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COMPANY PLANS MOVE TO SIMI.

Byline: Terry Kanakri Daily News Staff Writer

An industrial products manufacturer wants to build a 55,000-square-foot plant in Simi Valley that will employ about 120 workers, officials said.

Standard Abrasives expects to operate out of the Peppertree South Business Park by the end of the year, and the city is considering offering the company a financial aid package of about $100,000.

"It's another indication that the economy is starting to turn around and also it demonstrates that Simi Valley is a desirable place for business," said Deputy City Manager Don Penman. "We're excited about it."

Standard Abrasives, which manufactures industrial abrasive products, has operated out of its Chatsworth plant for about eight years, officials said. The company began looking for a new site due to plans for expansion.

Dave Sweeney, the company's executive vice president, said Standard Abrasives chose Simi Valley as its new home mostly because of the quality of life the city can offer its employees.

"We have a need for additional space and we wanted a site that was attractive to our employees," Sweeney said.

Unlike the San Fernando Valley, Simi Valley has better control over crime and graffiti, and has rapid urban development, which were three major concerns of company employees, Sweeney said.

"We feel that Simi Valley has a better control and picture of how to operate a city free of crime and with better planning," he said.

Standard Abrasives' proposal to build a plant in Simi Valley is moving forward in the city's development review process following the filing of a plan development application, Penman said.

The project is scheduled to go before the Planning Commission on May 8 following Neighborhood Council review.

As part of the city's efforts to attract jobs, Penman said city staff and company officials are negotiating a financial assistance package to help offset relocation expenses.

Penman said the company is eligible for financial aid because it will operate within the city's redevelopment zone. Any financial aid package must be approved by the City Council, and company officials said the figure is about $100,000.

Although grateful for the city's willingness to provide financial assistance to offset relocation costs, Sweeney stressed that it had little to do with his company's decision to move to Simi Valley.

"The primary reason for moving to Simi Valley was the location with respect to the quality of life to our employees both at work and at home," he said. "That financial package wasn't what caused us to select Simi."

The city has used financial aid in the past to attract businesses to Simi Valley as competition for jobs rises.

Once in Simi Valley, the vast majority of the 120 jobs at Standard Abrasives will be held by existing employees, officials said. The company expects to hire 32 Simi Valley residents after it moves, however, with an additional 15 to be hired in 1997 and another 15 in 1998.

The company expects to boost the local economy by spending about $100,000 on supplies and services.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Mar 19, 1996
Words:503
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