CROWN POINT | A tax break from the city and a phone call from Gov. Mitch Daniels are helping to sway an Illinois-based business to move to Crown Point.
South Holland Paper Co. owners Donald and Duane Bruinsma said the 10-year tax abatement approved by the City Council on Monday meant the elimination of "one of the biggest hurdles" to making the move.
The distributor of bakery supplies to a four-state area has outgrown its South Chicago Heights location and narrowed a search for a new home to Crown Point after looking in Hobart, Merrillville and other Northwest Indiana locations, the brothers said.
"Crown Point really opened its arms to us," Duane Bruinsma said. "We felt at home right away."
A phone call last month from Daniels touting Indiana's tax advantages also played a role, the Bruinsmas said. "It meant a lot," Donald Bruinsma said.
The move now depends on finalizing financing and other matters, the Bruinsmas said.
South Holland Paper is considering a 40,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center to be constructed on 4 acres in the Crown East Industrial Park on the city's east side.
The site has room for potential expansion, adding another 20,000-square-feet and 20 more workers, said Jeff Ban, of the Crown Point firm DVG, who represented the Bruinsmas in seeking the tax abatement.
The company's investment in Crown Point would amount to more than $2 million, including $1.5 million for the building and another $500,000 in equipment. Expected payroll for about 20 employees is $864,000.
Jeff Ban said the family-owned business founded by the Bruinsmas' father 32 years ago in South Holland is looking to establish new roots and would not be likely to "pick up and walk away," when the abatement runs out.
"That is not the culture of this company," Ban said.
The company supplies flour, sugar, spices, chocolate chips and icing, as well as bakers' hats and other products to dozens of bakeries in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana, including the Strack & Van Til grocery store chain.