Health care company commits to Lanesville
For more than 30 years, the Lanesville Interstate 64 interchange remained an untapped resource for economic growth. That all changed in December when Harrison County officials agreed to fund a $6.6 million sewer system at and around the 113 interchange as a joint project between the Harrison County Regional Sewer District and the Town of Lanesville.
The county also approved a $5 million loan for the construction of a distribution center at the interchange with the hopes that an unnamed company would accept the offer and choose Lanesville as its home.
Yesterday (Tuesday) that hope became a reality as Areva Pharmaceuticals Inc. officially agreed to come to Harrison County.
‘The Lanesville interchange area has always held great promise for business growth in our county,’ Darrell Voelker, director of the Harrison County Economic Development Corp., said. ‘But the interest shown by Areva and the commitment to establish the infrastructure there is now making this development a reality.’
Areva makes and markets injectable and ophthalmic pharmaceuticals used for the treatment of cancers, hypertension, heart disease and glaucoma. It will begin with a global distribution center; phase two and three will include a facility for on-site research and development and a facility for the manufacturing of sterile, injectable pharmaceutical products.
‘Areva brings to Harrison County the type of company that’s perfect for economic development,’ Gary Davis, chairman of the Harrison County Council, said. ‘Their initial distribution warehouse and eventual high-tech manufacturing facility will result in new jobs offering very competitive wages and long-term stability.’
The incentive package includes land and infrastructure development during the next 10 years. The incentives also include a 60,000-square-foot building, making the total investment package worth more than $7 million during the next three years.
Voelker said community leaders, particularly the commissioners and councilmembers, took quick, aggressive steps in support of this unique project and made bold decisions in an extraordinary fashion.
‘It was the James L. Shireman Co. that encouraged Areva to look at the Lanesville site in late September,’ he said. ‘By mid-November the property was under control and the funding for the development was approved. That was quick action.’
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Areva up to $2 million in conditional tax credits and up to $250,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Indiana residents are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives.
‘Areva feels fortunate to have found a community partner in Lanesville,’ Areva President Victor Swaminathan said. ‘We are anxious to quickly turn those investment dollars into jobs and growth opportunities for your citizens.’
Chief Operating Officer Greg Olson said, given the specialized nature of the medications Areva manufactures for the U.S. health care system, they look for the local and regional job market to provide a wealth of talent and a commitment to Areva’s long-term vision.
Areva’s ownership consists of Swaminathan and his wife and company chairwoman Irene Swaminathan, a registered pharmacist and patent attorney. With Irene’s leadership, Areva joins the ranks of the thousands of minority-owned entrepreneurial ventures in the United States.
Victor Swaminathan, also a registered pharmacist, began his entrepreneurial ventures in 2003 with the launch of ADiO Health Management Solutions. The company is the largest direct-delivery pharmacy serving mental health centers throughout Kentucky.
Areva’s customer base includes hospitals, infusion therapy pharmacies, mail-order pharmacies and long-term care facilities. For information about Areva and its pharmaceutical products, visit online at www.arevapharma.com.
During a November commissioners meeting, Voelker said the company would employ 35 people to start and an estimated 113 in 2017 and 170 in 2019. The distribution center employee wages will range from $12 to $17 per hour, and the average wage of all employees after the research and production phases are in place will range from $27 to $32 per hour, he said.