Friday, August 11, 2000

Telecom firm moves to N. Ky.

State offered $5.4 million incentive

By Ken Alltucker
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A Cincinnati-based telecommunications firm announced Thursday that it's relocating to an office park near the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport, an expansion that will shift 400 jobs from Ohio to Kentucky.

        Interactive Marketing Technologies said the need for a larger, high-tech space and a $5.4 million incentive package offered by Kentucky attracted it to an office at Corporex Cos.' Circleport technology center in Erlanger. The company has 400 employees and plans to add 100 jobs when it moves by the end of the year.

        “We are really limited in the areas we can go to,” said Luke Domet, IMT's executive vice president and chief financial officer. “We need a place that can serve our large telecommunications needs.”

        The firm, which launched operations in the Queensgate area in 1995, simply outgrew its 30,000-square-foot office at 644 Linn St. The new office at the sprawling Circleport development is nearly four times as large.

        IMT has received preliminary approval for $5.4 million in corporate income and wage assessment tax credits over 10 years. The company will invest $18 million in its new facility and pay an average wage of $35,000, ac cording to Bryan Quinsey, vice president of Tri-County Economic Development Corp., a Northern Kentucky economic development group.

        Three of every four IMT jobs are customer service operators; other positions include technicians and management.

        The company offers multiple services such as phone card services, credit card processing and consumer recalls for large telecommunications companies and consumer goods manufacturers. Mr. Domet declined to name privately owned IMT's corporate customers.

        Mr. Quinsey said IMT contacted his agency about a possible relocation.

        "'They looked at the best from Kentucky and Ohio,” said Mr. Quinsey. “We gave them a proposal based on this site. I don't know what they (Cincinnati) offered.”

        Toni Selvey-Maddox, who heads Cincinnati's economic development department, was unaware that IMT planned to leave the city.

        “That doesn't mean another one of our development officers wasn't working on this,” she added.

        IMT is eligible for wage tax credits only if the employees live and work in Kentucky. That means IMT would have to hire Kentucky residents, or Ohio residents already employed by IMT would have to relocate to Kentucky in order for the company to get tax credits.

        It's the latest coup for Corporex's Circleport, a 650-acre development of industrial space, offices and hotels that already has snared more than 60 companies including Toyota and GE Capital IT Solutions.


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