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An automotive company plans to open in a building that formerly housed one of Johnson County’s largest employers.
SAPP Inc. is starting a manufacturing operation in a 200,000-square-foot facility in Edinburgh that spans about four blocks and used to house Lear Corp., which closed more than five years ago.
The new company plans to buy and renovate the facility and create up to 37 jobs by 2018. SAPP repairs and rebuilds steel molds used for making aluminum transmission cases and engine blocks for automobiles.
The company expects to buy the building from 15 & Counting LLC of Huntsville, Ala., this week and start manufacturing in January with eight workers. SAPP is hiring employees and pays wages of $18 to $30 per hour, plus health care benefits, sales director Bill Damian said.
About the firm
The company: SAPP Inc. is a company that L.K. Machinery of Holland, Mich., and SAPP SpA of Italy are starting to serve automobile manufacturers in the U.S.
What it does: The company repairs and rebuilds steel molds used for making aluminum transmission cases and engine blocks for automobiles.
When it will open: SAPP Inc. is scheduled to open for business in January.
Where: 600 S. Kyle St. in Edinburgh, which formerly housed Lear Corp.
What’s next: The company plans to hire up to 37 people to staff the manufacturing operation by 2018.
The company likely won’t grow much beyond a full-time staff of 40, and SAPP’s operations won’t use more than 30,000 square feet of the building, he said. The business is a niche, and the market probably won’t support an operation larger than that, he said.
Much of the building will likely be leased out as storage space or for other businesses to open in, he said.
The building was appealing because the company needed a 40-ton crane that runs on rails, which the facility has, Damian said. The crane will lift the molds, which can weigh up to 70 tons. L.K. Machinery of Holland, Mich., and SAPP SpA of Italy are opening the plant in Edinburgh to get closer to customers in the Midwest, which are primarily automobile manufacturers, he said. The facility in Edinburgh will be the companies’ first mold repair and rebuild location in the U.S.
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered SAPP up to $400,000 in tax credits and up to $40,000 in training grants, which will be awarded based on how many Indiana residents hired. The town also offered the company additional tax breaks, according to a news release from the company. But details on what that includes were not available Monday.
The building at 600 S. Kyle St. opened in 1912 as a sawmill, and plastics were added to the business in 1939. Companies made plastic at the plant for decades.
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