NewsPublic Affairs / October 2, 2018

Sweetwater Makes Major Investment

Article origination WBOI-FM
Sweetwater Makes Major Investment

Online musical instrument and gear giant Sweetwater plans to invest $76 million in northeast Indiana, expanding their warehouse facility, and adding a 35,000-square foot conference center.

The expansion, announced Tuesday afternoon, will likely add an additional 1,000 jobs, paying above average wages, to the area economy by 2022.

Sweetwater occupies a 163-acre campus on U.S. 30 just west of Fort Wayne. The proposed warehouse expansion will include space for gear testing, offices, staff amenities and more, according to a press release.

The new conference space will include room for continuing education for employees, as well as room for use by the community.

"This new facility will accommodate the tremendous growth we've experienced recently," said Chuck Surack, founder and president of Sweetwater. "Our sales continue to increase each and every year, which means we need more room to be able to serve our customers in the way to which they're accustomed. We are delighted to be able to continue to expand in Fort Wayne, where it all started."

Officials said they plan to break ground on the project Wednesday, with the new buildings open and operating by 2020, according to the release.

On Tuesday, state and local government officials were on hand at the campus for a press conference to announce the investments.

"Sweetwater is a strong, Indiana-built company with a proven track record of recruiting and retaining employees from other states, boasting employees from 48 states and seven countries," said Gov. Eric Holcomb, in the news release. "Sweetwater brings a welcome diversity to the industry base in northeast Indiana and is a driving force in the quality of life in Fort Wayne."

The expansion will be helped along in part by $8.8 million in tax credits from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and up to $200,000 in training grants, according to the release.

The tax breaks are based on performance, and cannot be claimed until the company is hiring, according to the release.

The nearly 40-year-old company employs more than 1,300 people. This planned expansion is its third in recent years, according ot the release.


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