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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 12:03 pm

Logistics company to build Allen distribution center

Sherry Slater | The Journal Gazette

XPO Logistics made it official today: The Connecticut company will invest $26 million to build a regional distribution center in southwest Allen County.

The state-of-the-art facility will create up to 75 new jobs by 2018 and manage logistics for Trinity Health, a nonprofit health care system, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. announced.

The project was first reported by The Journal Gazette in December, when XPO officials sought a 10-year, $2 million tax abatement from the Allen County Council. Company officials said the 24-acre site at 13201 Bluffton Road wasn't the only one being considered. Council members approved the request.

The IEDC has sweetened the pot by offering the company up to $750,000 in conditional tax credits based on its hiring plans.

XPO will ship medical and surgical supplies from the facility to about 90 Trinity Health-owned hospitals. The closest ones are in Mishawaka and Plymouth. The nonprofit also owns hospitals in Michigan, Ohio and 18 other states nationwide.

In tax abatement paperwork, the company disclosed plans to create 21 management positions paying $102,000 a year on average and 54 production jobs paying $38,000 a year on average.

Construction was estimated at $18 million and equipment at about $8 million.

XPO's operation will be just north of the $36 million General Mills distribution center, which opened about four years ago. Indiana officials have aggressively sought logistics investments, promoting the state's central location and multi-interstate access.

"We're proudly known as the Crossroads of America, and with the logistics industry expected to more than double by 2035, we're making unprecedented investments in our infrastructure statewide to ensure that global companies like XPO Logistics continue to choose Indiana for growth and job creation," Gov. Mike Pence said in a statement.

Ashfaque Chowdhury, XPO's president of supply chain for the Americas and Asia-Pacific, praised the support offered by city and county officials.

"Fort Wayne provides important benefits in terms of an attractive business climate, quality workforce, strategic location and access to transportation infrastructure," Chowdhury said in a statement.

Construction is scheduled to begin this spring and be completed within 12 months.

XPO employs 89,000 worldwide, including more than 1,500 at 19 facilities in Indiana.

sslater@jg.net