SOUTH HAVEN — A South Haven company investing $2 million in upgrades to a building it recently purchased will soon be rewarded for its efforts.
South Haven City Council plans to issue a tax break to HTS Direct LLC at its July 15 meeting. The council decided to do so after holding a public hearing July 1. By receiving the industrial facilities tax exemption, the company is expected to save $228,200 in property taxes over the next 12 years.
HTS-Direct is a supplier of cranes, hydraulic jacks, and machine moving skates for the heavy-load-moving industry. The German-based company is moving its North American division from Grand Rapids to South Haven to the former Allied Engineering building at 1310 Kalamazoo St.
The company intends to create 20 new jobs, and retain 10 existing jobs, at the South Haven facility in the next two years.
“The building has been largely vacant for a number of years,” City Manager Brian Dissette said.
“We saw the building for sale and it fit what we wanted,” said Will Rogers, director of HTS Direct’s North American division, in May shortly after the company purchased the 19,000-square-foot building.
But the building needed a lot of work.
“It was quite a project,” Rogers said. “The first thing we did was put a brand new roof on. The company also is installing six new overhead doors, constructing a new parking lot in the front of the building, adding a freight driveway to the south of the building and installing a loading dock to the rear.”
When the work is complete, HTS plans to occupy 3,000 square feet and rent out the remainder of the building which contains office and warehouse space. The company plans to unveil the improvements it has made during a grand opening, from 4-8 p.m. Monday, July 29.
HTS, which began in Germany in the 1970s, manufactures moving skates and hydraulic toe jacks.
Oftentimes, companies use forklifts to move machinery or equipment, according to Rogers. But some machinery is very heavy and cumbersome to move, necessitating use of the equipment that HTS manufactures.
The company also has locations in the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Italy. It opened its North American division in 2016.