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600 new Cummins jobs; Office building, parking garage to be built


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COLUMBUS — Cummins Inc. will hire 600 more professional employees and place them in a new $17 million downtown office complex adjacent to The Commons, the company announced Friday.

Cummins said it needs the new employees primarily to support international growth. They will earn annual salaries averaging about $80,000, or about $48 million total.

To accommodate the new employees, the city and state together will spend about $12 million to build an 800-space parking garage fronting Jackson Street for Cummins on part of the former First Financial Bank surface lot at Sixth Street. Cummins will own the garage.

Cummins President and Chief Operating Officer Tom Linebarger announced the new jobs in The Commons before a crowd of about 500, including local, state and federal lawmakers.

In addition, Cummins requested and the city agreed to spend $1 million on local education initiatives.

The office complex will be built by Tim Dora, who built Hotel Indigo and the initial Cummins office next to The Commons. Dora originally had planned to build a hotel and conference center where he now will build the new Cummins offices.

Dora said that he expects construction to begin within 60 to 90 days and that Cummins to be able to move in on Oct. 15, 2012.

Cummins will lease the property for 10 or 15 years, the company said. Details still are being finalized.

Cummins will invest $4 million in equipment for the new office building.

Cummins executives have said that the company will produce record sales of $17 billion this year, largely because sales in China, India and Brazil are expected to grow at about 30 percent.

Linebarger said Cummins’ success is driven largely by growth outside of the U.S.

“International markets create jobs for Cummins and the United States,” Linebarger said. “That is especially the case in Columbus, which is home to our corporate headquarters and our global technical headquarters in addition to a number of manufacturing sites.

“These well-paying professional jobs will be crucial as we chart a course for future growth both here and abroad, and also will add to the vitality and diversity of Columbus.”

Linebarger also said that local investments in educational programs and institutions, such as the Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence, and local infrastructure investments such as The Commons help make the community an attractive place for residents and businesses such as Cummins.

According to consulting group Crowe Horwath, the 600 Cummins jobs will create about 400 other jobs in Bartholomew County and about 200 more in the state.

The roughly $48 million in annual Cummins salaries will create an additional $19.4 million in compensation in Bartholomew County and $12.5 million in the state.

The Columbus Redevelopment Commission will borrow $12 million to finance the parking garage. About $3 million will be paid back with property tax revenue generated by the new Cummins office and garage.

About $9 million will be paid back over about five years through state and local income taxes generated by jobs created in two Certified Tech Parks. The first park, which already exists near the airport, will be expanded down Central Avenue to include Cummins’ Columbus Engine Plant, tech center and much of downtown. The second will contain Cummins’ Corporate Office Building and the existing and new downtown office buildings.

Expansion of the existing tech park and creation of the new one must be approved by the state.

Gov. Mitch Daniels said the public-private partnerships in Columbus serve as a model to other Indiana communities.

“This spectacular run that (Cummins is) on, to me, embodies exactly the Indiana economy of tomorrow that we’ve been out to build. It represents the seizing of the opportunities we try to make possible,” Daniels said.

“All of Indiana is proud of Cummins and the huge global success it is achieving.”

Mayor Fred Armstrong lauded state and local officials, and Cummins for cooperating to bring the jobs to Columbus.

“With business partners like Cummins, Columbus cannot fail,” he said. “This is much more than an office building and a parking facility.”

The investment in education will help the city’s residents compete for tomorrow’s jobs, Armstrong said.

“Economic growth and education are inextricably linked,” he said.

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