Council approves tax abatements

City officials have approved tax abatements for a local company’s expansion projects.

Columbus City Council approved tax abatements for Moravec Realty LLC and Applied Laboratories, Inc. on Tuesday.

Moravec Realty, as the property owner, sought a real property tax abatement for a $4 million facility expansion at Applied Laboratories’ 1600 Brian Drive facility. Applied Laboratories requested a personal property tax abatement on a $3 million investment in new manufacturing equipment.

According to city documents, it’s estimated that the abatements will save the companies about $526,000 on real property taxes and $167,000 on personal property taxes over 10 years. During that same time, it’s calculated that the companies will pay about $537,000 in new taxes for the facility expansion and $112,000 for the new equipment.

The investment in new equipment will result in the retention of 149 full-time jobs and the addition of 10 new positions by the end of 2023, said Assistant Director of Community Development Robin Hilber in a memo to city officials. Per Applied Laboratories’ incentive application, this includes eight jobs in production/manufacturing, one in maintenance and repair, and one in transport/material moving. The average hourly wage for these positions will be $18.54.

The company wrote in its application the personal property abatement is for “filling and related packaging equipment to meet growing demand in the nasal saline market.” This equipment is related to the company’s bag-on-valve products.

Additionally, the approved abatement resolution stated that the company is planning a 45,000 square foot expansion onto the facility’s west side to “accommodate additional warehousing space.” Applied Laboratories stated in its application that this will make the facility’s total size 165,000 square feet.

“We underwent a facility expansion in 2018 and 2019 to support additional manufacturing operations, and 30,000 SF (square feet) of warehouse was converted into packaging and manufacturing space,” company officials wrote. “Due to our continued growth, we now need additional warehouse space to accommodate the raw materials and components to support our production.”

According to President Jeff Logston, Applied Laboratories will work with local contractor Dunlap & Company on the warehouse expansion project.

He added that this isn’t the first time the company has come to city council with abatement requests, and he expects to return sometime in the next few years with another application.

“With the pace of growth, knock on wood,” said Logston. “As you saw from the presentation, there were some gaps in our real property expansion. And sometimes it was two or four years. We had a space that was 15 years. And then three to five. We’re looking like every three to five years at this point, at the rate we’re seeing expansion. Hope to be back in front of you again in a handful of years to continue that. At that point, there’ll most likely be a third building on our campus.”