The Director of the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation gave the county council an update on the shell building in Plymouth.
Jerry Chavez explained that construction on the building began last year but activity ceased as winter settled in.
“There are some items that still need to be completed but for the most part it’s at a status where we won’t see anymore work this coming winter. We’re doing what we can in terms of marketing it to prospective clients that may have an interest in expanding to Marshall County and setting up shop in Plymouth’s backyard,” said Chavez.
The Marshall County Economic Development Corporation has launched a new website.
Officials with the corporation and many volunteers spent many hours during the summer months researching ways to help promote businesses and to grow the economy.
According to Bill Davis, President of the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors, the home page at www.marshallcountyedc.org will now focus on key strategic business advantages that are evaluated when a company conducts a site search to determine where to locate a new facility.
The exterior of the new shell building at 2910 Commerce Street in Plymouth is moving along.
Three massive concrete panels have been installed and construction cranes remain on the scene and can be spotted from U.S. 30, according to officials from the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC). This is just the beginning of the construction of the 45,000 square foot building that will house a business or industry once it is completed by October.
The Marshall County Economic Development Corporation will launch the Business Expansion and Retention, or BEAR, Program next month.
This program will implement the first area-wide structured program using industry standards to access area businesses.
The Chairman of the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation, Bill Davis, said it’s important for them to talk to area businesses to see how they can assist them in making future expansion plans.
The Marshall County Economic Development Commission (MCEDC) held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday morning in order for the shell building project to begin. It will be located at 2910 Commerce Street in Plymouth.
The shell building will be built over the summer that will be available for an incoming business or industry to the area.
Dan Zuerner, Vice President of Garmong Construction, talks about the structure and the time frame in which it will be complete.
“This will be a state-of-the-art building made of manufactured precast concrete sandwich panels so they’re heavily insulated and have a very high energy efficiency rating,” explained Zuerner. “This building will be 45,000 square feet expandable to 135,000 square feet. We expect the precast to arrive on site in late June or early July, the steel will be set in July and August, we’ll put the roof on and the product will be 100 percent complete by early October.”
Garmong Construction is based in Indiana and crews from the company have built seven similar structures in the state with five more projects this year. He says they success rate in getting a company into a shell building is quite high.
“They’ve been very successful. Right now, out of all of the buildings that we’ve built, we only have one remaining for sale. We’ve done three for the county of Delaware in Muncie, Indiana, there’s one being done right now in White County and three projects in Vigo County. They’re scattered throughout the state.”
Marshall County Commissioner Deb Griewank said it will be beneficial for the county.
“It’s going to be bringing in a lot of economic development here” said Griewank. “People will be moving in, more business coming to town – I’m really excited!”
Plymouth Mayor Mark Senter said the new shell building will have a great impact on not only the Plymouth area, but Marshall County and the Northern Indiana region.
“Within the next year, we’d love to have a new manufacturing corporation here and bring 100 jobs or more!” smiled Senter.
The Marshall County Economic Development Corporation worked along with the Plymouth Redevelopment Commission, Plymouth Industrial Development Corporation, the City of Plymouth, and Garmong Development Company to make sure this shell building became a reality.
All schools in Marshall County are now eligible to participate in the regional STEM Education Initiative announced by Project Lead the Way officials along with the United Way of Marshall County and the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation.
Project Lead The Way is the nation’s leading provider of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs. Northern Indiana was selected to become a model region for Project Lead The Way where all K-12 schools, both public and private, in a five-county area, will participate with the opportunity to implement programs in engineering, biomedical science, and computer science.
Over 70 resumes have been received by the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation board members and a decision on a candidate should be made by the end of the first quarter.
According to a published report in the Pilot News, former director Jay Bahr resigned in November since taking the lead position in April of 2013 and the corporation has been relying on staff already in place to complete the duties of the director.
Board Chairman Bill Davis told the publication that the applications have been narrowed to less than 12 and four of the candidates will meet with the board for final interviews.
The Marshall County Economic Development Corporation is looking for a new executive director. Jay Bahr, who took over leadership of the corporation in mid-April is leaving. Board Chair Bill Davis says in a news release, “Mr. Bahr has been effectively leading our organization since April of this year. We want to wish Jay a successful career transition.”
The Marshall County “shell” building project is moving right along with a groundbreaking ceremony planned for next month. The Plymouth Industrial Development Corporation yesterday signed the agreement to sell the land to the Marshall County Economic Development Commission to allow the project to move forward, and last week, the MCEDC board approved all the other documents necessary to proceed. According to MCEDC Executive Director Jay Bahr, there have been no recent snags and they expect to start construction soon.
Marshall County’s new economic development director is cautiously optimistic a deal can be finalized to keep a local factory in business. Jay Bahr tells “The South Bend Tribune” the receiver in charge of Whitley Products is trying to find another buyer for the financially strapped business. A deal fell apart Friday because the two sides were too far apart on price, forcing the embattled Plymouth plant to close its doors. About 40 people are without jobs as a result. Whitley Products makes fabricated tubular products for agriculture and off-road heavy equipment. The company’s fate has been uncertain for the past several months. It first closed in January, citing financial problems, but reopened a week later. Whitley Products officials then sent a WARN notice to the state advising it “would likely permanently cease all its operations” in Warsaw and Plymouth and all employees would be terminated between April 22 and May 6.
Fifty applications and resumes for the position of Director of the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation have been received.
Board member Roger Umbaugh gave an update on the search to the Marshall County Council members. The board has waded through the many applications and have decided upon eight candidates who will be interviewed over the phone. Many of the candidates live outside Marshall County, even out of the state. Umbaugh pointed out that all candidates have local roots. He hopes a new director will be active by the end of March.
Jennifer Laurent was the last director and she left the Economic Development Corporation in December.
Umbaugh also reported that 320 new jobs were new to the county in 2012, including many factories and industry opportunities.