AgReliant Genetics, the nation’s third largest corn-seed company, is being offered a 10-year real property tax abatement to keep its headquarters in Westfield after the city council unanimously approved the establishment of an economic revitalization area at 11 22 E. 169th St. on Jan. 26.
“This is definitely an area not close to Grand Park. This is a revitalization area,” Councilor Steve Hoover said. “It should bring some good paying jobs and retain a strong business in Westfield.”
Without the abatement, AgReliant will likely relocate somewhere else.
“Over the past several months, city administration has been in communication with representatives from AgReliant. During that time, AgReliant has evaluated whether to expand and maintain its corporate headquarters here in our community,” said Westfield Associate Planner Andrew Murray. “They are considering other locations, both in state and out of state. However, their preference is to remain here in our community.”
The tax exemption or abatement applies to the company’s planned $3 million expansion to its headquarters east of U.S. 31 and west of Oak Ridge Road. K. Craig Newman, president and CEO of AgReliant, said the project will make the company’s building approximately 50,000 square feet once completed by the end of the year. He said the expansion will add meeting rooms and office and work space.
Murray said the company has committed to adding 31 jobs, totaling $2.2 million in salaries over the 10-year abatement period. AgReliant also will retain its 54 current positions.
The company has six seed brands, operates 13 research facilities and is ranked among the top five agriculture research programs in North America.
The economic revitalization area is the first step in the abatement process. On Feb. 9, the council will have a confirmatory resolution and then request the real property abatement for AgReliant.