Seating manufacturer to bring 100 jobs to Franklin

A South Korean manufacturer plans to bring 100 jobs to a new Franklin stamping plant.

Daechang Seat Company, which manufactures metal seat components for Subaru, Hyundai and Kia, is requesting two tax abatements for its $30 million investment in the Franklin manufacturing facility.

Based in Dongtan, South Korea, the company has manufacturing facilities in seven countries. The Franklin plant will be the company’s third in the United States, said Tim Conrad, an economic development consultant for the company.

The Franklin plant will do metal stamping work and support the company’s other US locations in northwest Indianapolis and Phenix City, Alabama, he said.

The 250,000-square-foot plant will be located on 25 acres near 40 Linville Way, which is a Franklin-funded shell building that is being outfitted for a new headquarters for Franklin-based G and H Orthodontics. The plant will be on the eastside of the 40-acre property. The 15 acres closest to the shell building is still available.

Depending on building material availability, the company and developers hope to start construction early next year, and operations by the fourth quarter, Conrad said.

A hiring timeline submitted to the city shows 100 jobs will be created by the last quarter of 2024, with 25 jobs to be created in 2022, 50 more in 2023 and the final 25 in 2024.

The jobs will pay, on average, $17.50 an hour, plus benefits, city documents show. That includes 90 manufacturing jobs with an average of $16.30 per hour, and 10 management jobs at an average of $28.30 per hour.

The company plans to recruit locally and hopes to draw in employees with its clean facility, company culture and wages, Conrad said.

The requested tax abatements would incentivize $30 million in investment, including a $15 million real property investment to construct the building and $15 million personal property investment in manufacturing equipment, according to city documents.

The abatements together would save the company $2.5 million, according to an estimate. The 10-year real property abatement would save $1.9 million in taxes, while the 5-year personal property abatement would save $538,000.

The company would still pay $2.5 million in real property taxes, and $361,800 in personal property taxes, the estimate shows.

The company would also pay a 2% economic development fee to the Franklin Redevelopment Commission, which can be used for future improvements in the city’s TIF districts, city documents show.

The Franklin Economic Development Commission forwarded the abatements to the Franklin City Council with unanimous support.

“The amount of jobs, the benefits and the 2% economic development fee is all what we are looking for,” said Jake Sappenfield, a commission member.

Mayor Steve Barnett also supports the project and was glad to welcome a different type of manufacturer to further the diversity of companies in the city.

“At a time when we are getting a lot of warehouses … it is good to see a little mix of manufacturing coming in,” Barnett said. “I’m supportive of the project.”

The property is designated an Economic Revitalization Area, so the city council will only vote on the proposed abatements once. Public hearings are set for the council’s next meeting at 6 p.m. on June 21.