A New Jersey-based health care solutions company is expanding its reach into the Midwest to keep up with growth and has chosen a site in Southern Indiana to base a distribution center.
J. Knipper and Co. Inc., which was founded in 1986 and is based in Lakewood, N.J., has reached a deal with Louisville-based Crossdock Development Inc. to lease a little more than 300,000 square feet of warehouse space in Jeffersonville’s River Ridge Commerce Center, said Michael Laferrera, president and COO of Knipper & Co. The company has an option to lease another 100,000 square feet if needed, he said.
The company provides direct delivery of pharmaceutical samples to sales representatives and physicians. The new warehouse, at 1250 Patrol Road, will distribute samples directly to physicians, Laferrera said.
He said the distribution center is an investment of more than $20 million by the company, which includes the lease, equipment and other startup costs.
Lee Wilburn, president of Crossdock Development, previously told Louisville Business First that he was constructing the building for a pharmaceutical company.
Laferrera said J. Knipper officials expect to move in by May 1, 2016, barring any construction delays. The company will have about 56 employees. He declined to disclose an average salary for those jobs, but he said the company will need warehouse and production employees as well as management and office personnel. About 10,000 square feet inside the building will be used as office space, he said.
Laferrera said the company has offered relocation options to employees at other facilities, but most of the jobs are new and will be filled by local people. J. Knipper currently has more than 600 employees and contractors at five facilities in New Jersey and a West Coast sales office in California, he said.
The company’s operations have been centered in New Jersey, Laferrera said, but it has experienced a steady level of growth both organically and through acquisitions that required a Midwestern operation.
He said the Louisville area was particularly attractive because of River Ridge’s proximity to WorldPort, the air sorting hub for United Parcel Service Inc.
“We’re pretty enthralled with the area we are moving into right now,” Laferrera said.
He said the company has worked with One Southern Indiana and the Indiana Economic Development Corp. to open the River Ridge operation.
With assistance from One Southern Indiana, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered J. Knipper as much as $385,000 in conditional tax credits and as much as $40,000 in training grants based on the company’s job-creation plans.
“These incentives are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives,” Suzanne Ruark, director of marketing and communications for One Southern Indiana, said in an email. “The company’s location also affords it the opportunity to apply for benefits through the Urban Enterprise Zone located in the River Ridge Commerce Center.”