Home » Rolls-Royce projects part of $204 million investment; adds 30 new jobs – Journal & Courier

Rolls-Royce projects part of $204 million investment; adds 30 new jobs – Journal & Courier

by Arifa Rana

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Over seven decades of partnership between Rolls-Royce and Purdue University will culminate in a $204 million project investment that will further develop three buildings in Purdue Discovery Park District and will bring 30 full-time positions while retaining 15 current jobs in West Lafayette.
Warren White, head of assembly and testing, spoke at Wednesday morning’s West Lafayette Redevelopment meeting about the aspects of this project, including adding onto the current hybrid/electric controls building as well as the construction of two separate structures, an altitude testing facility and a test utility building.
“It will be three projects,” Warren said. “…the hybrid/electric controls building, we’re expanding in that space, adding onto that facility….So to be very specific about the three state-of-the-art facilities we are going to invest in, along with, in West Lafayette, creating those (30) additional jobs along with the 15 retained jobs we currently have up here. So the 45 jobs will be split over these three properties.”
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Further description of the project on Rolls-Royce’s website states, “(Expansion at Discovery Park) includes upgrading the company’s electronic engine controls business and adding high-altitude, hybrid electrical and hypersonics test capabilities,” the description states. “The new projects will form a significant, large-scale testing campus at the Discovery Park District, where Rolls-Royce already has an electronic controls facility and conducts advanced engine testing at Purdue’s Zucrow Propulsion Labs.”
A plan to request a five-year, $184 million tax abatement is in play, and will proceed in multiple steps, according to Erin Easter, director of development .
“Tax abatements happen in two separate processes per the state,” Easter said. “The first is an ERA designation, which is an economic revitalization area. For the city of West Lafayette, it goes through three steps in each phase.”
Easter explained that the request goes through the economic development commission, the redevelopment commission and then to the West Lafayette City Council.
“The first phase is designating a geographic area where we would consider tax abatement,” Easter said. “So the second phase is the application for benefits. That phase goes through EDC, RDC and council again. And that outlines the terms of, kind of, the investment and the abatement.”
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No set schedule is in place to break ground on the project, but sometime in quarter three of the year appears to be the goal. Additionally, while there is no set address for the future structures, the preexisting electronic controls facility off of US 231 and Neuman Road will be expanded and the two additional buildings will be built off of Allison Road.
“I think it’s an absolutely phenomenal next step to the entire project that West Lafayette and Purdue University and our partnership together of recreating West Lafayette,” Larry Oates, president of the redevelopment commission, said. “…We also knew that we needed to provide housing, we knew we needed to provide jobs for people… and we’ve done that.” 
Margaret Christopherson is a reporter for the Journal & Courier. Email her at mchristopherson@jconline.com and follow her on Twitter @MargaretJC2.

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