Mercer County looks to attract TJX HomeGoods

MERCER — Mercer County officials plan to do whatever they can to convince TJX HomeGoods to bring a distribution center and 1,000 jobs to the county after HomeGoods withdrew its zoning application for a site in Lordstown.

Randy Seitz, president and CEO of Penn-Northwest Development Corp, Mercer County’s lead economic development agency, said his organization reached out to HomeGoods with a proposal following news reports about pushback from Lordstown residents regarding a proposal to build a 1.2-million-square-foot facility on residential land there.

“When that news first started coming out, we saw the writing on the wall that possibly this project could go elsewhere,” Seitz said.

Penn-Northwest proposes HomeGoods build the distribution center on a 200-acre property located off Interestate 80, near the Mercer exit.

Seitz said the property fits HomeGoods’ needs for several reasons.

“There are a number of reasons we think this site is even a lot better than the Lordstown site,” he said. “If you’re on 80 in Lordstown and you get off the exit, the exit takes you a roundabout way to the property. You have to drive a few miles off the exit to get to the property.

“That stretch of 80 in Ohio is a toll road. I-80 in Pennsylvania is no toll,” he added. “We’re offering a property right off 80, with an exit and entrance ramp right by the property, that is toll-free.”

He said the Mercer property already is zoned for such a development project, and does not have any residences nearby.

Seitz said HomeGoods officials toured the site April 6.

“The only reaction we’ve received so far is they were thankful for the meeting and the proposal, and we’re on their radar screen,” he said. “Rest assured, we are going to attach onto them like a pitbull and do everything we can to work with them.

“Unlike some of the residents in Lordstown, we want this facility here. We want those jobs here. And we’re going to do everything we can to work with them to make this project a success in Mercer County.”

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