Tax breaks to facilitate $101M investment in Franklin

Five tax abatements representing $101 million total in real and personal property investments in Franklin were finalized by the city council Monday.

Four abatements were granted to NSK America to expand its current operations in Franklin and one was granted to Al Neyer, a Cincinnati-based developer that is planning a six-building logistics park at Paul Hand Boulevard and Graham Road.

NSK America

Over the next five years, NSK will invest $3.2 million to build two additions at their current site, 3400 Bearing Drive, Franklin, and will invest $35.8 million in new equipment, according to applications submitted to the city.

The $39 million investment will support expansions of the automotive and wheel bearing sides of the company’s business in Franklin, said Kyle Stiens, director of operations for NSK America’s bearing plants.

The investment would add robotics and automation, while still creating 62 jobs and retaining 375 jobs, at an average rate of $18-20 per hour. The equipment upgrades are aimed to give the company a competitive advantage, while also lowering the skill and strength levels required to run the machinery, Stiens said.

The new equipment, plus partnerships the company has with Ivy Tech Community College to create a workforce pipeline, are hoped to help the company increase headcount. By making the job safer and easier, the intent is to improve retention rates for the company, which have been low in the current job market, Stiens said.

To support the investment, Franklin City Council approved two 10-year personal property tax abatements and two 10-year real property tax abatements. Together, the four abatements will save about $2.58 million, while the company pays $1.8 million taxes, according to a tax estimate provided with the abatement.

Though Franklin usually goes with a seven-year term for personal property tax abatements, city officials approved a 10-year abatement for NSK because the company leadership gives back to the community in several ways, including being a large contributor to annual United Way of Johnson County campaigns.

Al Neyer

This layout of Al Neyer’s planned logistics park at Paul Hand Boulevard and Graham Road shows what the development could look like. SCREENSHOT | DAILY JOURNAL

Al Neyer was approved for a 10-year tax abatement for the first building in a 272-acre logistics park planned at Paul Hand Boulevard and Graham Road. It facilitates a $62 million investment to construct a 1.06 million square foot building for an end-user to be determined later, according to the application.

The abatement would save $6.3 million in taxes, while the company pays $6.2 million in taxes.

The larger park is platted for up to eight buildings, but the current working site plan has six buildings, ranging from 1.2 million square feet to 638,400 square feet, according to plans submitted to the city. The final layout is subject to the market, so the size and number of the buildings could vary, said Melissa Johnson, Al Neyer’s vice president of real estate.

The company plans to invest around $300 million to build the park over the next 40 to 60 months. The company will also invest $5.6 million in public infrastructure, including a new road through the development stemming from Essex Drive, Johnson said.