Shoe Company Looks to Expand in Richmond

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Stride Rite Corp. is planning to consolidate a Rockford, Michigan location into its Richmond operation. The Economic Development Corp. of Wayne County says the proposal would result in the creation of 184 jobs and the retention of 130 workers. Richmond's common council and redevelopment commission next week will consider incentives for the project.

December 11, 2013

News Release

Richmond, Ind. -- Wolverine Worldwide, operating as The Stride Rite Corporation in Richmond, is in the process of relocating and expanding their Customer, Consumer and Shared Services operations into a single state-of-the art facility to support the company’s strong growth in both its wholesale channel and direct-to-consumer sectors. The consolidation of operations involves a location in Rockford, Michigan as well as the Richmond location.

In order to bring this project to fruition it took the collaboration of the City of Richmond, the EDC of Wayne County and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). The scope of the project will include the retention of 130 full-time jobs and the creation of up to 184 new, full-time jobs with an average hourly wage of $15.05 by the end of 2017. The company will invest $2,450,000 in the project including furniture, fixtures, computer and IT hardware. The proposed property location is 1400 and 1500 Industries Road, a property currently owned by the City of Richmond. This property will be leased to The Stride Rite Corporation. In order for the property to accommodate the company’s needs the City will be investing $2.5 million in Certified Technology Park funds to retrofit both buildings and expand parking on site.

The project moving forward in Richmond is contingent upon approvals made by Richmond Common Council for the lease agreement and tax abatement request, Richmond Redevelopment Commission to release the expenditure of $2.5 million in Certified Technology Park funds, and the Richmond Board of Works to approve the lease agreement. The project comes up for approval at meetings scheduled next week beginning Monday, December 16th. In addition, the EDC of Wayne County is offering an Economic Development Income Tax Grant (EDIT) of $300,000 to be used for additional interior and exterior property improvements as well as for training new employees and/or the purchase and installation of new computer hardware, furniture and fixtures. The EDIT request will come before the EDC Board of Directors at their monthly meeting on January 6th. The request will then go before the Wayne County Board of Commissioners at their meeting scheduled for January 8th. The IEDC is offering the company $1.1 million in Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) Tax Credits.

Valerie Shaffer, president of the EDC of Wayne County says "We're excited about The Stride Rite Corporation’s commitment to the community and their plans to not only stay here but to grow here. We're thrilled to have such a large presence by a global, high performing company such as Wolverine Worldwide in Wayne County."

Source: Economic Development Corp. of Wayne County