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Siemens to set up operations in Plainfield

Global corporate powerhouse Siemens, which sells products from wind turbines and medical test devices in at least 190 countries around the world, will be the next major company to set up operations in Plainfield.

Siemens has leased 320,000 square feet in a warehouse and distribution center to store and ship health care products.

A spokesman for the company confirmed that the lease has been signed, but declined to provide many more details until an announcement, which is expected later this week from Indiana economic development officials.

The number of jobs, the size of the investment and the tax incentives offered to lure Siemens were not immediately available.

“I can indeed confirm that we will be opening a new facility. I expect to be able to share more within a few days,” said Lance Longwell, director of public relations for the Pennsylvania-based healthcare division of Siemens.

Construction already is underway to finish office space and other preparations to occupy the shell of the massive building with ceilings that are three-stories high. The facility could be in operation before the end of this year.

Founded in Germany 160 years ago, Siemens has nearly 400,000 employees and almost 1,700 locations worldwide.

Though its major divisions of industry, energy and healthcare, Siemens makes and sells a wide range of products.

Siemens has 77 major production facilities in the Americas, according to the company Web site. In Indiana, the healthcare division has a large plant in Elkhart making medical testing equipment used by physicians and hospitals.

The company has several small shipping and distribution locations in Indiana that could be consolidated and expanded in the new Plainfield center.

Siemens has leased about 65 percent of the space in a 493,000 square foot building constructed by Atlanta-based Republic Properties at 2150 Stanley Road, at the corner of Stanley and Quaker Boulevard.

Jerry Daws, president of Atlanta-based Republic, also confirmed Siemens is leasing the building to store and ship medical diagnostic equipment.

The building, which was completed last year, is in Plainfield?s booming industrial parks with over 20 million square feet of distribution centers and over 13,000 jobs. It is along the commercial, industrial and residential corridor, close to new shopping and restaurants just north of the I-70 and Ind. 267 interchange.

Republic put up the building with its 36-feet high concrete walls, on speculation that a tenant would be found.

Daws said Republic has three other large distribution buildings, all leased, and expected to fill the remaining 170,000 square feet of the Siemens building soon. Construction will begin next spring on a twin structure next to the Siemens building, another 493,000 square feet of space. It also is an investment of tens of millions of dollars on speculation that a company will be found to rent it.

“We plan to start a sister building, a mirror image and the same size, because we have enormous confidence in the industrial market in Plainfield,” Daws said.

Even when other parts of the nation?s economy are soft or in decline, he said ?the market for industrial buildings in Plainfield is fundamentally sound because of the interstate highway and airport transportation systems, the skilled labor force.?

Plainfield also provides 10-year property tax abatement for the buildings and contents that often costs tens of millions of dollars to construct and equip, not counting their inventory and contents.

Several other medical manufacturers have put specialized distribution facilities in Plainfield for similar reasons, Daws said.

Next to the Siemens building is the distribution center for the medicines Eli Lilly and Co. makes in Indianapolis. Nearby is Bristol Myers in another Republic Properties building.

And state and local officials staged a ceremonial recognition this month at MD Logistics, a locally-based company that handles the shipping and distribution for several companies including medical manufacturers.

Such centers often have massive spaces of tens of thousands of square feet of refrigerated space to store medicines under federally-mandated conditions.

“Plainfield has found a niche with these sophisticated companies that need an educated workforce and good transportation that is close to large areas of population,” Daws said.