Area Development
Sweetwater Sound, Inc., a distributor of sound and musical equipment, will invest $23.5 million on a 110,000-square-foot expansion of its Fort Wayne, Indiana headquarters, creating up to 316 high-wage jobs.

The expansion will provide additional space for Sweetwater Sound's warehouse operations and sales and marketing departments. Sweetwater Sound's Fort Wayne campus, at 5501 US Highway 30 West, is currently home to more than 400 full-time employees. The company has already begun the hiring process for additional associates. The new positions will be across the company, including sales, marketing, administrative and distribution jobs.

"It is always a great day when we can tout the success of a homegrown company like Sweetwater Sound," said Governor Mitch Daniels. "With less red tape and lower taxes, Indiana is not only creating a growth structure for existing business to flourish but a framework to cultivate future successes."

"Indiana has been a great place to start and grow a company," said Chuck Surack, founder and president of Sweetwater Sound. "We continue to grow because of an incredible workforce available locally and also because we've been able to attract talent from all over the country to move here to work. We look forward to enjoying phenomenal growth in the years to come."

Sweetwater Sound, which reported growth in sales by more than 20 percent last year, expanded its 66-acre Fort Wayne campus to include a 40,000 square-foot distribution center, recording studios and technical training center in 2006. It also operates a 250-seat performance theater at its campus for training and special events that is made available to local non-profits at no charge.

As an incentive, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Sweetwater Sound, Inc. up to $3.35 million in conditional tax credits and up to $150,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. In addition, the city of Fort Wayne will consider additional property tax abatement at the request of the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance.

"Sweetwater Sound epitomizes what makes Fort Wayne a community built for success: hard work, innovation, talented people, great service and a commitment to constant reinvestment," said Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry. "When it comes to making our community and our region attractive to the good jobs, talented workers and business investment that we need to thrive, Sweetwater Sound is a company to emulate. They are a true hometown winner."