May 17, 2022

Proposed $15 million seed retailer, distributor coming to Colfax

Facility expected to employ 50 workers

COLFAX — Plans for a $15 million, 90,000 square-foot agricultural seed retail and distribution center in Colfax were announced Monday by the Jasper County Economic Development Company. The Beck's Hybrid corn seed retail and distribution center is expected to bring 50 jobs to the town of 2,093.

According to the company website, Beck's is the largest family-owned retail seed company in the U.S. with locations in eight states.

JEDCO Director Chaz Allen revealed the project details Monday in a press release after several months of negotiations with owners to bring Beck's to Colfax. Beck's and JEDCO are asking Jasper County officials to extend the Atlanta-based company a 5-year property tax abatement in exchange for the $15 million economic investment.

If approved by the Jasper County Board of Supervisors, Becks will receive a 75 percent abatement the first year, 60 percent in year-two, 45 percent the third year, 30 percent the fourth year and 15 percent the fifth year. The City of Colfax is in talks to annex the property — proposed for construction on what is currently an 80-acre farm field north of Interstate 80 and west of the Colfax Microtel Inn & Suites. The city would then accept responsibility for the property tax abatement. After the tax incentive expires, Becks will pay a full taxable base to the city.

Allen requested Monday that the supervisors amend its Tuesday regular meeting agenda to include a resolution to offer a $20,000 forgivable loan to Beck's Hybrid and a second 0 percent interest, 5-year $20,000 loan to be used for initial development.

Allen said the Iowa Economic Development Authority is also expected to extend further tax incentives to Beck's but the details of state-level negotiations were not completed as of presstime Monday.

"This is only going to cost Jasper County $20,000 to get $15 million in taxable base. That's pretty good," Allen said.

If the deal goes through, Allen said Beck's intends to purchase the land by June with groundbreaking in August. The company hopes to begin foundation work in September, begin construction of the building in October with a tentative move-in date of June 2016.

Contact Mike Mendenhall at mmendenhall@jaspercountytribune.com