Van Drunen Farms granted tax abatement on C.P. facility

2013-07-01T22:15:00Z 2013-07-01T23:52:04Z Van Drunen Farms granted tax abatement on C.P. facilitySusan Erler susan.erler@nwi.com, (219) 662-5336 nwitimes.com

CROWN POINT | A company planning to bring 26 jobs to Crown Point when it moves into the former Dawn Food Products plant was granted a tax abatement Monday.

The seven-year abatement on equipment was approved by the Crown Point City Council for food grower and processor Van Drunen Farms.

Tax abatement permits a business to pay an incremental portion of its property taxes for a period of years, providing it meets expected levels of employment and salaries.

Job creation at the plant is expected to generate a total annual payroll of $793,200, Van Drunen Farms officials said in seeking the abatement.

A total $5 million in new equipment is planned to be installed in the plant, 1300 E. Summit St., where Van Drunen Farms is expanding from its base in Momence, Ill.

The company is in preliminary planning stages of the expansion, facility operations manager Matt Evers said Monday.

The City Council in approving the tax abatement required that Van Drunen Farms pay prevailing wages for construction work to install the new equipment and make every effort to use local contractors when practical. Some of the work will be done by Van Drunen Farms employees.

The new equipment in the Crown Point plant will be used to dehydrate food as part of Van Drunen Farms' processing of organic and conventional food ingredients.

The company bought the nearly empty 125,000-square-foot Dawn Food Products plant in December. The purchase price was not disclosed.

The City Council on Monday reaffirmed the site of the plant as an economic revitalization area.

Dawn Food Products, an international supplier of commercial food products for bakery owners and managers, ceased full-scale operation of its Crown Point facility in 2010, after 25 years at the location.

The company in January announced plans to consolidate its Crown Point and Munster operations at one distribution center being built in Merrillville.

Dawn Food Products is leasing space in the Crown Point building until October.

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