Steelcase and the city had worked to resolve the matter since last June, and did so with the world’s largest office furniture manufacturer agreeing to pay $93,766 to cover abated taxes from a five-year period. The abatement was granted by the city in 2001.
“Steelcase has listened very carefully to this commission,” said Deputy City Manager Eric DeLong. “They have deposited that amount with our treasurer.”
The city’s share of those taxes is only $17,192. The rest will go to the
The taxes were abated from 2002 through this year.
Steelcase requested and received the tax abatement from the city for the plant at
and pledged to buy $3 million worth of machinery and equipment to produce the chair line at the site. The abatement was good until 2014.
But Steelcase announced earlier this year that it intended to sell the plant site to Ashley Capital, a
“It was their business decision to break that agreement, and that will happen from time to time,” said 1st Ward Commissioner James Jendrasiak.
Ashley Capital is expected to close on the sales transaction with Steelcase by the end of this year or early next year. The city’s Brownfield Redevelopment Authority approved the reimbursement for the clean-up of the site last week, meaning the East Coast firm will likely get some tax relief if the city commission and the state agree with the authority’s decision. The firm is asking for roughly $30 million in tax assistance.
“The tax revenue [from the project] comes to $2.5 million,” said 1st Ward Commissioner Roy Schmidt. “The $93,000 pales in comparison.”
Schmidt added that Ashley Capital told the brownfield authority it would invest $142 million into building homes, apartments, offices and retail space that it has marked for the Steelcase property.
In July, city commissioners finalized a transfer with