Gary selling former housing site

By The Associated Press

GARY — The city of Gary is selling a former public housing site to a California-based tech company that plans to move its corporate headquarters to the northwestern Indiana city and build a plant there.

The 27-acre former Ivanhoe Gardens housing site will be sold to Akyumen Industries for $50,000, according to an agreement between the Gary Redevelopment Commission and the company, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.

Los Angeles-based Akyumen Industries, which makes smartphones, tablets and smart watches, has tentatively selected the site on Gary’s west side as its first corporate headquarters in the U.S.

The company announced last week that it expects to build a new plant at the site which will employ between 500 and 2,000 people as it ramps up in the areas of construction, high-tech manufacturing and service.

Akyumen Industries is expected to seek out state incentives in the form of tax breaks, and not request any incentives from the city, said Eric Reaves, executive director of Community Investment who oversees the city’s Redevelopment Commission.

He called it an exciting time for Gary.

“To have the first cellphone assembled in the U.S. in Gary, Indiana is transformative,” Reaves said.

Before building at the former Ivanhoe site, Akyumen Industries intends to move its headquarters to the Genesis Convention Center, a 7,000-seat arena in the city’s downtown.

Last week’s announcement that Akyumen Industries would soon call Gary home was largely welcomed with enthusiasm by residents, but council members critical of the current administration said they are skeptical of the company’s promise to transform the Steel City into a Midwest tech hub.

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