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Sweetwater breaks ground on expansion expected to add 315 jobs

Thursday, November 15, 2012 - 7:23 am

Sweetwater Sound officially broke ground on its 110,000-square-foot expansion Wednesday afternoon at the Sweetwater Campus, 5501 U.S. 30 W. As reported in June, the $23.6 million expansion of its Fort Wayne headquarters is expected to create up to 315 high-wage jobs over the next four years.

Since Sweetwater moved into its campus in November 2006, a change the business credited as being made possible with help from an incentive package put together by the Economic Development Alliance, total employment has grown from 240 to almost 500 today, according to a news release from the company.

The company sells high-technology equipment for musicians, recording studios, and broadcasters.

The expansion is expected to bring more employees and their families to live in Fort Wayne along with jobs related to the business, including its partners, vendors, contractors, and restaurant and music school staffs.

The expansion will include 35,000 square feet of additional warehouse space, with the remaining 75,000 square feet devoted to marketing and sales staff, plus additional conference and training space.

The company was offered an incentive package of $7.1 million spread over 10 years from the state of Indiana, Allen County, and the city of Fort Wayne.

Sweetwater founder and president Chuck Surack, who started the business 33 years ago as a recording studio in his home, said, "Thanks to the great work of the Economic Development Alliance, Sweetwater will be able to continue to create jobs and grow in Fort Wayne."

Over the last several years, Sweetwater's growth in sales has been averaging more than 20 percent per year and it is currently the third largest music instrument and pro audio retailer in the United States, according to the news release.