Business

Freund-Vector considers Marion expansion, but only if it gets incentives

The state will consider manufacturer's requests this week

Freund-Vector senior process development scientist Tim Smith of Cedar Rapids adjusts the sprayers on a tablet coater system in the high bay at Freund-Vector in Marion on Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (Liz Martin/The Gazette/file photo)
Freund-Vector senior process development scientist Tim Smith of Cedar Rapids adjusts the sprayers on a tablet coater system in the high bay at Freund-Vector in Marion on Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (Liz Martin/The Gazette/file photo)

A Marion-based company plans to build a new research-and-development space in the city, but only if it receives state incentives.

Freund-Vector Corp. announced Monday it is “evaluating the opportunity” to build a new 17,000-square-foot lab and R & D facility in the Marion Enterprise Center. The project is expected to cost about $6.5 million.

In a news release from the Marion Economic Development Corp., the company said its plans are contingent upon regulatory approval and whether it receives tax incentives. The Marion City Council and Iowa Economic Development Authority will consider Freund-Vector’s requests this week.

MEDCO President Nick Glew said the city of Marion will not provide an incentive. The city does have to approve Freund-Vector’s application to the state.

MEDCO Holding Co., which owns the Marion Enterprise Center, will provide a forgivable loan, Glew said in an email. State incentives, if approved, would not exceed $176,310 and come from sales, service and use tax refunds and a supplemental research activities tax credit, Glew said.

The expansion announced Monday would create at least five jobs and construction likely would begin this spring, Freund-Vector said. The company currently employs 118 in Marion.

“We look forward to expanding our presence in Marion and strengthening our presence as a global manufacturing leader,” Masaaki Kubota, president and chief operating officer, said in the news release.

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In 2014, the Iowa Economic Development Authority awarded Freund-Vector $151,500 in tax credits for a 12,000-square-foot, $5.3 million expansion in Marion.

The city of Marion provided a five-year tax increment finance incentive of $135,000.

Freund-Vector designs and makes equipment that processes powders, pellets, beads and tablets for pharmaceutical, food, chemical and other industries. Should the company build its new R & D center, its manufacturing and corporate office jobs would remain at their current location on 44th Street in Marion.

The company started as Vector Corp. in 1972, and Japan-based Freund Corp. bought a controlling interest in 1997. It became Freund-Vector in 2012.

l Comments: (319) 398-8366; matthew.patane@thegazette.com

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