Expansions Expected to Retain, Create Hundreds of Jobs

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(Rendering Provided by Eli Lilly and Co.) Lilly's planned $65 million project follows R&D investments in Massachusetts, California and New York. (Rendering Provided by Eli Lilly and Co.) Lilly's planned $65 million project follows R&D investments in Massachusetts, California and New York.

Four companies are seeking tax abatement for expansions in Marion County involving a combined investment of nearly $90 million. The preliminary requests are slated to go before the Metropolitan Development Commission Wednesday in Indianapolis. The companies expect the projects to retain a total of more than 340 jobs and create 110 positions.

One of the projects is a research and development expansion by Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY). The other companies planning investments are Litho Press Inc., Merchandise Warehouse Co. Inc. and Alexandria Extrusion MidAmerica LLC.

Lilly says a $65 million investment at its global research and development headquarters in Indianapolis will include a multi-disciplinary laboratory that builds on a larger R&D expansion the company unveiled in 2013. It says new laboratory facilities will focus on small molecules for oral treatments. Lilly expects to retain 165 workers as a result of the investment. The new lab is scheduled to open within two years.

Merchandise Warehouse is looking to pump a total of around $11.5 million into modernizing and upgrading existing loading and storage facilities. The company wants tax abatement over eight years and says the investment will add 65 jobs and retain 69 workers in Indianapolis. Around $1.9 million of the project is for new equipment, which is the subject of the abatement request.

Alexandria Extrusion is seeking abatement over seven years on a $7 million investment to expand its production capabilities and add equipment. The company, which supplies medical, solar and signage industries, says the two-phase project includes 30 new jobs and will keep 60 positions at its Indianapolis operation that used to house National Aluminum Corp. Alexandria Extrusion says the real estate purchase involved in the project will run an additional $1.5 million.

Litho Press says its six-year abatement request would lead to 15 additional positions and retain more than three dozen current employees. It plans to pump $4 million into new printing technology, which the company says will reduce production costs by 30 percent.

All resolutions except Lilly's could return to the commission for final approval November 18. The Lilly request will need the green light from the full City-County Council before returning to the MDC.

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