By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
RIVERVIEW – The City Council will vote Oct. 15 whether to grant a 12-year property tax exemption to Ash Stevens LLC for its proposed $8.85 million production, lab and office expansion.
Todd Bartlett, finance director for Ash Stevens LLC, a division of Piramal Pharma Solutions, met with the city council and other city officials in a study session Oct. 9 to explain its application for an Industrial Facilities Tax Exemption Tax Certificate. The company proposes an $8.85 million expansion of its production facilities, office space, laboratories and quality assurance labs.
A public hearing will be held at the Oct. 15 Riverview City Council meeting to receive public comment on the proposed tax breaks. Notices were posted and mailed Oct. 3 to the affected tax authorities, which includes the school district and Wayne County.
Construction began on the expansion May 17, and includes a 4,400-square-foot laboratory, and a 6,800-square-foot office expansion at 18655 Krause Avenue. Product development will utilize more than 4,300 square feet.
The council voted to expand Industrial Expansion District 7 June 18 to allow Ash Stevens LLC to apply for the industrial facilities tax exemption. The investment is estimated to eventually create 55 new jobs at the site.
Bartlett said the additional labs and new equipment are needed for increased quality testing needed by its customers.
“We are not even into our new facility and we are already looking at future expansion projects,” Bartlett said. “We are really excited about our future and what’s happening.”
He said the walls inside the new, high end labs are designed for easy cleaning and turnaround. He said the new labs will be capable of doing more minuscule testing procedures. He said some of the new technology that will be used in the labs will help produce drugs that have fewer side effects.
“We will go through several iterations of a drug, different ways of combining and making that drug with the same ingredients, but a different process, and then we see how effective and how potent it is,” Bartlett said.
Bartlett said more than 20 new employees have been hired already this year, and another 20 will soon be hired as well.
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at [email protected].)