Taking advantage of revised state legislation in regard to so-called "dinosaur buildings," the Council unanimously endorsed a resolution designating the 57.45-acre property at 370 Manhattan Rd. as an economic revitalization area.
That move was paired with the subsequent approval of another resolution making the former site of Oxford Automotive eligible for industrial recovery tax credits for renovation and reuse of the property.
All that should make the vacant 224,172-square-foot facility more attractive to future industrial prospects, Greencastle/Putnam County Development Center Director Bill Dory said.
"This is one of those tools that we didn't have access to before," Dory said, adding that by the state "tinkering with the bill, it has opened it up to communities like Greencastle."
The state legislation, which went into effect just July 1, had previously limited the "dinosaur building" designation to facilities of greater than 250,000 square feet.
Under the revised legislation, the minimum square footage has been reduced to 50,000. That allows the Oxford facility -- which began life in 1971 as Greencastle Manufacturing Co. and later was known as Lobdell-Emery Corp. -- to qualify as a dinosaur.
Dory said the old Oxford facility will likely need a new roof and a revised electrical system before the dinosaur can re-emerge from the ice age of inactivity and become a revitalized structure.
The 40-year age of the building exceeds the 15-year minimum requirement of the legislation, while the six-year vacancy status that began in 2005 also exceeds the one-year minimum vacancy requirement.
The city resolution also notes the "closure of Oxford Automotive due to the bankruptcy of the corporation resulted in the loss of 330 well-paid jobs at the Greencastle facility."
"The closure of the facility resulted in the loss of local tax revenue due to loss of value from the deteriorated real estate, removal of personal property, and elimination of employment," the resolution adds.
Dory said the moves by the state and City Council "will help me from the marketing standpoint" and "adds to our tool kit."
The prospect of local tax abatement for any future industrial prospects would be considered in addition to the state corporate tax liabilities included in the legislation.
Calling herself the City Council's "resident dinosaur," Jinsie Bingham made the motion Tuesday night to accept the resolution in support of the industrial recovery tax credits. The resolution was approved unanimously by the Council.
The City Council also unanimously passed 13 separate resolutions for annual compliance with statements of benefits regarding the existing tax abatements previously granted for Chiyoda USA Corp., Crown Equipment Corp., Heartland Automotive, Garmong Development Co. and International Automotive Components Corp. (IAC), formerly known as Lear Corp.