By Dustin Luca
---- — ANDOVER — A technology company from Paris got state approval last week to move to Andover in exchange for tax incentives.
Schneider Electric, a Paris-based energy efficiency company, will bring 690 jobs to the town by the end of 2017, according to Andover Planning Director Paul Materazzo. The plan to offer the company tax incentives to move to Andover was approved by voters at Annual Town Meeting earlier this year.
The company will add 70,000 square feet to an existing 160,000- square- foot building at 800 Federal St. after a $20 million investment, according to Materazzo.
The tax incentive financing plan allows them to pay taxes on the building’s present value for the first three years of its time in Andover. For the two years after that, 65 percent of the building’s added tax value will be added to the bill. On year six, the company will pay its full tax. In exchange for the tax incentives, the company will relocate 525 jobs from other Schneider Electric facilities throughout the region to the new facility. Sixty five jobs will already be working out of the building, and 15 more will be added every year after that for five years, according to Materazzo.
“You have good paying jobs relocating and expanding in Andover, in a first-class company setting up shop in Andover,” Materazzo said. “Once fully occupied by the TIF terms, it will immediately jump up to the top five, top six employers in town.”
Where the relocated jobs will come from isn’t yet known, according to Materazzo. When finished, the 800 Federal St. facility will house the company’s research and development arm, an engineering office and showcase facility. The deal does have some safety nets built in, should Schneider Electric not provide the jobs or the investment within the time frame mandated by the agreement. The agreement could be decertified by the Board of Selectmen, nullifying tax incentives, according to Materazzo.
“In the unlikely event that Schneider Electric doesn’t live up to the terms they provided to the town, the town has a mechanism to go back and resolve the TIF,” Materazzo said.
While many permits have already been secured and others are in the works, the company will now start netting the final approvals to put steel in the ground for the building’s expansion, according to Materazzo. To this point, the company has been doing work inside the existing building only.
“They’re eager to engage the town, to work with the town and be a good corporate citizen,” Materazzo said.
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