Harley- Davidson to build in Carson

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Harley-Davidson Financial Services will stay in Carson City, officials said this week. The company has submitted plans to build a three-story, 100,000-square-foot office building next door to the facility it now leases.

The company plans to start construction in 60 days and move in by the end of next year, said Donal Hummer, vice president of community and government affairs for Harley-Davidson Financial Services.

"I think we're showing while the city and state have been very committed to us, now we're more than committed to the state and Carson City," Hummer said. "We like this place."

The Carson City Planning Commission will hold a special meeting Nov. 10 to decide whether to approve a special permit that will allow the company to build 65-feet tall on the 10-acre site at the northeast corner of Arrowhead Drive and Technology Way.

With about 450 employees, the company is continuing to grow and now occupies two buildings next to the proposed new site. By building one building, the company will be able to better fill its needs, Hummer said.

"We want a place that's our own that we've designed," Hummer said. "We've gotten much more sophisticated for what we need. It will really be designed as a state-of-the-art call center."

The financial services company provides loans and insurance for customers of Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, its parent company, in the U.S., Canada and U.S. territories.

The Carson office processes loans through the telephone and Internet, has an insurance division, and offers extended-service contracts.

The company has its administrative offices in Chicago, an operations office in Plano, Texas, and a disaster-recovery site in Reno where calls would be routed if some type of natural disaster such as an earthquake or flood, would take down communications at the Carson City building.

Harley-Davidson will buy land for the new building from John Serpa of J.S. Devco Limited Partnership. Serpa currently owns the two buildings the company uses.

The state Commission on Economic Development approved tax breaks totaling nearly $750,000 in September in an effort to keep the company from leaving Carson.

The company threatened to move its operations to Texas unless the state helped defray some of the cost of new taxes imposed by the 2003 Legislature.

The commission approved a 50 percent abatement of personal property taxes for the next 10 years - which will save Harley-Davidson Financial an estimated $221,967. It also approved a sales tax abatement on the estimated $10.45 million in equipment planned for the new building, saving the company another $522,500 in taxes.


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