Delaware City Council has approved a tax abatement package that will allow Midwest Acoust-A-Fiber to retain its business in the city’s industrial park and expand its building to add jobs.
The $2.6 million, 40,000 square-foot expansion is needed because Midwest Acoust-A-Fiber’s lease on a facility at 487 London Road for heat insulation metal stamping is being terminated. The London Road facility employs 36, said Sean Hughes, the city’s economic development director.
The expansion allows the company and its 162 employees to remain in Delaware, and hire 18 more employees.
“They have explored a few Southeast U.S. states in order to be closer to some of the automotive manufacturers who are their customers,” states a fact sheet prepared for council by city staff. “They have stated that if they are to open a Southeast U.S. operation, they may move their entire operation including headquarters to this new location.”
“Our business is growing,” said Patrick Bye, plant manager of the Delaware facility, at the council meeting on April 11. “We see a good future. The simplest thing for me as a manufacturer is to move the London Road facility a half a mile down the road and be able to manage that under one roof.”
Keeping Midwest Acoust-A-Fiber in Delaware would allow the city to retain a total of 162 employees at an annual payroll of $5.86 million, or $108,410 in city income tax per year. The expansion would allow the company to hire 18 full-time employees with a payroll of $540,000 in four years.
Hughes said the city and regional partner Columbus 2020 put together a package to allow them to grow their company in Delaware County. Keeping Midwest in Delaware represented a major return on investment, he said.
The city’s tax incentive negotiating committee, which has representatives from the county, Delaware City Schools and Delaware Area Career Center, recommended an agreement with Midwest Acoust-A-Fiber. The incentives consist of a 100 percent, 10-year Community Reinvestment Area tax abatement estimated at $305,167, or nearly 12 percent of the total investment; and compensating the school district and career center a combined $99,501 over the 10 years.
The incentives could be modified if the company doesn’t meet the job or payroll commitment.
The company and its landlord, Metal Stars II LLC, will build the expansion on the south side of its 14.7-acre facility at 759 Pittsburgh Drive. The 36-foot-tall addition would consist of 14,000 square feet of manufacturing space and 26,000 square feet of warehouse space. This would increase the building’s size to 127,368 square feet. There would also be three truck docks and four overhead doors, a canopy, and the addition of 40 spaces to the 99-space parking lot.
The company’s website said it “is a leading authority on technology and development of acoustical and thermal composite products.” It makes heat- and sound-shielding products from fiberglass, basalt and ceramic fibers for transportation original equipment manufacturers in North America such as Ford and Honda. At one time located in Ostrander, the company built its Delaware headquarters in 1989, adding the London Road facility in 1994.
“Staff is happy to see a business expand, consolidate and have more efficient operations in Delaware,” said city planning director David Efland.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.