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Johnson Controls in talks with Hopewell Township for new plant

By , - Last modified: November 26, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Milwaukee-based manufacturer Johnson Controls Inc., which has facilities in York County, is seeking tax increment financing to build a new plant and relocate to the Stonebridge business park in Hopewell Township, according to the township.

The facility has been estimated to cost between $100 million and $150 million, including land acquisition and building construction as well as needed infrastructure, said David Wisnom, chairman of the township's board of supervisors.

The company has an option to buy a 64-acre tract in the park, he said.

"We're trying to retain the local jobs in York County," Wisnom said. "We're trying to keep them from moving to Maryland."

Maryland has reportedly been looking to woo the company, which trades its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol JCI.

The South Eastern School Board approved the TIF district last week, he said. The township board is scheduled to meet Dec. 6, but it might not vote at that meeting, Wisnom said.

"I think the goal is between Christmas and Jan. 15," he said of the approval process, which also includes the county. "I hope we're going to get it. Nothing is etched in stone."

Under a TIF arrangement, each entity in that district would forgo most of the property tax revenue for a specified time period to finance bonds issued to the developer for necessary public improvements.

Company spokeswoman Monica Zimmer said the company is "assessing the viability of our current location to accommodate growth."

"We are at the preliminary stages of this assessment and are exploring many sites," she said. "No final decisions have been made. As we evaluate possible locations, we will make it a priority to retain our skilled workforce."

A final decision is expected in early 2013, she said.

Johnson Controls employs about 1,000 people in York County, Zimmer said.

"They would like to, in the next 10 to 15 years, potentially double that," Wisnom said. "That depends on the economy and a new facility. Everything is preliminary."

Johnson Controls would be the biggest employer in the township, he added.

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Jason Scott

Jason Scott

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at jscott@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal. Circle Jason Scott on .

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