chief financial officer for Warner Truck Bodies, said the company is investing $1.2 million on new equipment to cut sheet metal with a laser.
He said the new equipment will allow for a faster cutting speed and the company will have one machine to cut aluminum and one for steel. Bill Savage, director of economic development, said Warner currently employs 99 people with an annual payroll of $5.3 million. He said the company is adding 16 new employees with an annual payroll of $672,000.
The council also approved a tax abatement for Steel Mart which is spending $1.8 million to purchase a building at 2500 South J. Street. Savage said the company employs 81 people with an annual payroll of $3 million. He added that the company will add 10 new employees with an annual salary of $500,000.
“There is not a single vacant factory building remaining in Elwood,” Jones said.
Jones said there are developers interested in constructing buildings that could be leased or sold to new factories looking to locate in the city. He said 10-acres at the intersection of Ind. 28 and Ind. 37 has been purchased by a company that distributes seed to area farmers.
The city is having discussions with a developer that wants to open a 50,000 square foot indoor sports complex and financing is being evaluated, Jones said.
Jones said the city is working with a developer for the construction of up to 225 single- family homes and remains in the planning stage.
In January the council approved the requested rezoning by Hometown Community Development for 12 properties for the construction of the 16 townhouses. The company is investing $2.9 million in the development with work expected to start in the spring.
The 16 units will all be twostory with three bedrooms, 2 ½ baths and a garage and contain 1,500 square feet.
Near the Elwood City Building, a new 72-unit apartment complex will have two-bedroom, two-bathroom units starting at $1,175 a month.
The city has also annexed property into the city limits for the site of a possible hotel in the future. The Elwood Redevelopment Commission has purchased the Ranch Motel property on Ind. 37. Jones noted that discussions are well underway for the planning of a 50- to 60-room hotel along Ind. 37 on the outskirts of town. The city is anticipating a project with an indoor pool, conference room and banquet hosting capability, which could become a regional draw for conventions and other events.