Historic foundry to receive upgrade

Lesedauer: min

The Noblesville Common Council unanimously approved the preliminary resolution for an economic revitalization area tax phase-in for ID Castings, 1600 S. Eighth St.

ID Castings has requested a three-year, 100 percent tax savings on the increase in assessed valuation from its $51-million project to restore the 13.9-acre historic site.

“It’s been an eyesore for years. We’re thrilled about this,” councilor Jeff Zeckel said.

Noblesville Economic Development Director Judi Johnson said ID Castings proposes to purchase and install approximately $31 million worth of new equipment to expand its production capabilities. The company also will spend approximately $20 million on new buildings. The estimated tax abatement savings for the three years is $1,283,400.

“It’s part of the Eighth Street beautification project and will have a real impact on our community,” Johnson said.

ID Castings purchased the building on Oct. 1. The company has 25 employees and plans to hire an additional 27 employees with the expansion.

Plant manager Jack Kruse said the company is an iron-castings foundry. He said some of the biggest products are storm pipe, drive shafts and drain grates. Work currently is taking place at the foundry. Kruse said some buildings are being reroofed and rewired.

“Anything that needs to be fixed, they are fixing,” he said, adding the site will have three buildings demolished. “It will take place in the next two to three months. We’re working pretty fast on getting this down.”

Kruse, a third-generation worker at the foundry, is enthusiastic about ID Castings plans to revitalize the foundry, which has been in Noblesville for more than 100 years.

“It’s very heartfelt to me and a lot of other employees as well to see it come back like this,” he said.

Mayor John Ditslear said the new factory will have a total area of approximately 260,000 square feet and includes refurbishing of the existing production line and the addition of two new production lines.

“I’m real excited to renew something. We’re excited for all business, but revitalizing business that is here gives you extra pride,” he said.

Ditslear said this is the only foundry in Noblesville and one of the few remaining in the nation.

“There are not a lot of them,” he said. “I was told there were 5,000 in the country with many in Indiana and now it’s down to fewer than 500 now.”

Johnson said the common council will have a confirmatory decision on the tax phase-in on March 11.

The history

The Noblesville Foundry Machine Co., in the late 1800s, began operation at Division and Wild streets (now Seventh Street).  It operated a foundry and machine shop which continued under the name McElwaine Richards Co. Machine Works.  Under this name, it relocated farther south on Eighth Street.  Around 1910, the company became known as the Union Sanitary Manufacturing Co. They manufactured enamelware such as bath tubs and lavatories.  The company along with six other enamelware companies became involved in a lawsuit known as the “bathtub trust” in 1912. Over time, production transitioned to a wide range of metal parts and the company changed ownership again becoming Noblesville Casting Company.