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Plastics company to open in coming weeks

Plastics company to open in coming weeks

September 9th, 2017 by Philip Joens in News

In this July 16, 2017 photo, new work is shown at a Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce building at the intersection of Algoa and Shamrock roads. The spec building, sold to an Ohio-based holding company, was revealed on Aug. 4 to be the site of an Axium Plastics LLC manufacturing facility. The company designs, manufactures and supplies plastic bottles.

Photo by Julie Smith /News Tribune.

Construction on Axium Plastics' new factory in Jefferson City is on schedule, and the factory is expected to be operational in six to eight weeks, officials from the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce said Friday.

New Albany, Ohio-based Axium plastics announced Aug. 4 it is building a factory in the chamber's spec building at the corner of Shamrock and Algoa roads. During a monthly coffee meeting with chamber members, Director of Economic Development Missy Bonnot said work is progressing on the factory, which took months to bring to Jefferson City.

Axium makes plastic bottles for commercial use, including bottles used for 5-Hour Energy. The company employs approximately 1,000 people across four other factories in suburbs of Toronto; Atlanta; Los Angeles; and Columbus, Ohio. It plans to invest $25 million in the Jefferson City site and create 70 jobs within three years.

Interior and exterior renovations of the 50,000-square-foot building are on schedule, Bonnot said. Once finished, the company plans to begin a 70,000- to 80,000-square-foot addition that could be complete next spring.

Approximately 10,000 square feet of office space is being constructed now inside the factory. Bonnot showed pictures of sheet rock walls under construction during Friday's meeting. The company also has added lights to the interior. Outside the building, two silos were added to store resin used for manufacturing plastics.

Bonnot said the company is known for speed.

"Very aggressive timeline," Bonnot said. "They have a customer that's expecting plastic bottles at their facility very quickly. It's going to happen very quickly."

The deal also came together rapidly. Bonnot said the chamber began discussions with the company Feb. 14, and Axium officials made their first site visit 10 days later.

Axium Plastics will receive two Chapter 100 tax abatements to move into the building, which will equal about a $1.1 million tax abatement over 10 years. The abatements will include a 75 percent tax abatement on the real value of the property over 15 years and a 75 percent tax abatement on the value of personal property inside the buildings for seven years.

The chamber estimates Jefferson City, Cole County and the Jefferson City Public School District will receive a return of $1.9 million in tax revenue over that 10-year period.

During just the first year, Bonnot said, Axium will invest $14 million, which includes $10 million in machinery alone. She said the presence of the 10-year-old spec building elevated Jefferson City above the rest of the competition.

"Had we not had that spec building, they probably would have looked us over," Bonnot said.

Axium plans to create 48 jobs in the first year the factory is open. These jobs will pay an average of $34,583 per year in the first year, with a total payroll of $1.66 million.

Seventeen more jobs will be added in year two, increasing payroll to $2.1 million.

In the third year, Axium plans to add five more jobs, bringing the total number of jobs to 70. Payroll should also increase to $2.22 million.

Average hourly wages will drop slightly from $16.62 per hour the first year to $15.24 per hour the third year. Bonnot said the dip will take place because several high-paying managerial positions will be created in year one, while lower-paying laborer positions will be added in years two and three.

She said Axium's leadership team appeared to do research on the community and site before it approached the chamber.

Bonnot said Axium was impressed with the community and the facility in Jefferson City from the start.

"Our prospects come to us with a wealth of information," she said. "They were ready to start negotiating 10 days after we started working with them."

Jefferson City beat out larger cities like Kansas City, Chicago and St. Louis for the factory.

"The hardest job the chamber does is trying to recruit new business to Jefferson City," Bonnot said. "If you land 1 percent of the projects you're working on, you're good."