Manufacturer aims to start construction on $15 million Urbana facility in November

Representatives of Sutphen Corp., join local leaders during a ground breaking ceremony in Urbana on Wednesday. The company that manufactures fire apparatuses plans to start construction on a new $15 million facility in November. Hasan Karim/Staff
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Representatives of Sutphen Corp., join local leaders during a ground breaking ceremony in Urbana on Wednesday. The company that manufactures fire apparatuses plans to start construction on a new $15 million facility in November. Hasan Karim/Staff

An Ohio based fire apparatus manufacturer aims to start construction in November on a 185,000 square foot facility in Champaign County that will consolidate its operations in the area and bring new jobs.

That news was shared Wednesday by members of the family owned and operated Sutphen Corp.

They joined local officials for a groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility that will be built northeast of the intersection of State Route 55 and Edgewood Avenue in Urbana.

“Sutphen is going to be one of our partners here in Urbana because they are going to be the life blood of Urbana. With them coming here along with our other manufacturing, that is the life blood. Without them, there wouldn’t be jobs, there wouldn’t be a tax base,” said Urbana Mayor Bill Bean.

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Sutphen Corp., is headquartered in the Columbus suburb of Dublin and operates three facilities in and near Urbana. The goal is to move everything into one location, including the manufacturer’s 160 current employees in the area.

The project will combine the operations of Sutphen’s three facilities in the area including its Service and Technical Division on North Ludlow Road as well as two on West County Line Road that house the companies Urbana Chassis Division and Pumper Division.

The manufacturer also has a facility in Pennsylvania as well as one each in Dublin and Hillard.

The project to build a new facility in Urbana is also happening at a time when the manufacturer is looking add 20 to 25 new jobs in the area.

The goal is to complete the project to build a new facility by December 2022.

The manufacturer also wants to hire more people once they settle into their new facility, according to its President Drew Sutphen.

The manufacturer has had a presence in the area for over 30 years and the new facility will allow them to expand as they ran out of space at their current location in and near Urbana, said Sutphen.

The manufacturer also intends to invest more than $15 million into the building of the new facility. However, the final costs of the project are still being determined.

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Sutphen said they have purchased 55 acres of land but will be using 25 of it for the facility, giving them room to add onto it in the future.

The manufacturer had looked at other areas for the new facility but eventually settled on Urbana.

Local incentives were proposed to keep the manufacturer in the area including a 90% real estate tax abatement for the new facility for a period of 15 years. That abatement was approved by the manufacturer, the City of Urbana and the Urbana City School District, according to Marcia Bailey, the director of the Champaign Economic Partnership.

However, income taxes collected from the 160 or more employees who will be working at the new facility is slated to be split between the city and school district.

Bailey said that tax would be split 50-50 between those two entities once new payroll from Sutphen’s new Urbana facility exceeds $1 million.

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