By MATT KOESTERS
North Port Business Centre is set to have a top-secret tenant.
The Jeffersonville commercial park is set to become the home of the Rivera Group, a software company that specializes in government contracts, after the Jeffersonville City Council approved tax abatements for the company’s real and personal property Monday.
“You’ve probably never heard of us,” said Rivera Group CEO Joey Rivera, “and that’s a good thing.”
Rivera told the council that his company builds software for “three-letter agencies,” and works regularly with top-secret information.
The company currently calls Sellersburg home, where 25 of its 85 employees across 10 states work. Rivera said he hopes the Jeffersonville location, which will be a new building constructed to fit the company’s specifications, will help the Rivera Group attract and retain talent.
“It will look like something we took from Silicon Valley and put in Southern Indiana,” Rivera said.
The North Port Business Centre, off Centennial Boulevard, will allow the company to recruit talent from the east end of Louisville once the east-end crossing is completed, Rivera said. Rivera told the council that it is the company’s goal to have 120 employees at the new Jeffersonville facility within five years. He projected the company’s payroll to be $12.6 million annually, with an average employee salary of $105,000. Rivera said the company hopes to break ground in April 2014.
Rivera said that once a government contractor is awarded top-secret clearance, it’s highly rare that contracts are taken away.
The council unanimously approved a resolution approving a statement of benefit for proposed real property and personal property tax abatement, 7-0. Council members Matt Owen and Ed Zastawny were absent from the meeting.
The agreement grants the Rivera Group a 10-year abatement on $5.5 million in real property and a five-year abatement on $1 million in personal property, as permitted by Indiana statute.
Rivera Group agrees to reach the number of employees and average wages promised within three years of the filing of a certificate of occupancy, per the terms of the resolution. The company agrees to pay an annual fee of 5 percent of the abated amount, which was negotiated down from 10 percent during the meeting.
HEAVY HAUL APPROVED
The council unanimously approved an interlocal agreement to support the construction of a heavy haul road from the Jeffersonville Port of Indiana, through the River Ridge Commerce Center and to Ind. 62.
Jeffersonville has committed about $3 million toward the project, with the bulk of the funding for the project coming from the River Ridge Development Authority, which will also be responsible for the maintenance of the road.