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Parts-maker bids for land

December 14th, 2016

$670,000 proposal for industrial tract in New Haven

By Rosa Salter Rodriguez | The Journal Gazette

Recreational vehicle parts-maker Lippert Components Inc. has offered to buy a piece of land owned and marketed by the Allen County Redevelopment Commission.

The commission today will consider a purchase agreement for $670,000 for about 52 acres of land along South Ryan Road from the rapidly expanding Elkhart company.

On its website, Lippert bills itself as “the leading supplier of components to the recreational vehicle and manufactured housing industries, as well as adjacent industries including bus, cargo and equestrian trailer, marine and heavy trucks.”

The company has $1.4 billion in revenue operation, making more than 40 acquisitions in the past 15 years. Lippert has more than 7,000 employees at 48 locations in the United States, Canada and Italy.

Elissa McGauley, director of county redevelopment, said Monday she did not know Lippert’s plans for the site. Lippert officials could not be reached Monday for comment.

Located at the southeast corner of South Ryan and Edgerton roads on the east side of New Haven, the site abuts Superior Aluminum Alloys and was deemed “certified site ready” in 2013 by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. The land has been in the redevelopment commission’s hands since 2011.

The tract is zoned intensive industrial, the least restrictive industrial category. Allowed uses at the site include fabricating, manufacturing, processing, extraction and heavy repair and dismantling operations needing outside operations or storage.

If the purchase agreement is accepted, this would be the second Lippert investment in the New Haven area in a little over a year.

In 2015, the company purchased the former Signature Seating plant at 6900 Nelson Road in New Haven for $16 million. Signature manufactures watercraft furniture.

Lippert then applied for a tax abatement, saying it would create 125 jobs. That figure was later revised downward by 50 after the company said some employees left after unspecified “compliance issues” were found.

The South Ryan Road tract is part of land annexed into New Haven in recent years. The land also is part of a tax increment financing district that will fund improvements to Bruick/Ryan Road to start in 2018.