Automation Plastics seeks tax abatement to expand in Aurora

Photo of the front of aurora's town hall building with bright purple flowers around the sign in the front lawn.
Lyndsey Brennan/The Portager

Aurora City Council will vote on a 15-year, 100% property tax abatement for Automation Plastics Corp. during its May 23 meeting. 

Located at 150 Lena Drive in Aurora, Automation Plastics has been a custom manufacturer of thermoplastic injection molded parts since 1980. The firm specializes in high-volume production of precision plastics and is a leading producer of thick wall polyethylene components used for natural gas distribution systems.

According to its application, APC’s intention is to purchase a “relatively idle” building currently owned by Swagelok at 225 Lena Drive and to outfit it with a new roof, parking lot and air handling system. The project is to start in August of this year and is expected to continue through the end of December 2025, provided the tax exemption is granted.

The cost of the building is listed at $2.75 million, according to the agreement. Improvements to APC’s existing building are set at $3.05 million for a total $5.8 million investment.

APC currently has a facility of over 80,000 square feet and 120 full-time, permanent employees working three round-the-clock shifts at its Aurora location.

The tax abatement agreement states that APC will move four employees, nine machines and all inventory from its leased facility at 3500 Crane Centre Drive in Streetsboro to Lena Drive. This will close the company’s Streetsboro operations, consolidating all activity in Aurora, said Aurora Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin.

Because the move means a loss of only four employees, Streetsboro Economic Development Director Patrick O’Malia cast APC’s plans as “not a big deal” to the city.

“Sometimes we win, sometimes Aurora wins. This time, it was Aurora,” he said.

APC’s current annual payroll is $6,257,143.

The company’s application states that the tax abatement will allow it to grow and hire 60 additional employees at the rate of 15 a year for the first four years of the agreement. Positions include inspectors, machine operators, engineers, maintenance and material technicians, mold technicians and quality auditors.

That translates to an added payroll of $854,318 the first year, $803,648 the second year, $881,298 the third and $881,349 the fourth, for a total additional payroll of $3,420,612.

Aurora will split taxes on the additional payroll with city schools, which will receive their full share once the 15-year abatement period is fulfilled.

APC’s application states that it is a small business trying to meet customer demands. In its bid for a tax abatement, the company stated: “We have no room at our current facility to expand any further, hence we need to find additional space. 225 Lena Drive is a facility that has sat idle for almost 15 years. This location will allow us to grow today but the $5.8 million price tag is a substantial investment for a small business.”

“Automation Plastics has been doing business in Aurora for more than 40 years,” Womer Benjamin said. “We are excited to have this great company in our community and support it in its success.”

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Wendy DiAlesandro is a former Record Publishing Co. reporter and contributing writer for The Portager.

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