Three companies invest nearly $100 million in Springfield
Gabriel Brothers is building the largest distribution center in Prime Ohio II Industrial Park in Springfield, which was completed in 2014 to support local development efforts in the area. Esterline and Sons is constructing its new facility in the Airpark Ohio business park near the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport.
Previous investments from companies such as Silfex and Topre, and the creation of new jobs in recent years have also played a role in attracting new businesses to the area, said Horton Hobbs, vice president of economic development for the Greater Springfield Partnership.
“Certainly, success breeds success,” he said. “When you start to see outside investment, meaning companies that aren’t here, but are starting to invest here, that sends a signal to other companies and developers in the area, across the state. and in the country about the viability of our economy, the viability of our community.
Last year, Gabriel Brothers, Surati and Esterline announced they would be building new facilities in Springfield. Local business leaders have called 2021 an unprecedented year due to the number of projects planned and the total investment they represent as well as the scale of the planned distribution center for Gabriel Brothers which aims to create hundreds of new jobs.
All are looking to be completed by the end of this year, likely in the fall, Hobbs said.
Companies such as West Virginia-based Gabriel Brothers, also known as Gabe’s, have chosen Springfield as the site of the biggest investment in company history.
The company’s new 870,000 square foot distribution center is part of a $77.5 million investment that will create 833 full-time equivalent jobs and support existing operations while paving the way for greater growth, according to representatives of the retail chain that sells clothing, home goods and shoes at discount prices.
The actual number of jobs created could be a mix including more than 700 full-time jobs and more than 300 part-time jobs, Springfield officials said. But, the new facility will allow the company to expand its presence and better service stores in Ohio and surrounding states.
Gabe’s planned distribution center represents the largest investment in Springfield that was announced last year.
“Right now, if we didn’t open this (distribution center), we wouldn’t be able to open any more stores after 2022. That gives us a track to the next 120 stores. This is the evolution of our business and we are thrilled to be here,” said Gabe President and CEO Jason Mazzola.
Gabe’s has 20 retail stores in Ohio, a presence that played a role in the chain’s selection of Springfield as the location for its new distribution center.
The company also has locations in West Virginia, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
The Springfield distribution center will be the company’s first in Ohio and is larger than its other five distribution centers combined, Mazzola said.
Construction of the facility to be located at 1801 Prime Parkway began in fall 2021 and is expected to become fully operational by fall 2022.
The project also received national and local economic incentives. The Ohio Tax Credit Authority last month approved a 10-year job creation tax credit of 1.488% for Gabe’s project.
The City of Springfield has approved two agreements with Gabe’s, including a 100% tax abatement for 15 years on the property. The same deal was approved by the local Clark-Shawnee school board in August.
Springfield City Commissioners also enhanced an employment incentive agreement with Gabe’s that will provide a 30% annual return to the company based on income tax generated from new jobs created each year. over a period of five years.
Companies such as Surati have chosen to invest in Springfield while seeking to open a manufacturing and distribution center in the United States. The snack food business had seen increased sales across the country and was running out of space in Toronto.
Surati was also looking to increase its presence in the Midwest since the company does not have a distribution center there. Interest in the region prompted the company to decide to open its first US manufacturing facility there as well.
Springfield was ultimately chosen because of the manufacturing space available in the area as well as a welcoming community, said Shalini Sheth, director of operations.
The company currently has a manufacturing plant in Canada and India as well as distribution centers in the United States and serves a global customer base.
Surati products can be found in most major Canadian grocery stores as well as Indian specialty stores in the United States. .
The company, which exclusively manufactures vegetarian items, has also acquired a business specializing in grain-free granola snacks.
“The Springfield community is the ideal strategic location to establish and expand our operations. It’s simply a community that wants our investment and has worked with our leaders to make it happen,” Sheth said in a press release last year.
Surati, a third-generation family business, has purchased property at 3100 Upper Valley Pike and plans to invest $16 million in the space, and its new facility aims to create 108 jobs.
Approximately 80% of Surati’s manufacturing operations in Toronto will be relocated to Springfield and along with this the company will need managers, quality control, general labor and warehouse and distribution positions .
The majority of new jobs that will be created will be filled locally, Sheth said.
Surati announced she would be coming to Springfield last summer, and the company plans to hopefully open its new facility by fall 2022. However, an official date has yet to be decided.
The company did not benefit from a local tax allowance but obtained from the State a tax credit for job creation.
Esterline and sons
Esterline and Sons plans to build a 57,000 square foot facility, representing a $5 million investment, as the company has grown in recent years and aims to triple its operating area.
The business employs 75 people and had outgrown its current space on Old Clifton Road which is approximately 18,000 square feet. Esterline and Sons has been in the community for decades and specializes in lightweight precision machining and manufactures small parts for medical equipment, jet engines and commercial food equipment.
The new facility will allow for future growth, new equipment and accommodate future employee growth as it will offer a mix of manufacturing and office space.
The new jobs were not linked to the project. But further growth in the future will drive demand for new employees, said John Maurer, the company’s president and chief executive.
“This site gives us the opportunity to grow as a company. It is also possible to double the size of the building,” he said of the land on which the new facility will be located.
Construction of the new facility began in September and is expected to be completed in late summer or early fall.
The company has also entered into an employment incentive agreement with the City of Springfield regarding the project. This could provide the company with up to $80,000 over four years of the deal, giving Esterline 50% of what the company generates in income tax each year.
The Clark County business moving into the city and creating jobs as a result is expected to generate more than $4 million in payroll and $40,000 in income taxes per year.