Niles Twp. approves abatement for Pratt

Daily Star photo/KATIE ROHMAN Pratt Industries, which manufactures intermodal equipment, is locating a third southwest Michigan facility at the 300,000-square-foot former United Fixtures building, 2070 S. Third St., Niles Township.

The Niles Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved Monday a 100 percent, 12-year tax abatement for Pratt Industries, which is locating a new facility in the former United Fixtures building at 2070 S. Third St.

The abatement will be effective June 18, 2012, through Dec. 30, 2024.

According to Shelley Klug, executive director of the Southwestern Michigan Economic Growth Alliance, the abatement is a PA 328. This allows for distressed communities to abate personal property taxes on new investments made by eligible businesses.

Bill Pratt, owner of the Belleair Beach, Fla.-based Pratt Industries, said at the meeting he expects the facility to be open within six to 12 months. Pratt, which manufactures specialty trailers and chassis for intermodal transportation, has facilities in Bridgman and Stevensville.

Pratt Industries is in the process of renovating the 300,000-square-foot building to its specifications.

Pratt said he expects the manufacturer to employ 150 people in its first year and grow to 400 employees within four years.

The hiring process is under way, Pratt said. Niles area residents are being hired through the Bridgman plant, where some will receive training.

“Applications are coming in every minute,” Pratt said.

“On behalf of Niles Township, we welcome you,” Supervisor Jim Kidwell said.

To apply at the Niles plant, send resumes to hr@prattinc.com, with “Job at Niles: ‘position or job name’” in the subject line. Visit www.prattinc.com for more information.

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