MERRILLVILLE | Gov. Mitch Daniels visited town Tuesday, lauding the move of Modern Forge Companies from its Blue Island, Ill., facility to Merrillville.
The move represents about 250 new Indiana jobs and a $17 million investment in Merrillville, according to supporters of the move.
Greg Heim, CEO of Modern Forge, said lower taxes and incentives "were definitely a factor" in its decision to open a manufacturing site at 8757 Colorado St.
"You'll always feel this is the best decision your company has made," Gov. Mitch Daniels said to Heim on Tuesday.
Modern Forge was offered up to $2 million in performance-based tax credits and up to $200,000 in training grants from the Indiana Economic Development Corp. to make the move.
The Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority also provided $2 million in the incentive package, and the Merrillville Town Council approved a 10-year tax abatement for the company in May.
Modern Forge provides services to aerospace, railroad and motorcycle industries, including Harley-Davidson.
Heim said the company expects sales will approach $125 million in 2012.
Modern Forge's $17 million investment includes upgrading an existing 150,000-square-foot building in Merrillville, Heim said. The company also will construct a 60,000-square-foot building to complete the "state of the art forging facility," he said.
Construction should begin next year, Heim said.
"It's a very exciting prospect for us, and we are very excited to be in Merrillville," Heim said.
During the announcement of the move, Daniels conducted a mock naturalization ceremony, asking Modern Forge officials to raise their right hands and say "Indiana."
"You are now Hoosiers, and we're so proud you are," Daniels said.
Daniels also commended Merrillville for its ability to attract Modern Forge to the town.
Town Councilman Shawn Pettit said the town's decision to spend $550,000 to rebuild Colorado Street helped the process. Pettit thinks Modern Forge's decision to come to Merrillville could attract more businesses to Colorado Street.