Niles business to expand, create 15-20 new jobs
Published 9:19 am Thursday, September 17, 2015
A Niles business expects to create between 15 and 20 new jobs with a $1.5 million expansion project, according to city officials.
A representative for Toefco Engineered Coating Systems, 1220 N. 14th St., said the company has an opportunity to significantly grow its business, but needs to expand to an adjacent piece of unused property owned by the City of Niles at the corner of 13th and Lake streets.
“We desperately need to get this up,” said Art McElwee, Toefco chairman.
On Monday, the city council voted unanimously to give the property to Toefco.
The city acquired the property from Carrier Corp. in 2013 with the caveat that the city could only transfer ownership of the parcel if it benefited the city economically.
City Administrator Ric Huff said Niles stands to gain about $5,000 a year in property taxes from the deal.
Toefco, which specializes in industrial spray coating application projects, plans to build 20,000 square feet of new manufacturing space on the land at an estimated cost of $1.5 million. The company also plans to install $1.5 million worth of manufacturing equipment.
McElwee said they hope to begin construction in the late fourth quarter.
City officials said the parcel currently has a taxable value of $10,179 and is considered industrial due to the paved parking surface and security fencing.
Councilman Dan VandenHeede asked if the property could ever be used as overflow parking for the softball fields across the street. In response, Huff said it is unlikely the softball field would need additional parking.
VandenHeede also questioned whether it was a good idea to have a business expand in an area that is primarily residential. He ultimately voted in favor of giving Toefco the land.
It was originally proposed that the city sell the property for $3,000 but Councilman Robert Durm made a motion on behalf of Councilman Scott Clark, who was absent, to give it away for free because of the jobs it would create.