B&L Information Systems to begin expansion

B&L Information Systems in Bridgman, shown Tuesday, was founded in 1976. The company plans to break ground on a restoration and expansion project to its Bridgman building. 

BRIDGMAN — Changes are on the way for a Bridgman company that has worked hand in hand with metal casters for more than 40 years.

B&L Information Systems announced it will break ground later this month on a renovation and expansion project at 4707 Rambo Road in Bridgman.

At a Bridgman City Council meeting Monday, the business was granted a 10-year tax abatement that will freeze the taxable value at its current location for the next decade.

“Since our founding, we’ve been located within the city limits of Bridgman and have always had a positive relationship with the city,” Philip Laney, president and CEO of B&L, said in a news release. “The new and renovated facilities will support our projected growth plans and allow us to better serve our customers and attract new talent to our technology company.”

Laney said construction is expected to begin this month, while the project would wrap up by May 2020. The project will create 15 full-time positions and retain 37 full-time positions.

Bridgman City Manager Juan Ganum said the company plans to invest $1.4 million in the building’s renovation/expansion.

There will be about 20 workstation areas restored, in addition to another 20 workstations added to the new area.

Connected spaces and “huddle rooms” will be built to include digital studios that support web conferencing. A new customer experience center will be created for hands-on learning of their software products.

B&L, founded in 1976, creates enterprise resource planning software designed for metal casters.

B&L’s Odyssey ERP software gives die casters, foundries and other metal casters access to business information needed to operate in a cloud-based environment.

According to B&L’s application to the city, its current 9,000-square-foot facility was built in 1997.

Ganum said the city was first contacted a few months ago about B&L’s interest in securing a tax abatement.

Prior to approving the abatement, the city established a commercial rehabilitation district at B&L.

“The city is very supportive of business expansion and investment, period,” Ganum said. “We’re excited about having B&L expand in Bridgman. The 15 new employees will positively impact our community.”

Cornerstone Alliance presented the tax exemption on B&L’s behalf and helped in applying for the abatement.

“B&L is a community-oriented company, which is demonstrated by their investment in this project that will create new jobs and opportunities for Berrien County residents,” Cathy Tilley, Cornerstone Alliance business development manager, said in the release.

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