HomeGoods still considering Lordstown residential land
By Kalea Hall
TJX Companies Inc. plans to move forward with its plans to build 1.2-million-square-foot HomeGoods distribution center on residentially zoned property.
TJX, which owns T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods stores, researched other industrially zoned property at the request of local residents who are against the move to turn the residential property into industrial.
“While it would be inappropriate to comment on any individual prospective site, based on environmental, roadway access, site configuration or timeline concerns, we believe that the Ellsworth Bailey Road site in Lordstown remains the best possible location in the area for our new distribution center,” said Erika Tower, company spokeswoman, in a statement.
Owners of the property where the HomeGoods would be developed applied to have the land rezoned from residential to industrial. The village planning commission will review those zone changes at the recently scheduled April 25 meeting. A previous planning commission meeting scheduled for March 26 was canceled at the company’s request.
Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill, who is on the commission, was unsure Thursday if a vote on the zone changes would take place at the April 25 meeting.
After the planning commission approves the zone changes, they will go to council. If village council opposes the planning commission, five votes are needed to overturn the commission decision.
If the council OKs the zoning changes, a group of village residents said they plan to have a referendum to force those changes to a vote.
Lordstown has a six-member council, but one member, Ronald Radtka, will abstain from voting because he and his family own parcels of property to be rezoned for the project.
Residents expressed such concern about the rezoning that private meetings with them took place March 20.
“In response to meetings with those who reside close to this site, we have added enhancements to our site design which provide substantial green space and forested area, maintain designated areas that would remain zoned for residential building only, and alter certain road infrastructure to mitigate traffic concerns,” Tower said in a statement.
HomeGoods has been in search of a warehouse site for two years to service 300 stores in the Northeast and Midwest. The $170 million project would bring 1,000 jobs to the area and an annual payroll of $27 million.
“I am glad that they are still considering us,” Mayor Hill said.
The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber assisted HomeGoods the past two years in finding a site for the center and will continue to provide assistance moving forward, said Sarah Boyarko, senior vice president of economic development for the chamber.
“We remain committed to pursuing steps to acquire this site with local, state and federal agencies and look forward to potentially bringing this project to Lordstown,” Tower said.