date: 11/09/92 Source: Times Online
container-maker ramping up production
Industries' last lines set to start up this month, employing 175
-- Financial incentives, a strong labor market and lower utility costs
lured a long-time Chicago manufacturer to Northwest Indiana.
Polycon Industries, a wholly owned subsidiary of Crown Packaging
International, has left Chicago after a 50-year presence and set up shop
at 8919 Colorado St. in Merrillville. The company makes plastic bottles
and containers used in the food, beverage, personal care and chemical
Crown Packaging International, which produces rigid containers, will
remain in Chicago.
The Colorado Street plant, which was designed and built to Polycon's
specifications, has 170,000 square feet of space and lots of room for
expansion, said Dennis Tilles, Polycon Industries president. The company
invested $10 million in its new facility.
Tilles said the new space will allow Polycon to increase its customer base
and raise revenues an estimated 50 percent in the next few years.
The Merrillville plant has been operating for the past two months,
although not all 17 blow molding lines used to manufacture the plastic
containers have been moved from Chicago. The new plant also has five
printing lines used to silk-screen and produce labels for the plastic
bottles and containers.
When the last seven lines are moved within the next 30 days, the
Merrillville site will employ 175 people, the majority of whom are Indiana
Employees of Polycon's Chicago plant won't move with the company to
Indiana and are receiving job-placement help from a city of Chicago
program for displaced workers, Tilles said.
One reason for the move was the lack of space for expansion at the aging
Chicago facility, Tilles said. The search for a new corporate home began
four years ago.
Tilles said Northwest Indiana won out because of "the proactive
approach taken by local and state officials to provide incentives."
These included a 10-year tax abatement Polycon received from Merrillville
and grants provided by the state of Indiana. The company received a
$40,000 state grant for training employees and a $400,000 grant for
In addition, Northwest Indiana has an "accessible labor force,
attractive electrical power rates, workman compensation and access to
major highways," Tilles said.
Polycon Industries may be the first of many light industrial plants to
build in what is known as the Colorado corridor, about one mile south of
U.S. 30, said Dennis Lasser, president of Commercial In-Site, Inc. The
Merrillville-based commercial real estate company represented the buyer
and seller in the Polycon transaction.
The Colorado corridor was created in the early 1990s when the town of
Merrillville rezoned 1,500 acres for light industry. Until Polycon's
purchase of 20 acres for its new facility, the only company in this
rezoned area was NSU (Nakagawa Sangyo), a company that manufactures auto
parts. NSU expanded into this area from its plant at 8300 Colorado in
1991, Lasser said. However, the company has been served by a septic system
rather than sewers.
When Polycon indicated interest in this Colorado corridor, sewers were a
necessity because of the company's infrastructure requirements, the
Realtor said. The Merrillville Conservancy District extended the sewer
lines to service this 1,500 acres, and the MCD annexed the corridor as
part of its conservancy district.
"Now the area is ready for development with all utilities,"
Lasser said. "It should grow much more rapidly."