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Aluminum maker goes big

Highmark Technologies adds jobs, space in larger plan

A zoning issue sparked a Fort Wayne company to scrap its original plans in favor of a larger project pegged at nearly $2 million.

In March, Highmark Technologies went before the City Council seeking an abatement to build an 11,500-square-foot manufacturing and warehouse complex at its five-building, eight-acre campus.

Rather than seeking approval for a zoning change from commercial to light-industrial, President Michael Parrott withdrew his application and opted to construct a building that would be more than double the size of the initial proposed structure.

The company, at 8343 Clinton Park Drive, makes aluminum structures used in trade show exhibits and other events.

Parrott said while his original plans might come to fruition later, he felt his new endeavor will better position the company for growth.

“After re-evaluating our plans, the first building would have been a stopgap,” Parrott said. “This is a better decision for the kind of business we expect to be doing.”

A pair of abatement requests will be introduced to the City Council on June 25.

Ten- and seven-year property tax phase-ins will save Highmark $255,272 on property improvements and equipment, based on an application filed with city officials last week.

Highmark, founded in 1998, employs 14 workers. The expansion will result in 10 jobs – eight of those full time – ranging from $38,000 to $52,000.

Officials expect construction to begin in August and conclude early next year.

The planned 26,250-square-foot building will house design, engineering, fabrication and assembly operations.

Highmark said its largest customers are in Atlanta, Chicago and Philadelphia. In 2012, the company earned $3.2 million in annual sales.