Zionsville Times Sentinel

November 6, 2013

GNC considering distribution center in Anson

By Rod Rose For the Times Sentinel
Zionsville Times Sentinel

---- — General Nutrition Centers, an international retailer of nutrition and supplement products, is a prospective tenant for Duke Realty’s Allpoints at Anson, Whitestown. The company operates as GNC Holdings, Inc., with headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pa.

“This will be a distribution facility for consumer-packaged goods,” according to an application for incentives filed with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

Copies of the incentives application, as well as the “statement of benefits” form, known as an SB-1, that companies requesting tax abatements must file with local governments, were given to the Boone County Commissioners Monday by Boone County Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Bryan Brackemyre.

The company is asking for a seven-year tax abatement for a $21 million investment in “personal property” — new machinery and equipment — and spending about $1.3 million on building improvements, according to GNC’s filing with the state.

GNC would occupy 342,000 square feet of a 600,000-square-feet building on CR 400 S, east of the Amazon distribution center.

The company would hire 175 workers by 2015, at an average hourly wage, excluding benefits, of $13.50 an hour. The number of jobs would increase to 225, and the average hourly wage to $14.32, by 2017, according to the SB-1 form.

In a third quarter financial report released Oct. 24 and distributed by PRNewswire, GNC said it was adding a fourth distribution center near Indianapolis to serve domestic stores.

GNC operates more than 8,100 stores worldwide, according to a summary of the company written by The New York Times. GNC currently has distribution centers in Arizona, Pennsylvania and South Carolina, the newspaper said.

The commissioners did not vote on the request, deferring action to their Nov. 18 meeting.

Commissioner Marc Applegate was not comfortable with approving the tax abatement request at Monday’s meeting.

“It would just be nice to have a chance to review this,” Applegate said of the SB-1 form.

“He (Brackemyre) just gave this to us,” Applegate said. “I haven’t had time to read it.”

Future requests for abatements should be provided earlier, Applegate said.

“I don’t think it would be appropriate to stop our public meeting to take time to read it,” he said.

Commissioner Jeff Wolfe said, “I’ve been a little more involved with this, and I’m comfortable with it.”

Four public hearings will be required before the abatement request can be approved, however, including appearances last night at the Whitestown Redevelopment Commission, the Whitestown Town Council and the Boone County Economic Redevelopment Commission, all of whom must also approve the abatement. The Whitestown council meets Nov. 12.

Boone County was competing with Louisville, Ky., Plainfield, and other Indiana locations for the project, Brackemyre said.