HomeGoods ‘moving forward’ with Lordstown warehouse project, officials say
By Ed Runyan
Nick Coggins, acting director of the Trumbull County Planning Commission, and Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill say the steps HomeGoods has taken recently make it clear the company’s $140 million to $170 million distribution center project is coming to Lordstown for sure.
“They are moving forward with the project,” Hill said. “I can say in dialogue we have had that they are moving forward.”
Coggins said at Tuesday’s county planning commission meeting that HomeGoods Inc. has submitted an application for a 10-year, 75 percent tax abatement on the project, which “signifies that they are moving forward.”
Company officials have declined to comment, however. And a line from the enterprise agreement application still suggests that the company is weighing options.
HomeGoods Vice President David Averill said in the Oct. 30 application that the reason for requesting tax incentives is because it will “make the property competitive with other alternative sites being considered for the project.”
The application says the project is for a 1.2-million-square-foot logistics facility at 3640 Ellsworth Bailey Road and will begin construction after approvals are obtained in 2018 and 2019.
Construction would be complete in 2024, but employment would reach 600 by the end of 2022, 800 by the end of 2023 and 1,000 by the end of 2024.
It will generate $27 million in payroll for full-time, permanent employees, the application says. It does not mention part-time employees. HomeGoods already has invested about $1 million, the application says.
Construction costs will be $90 million to $110 million; machinery and equipment will be $50 million to $60 million.
Lordstown Village Council will vote as early as Dec. 3 to either give a first reading or approve the enterprise agreement.
The county commissioners will have a public hearing and consider the tax abatement after that, Coggins said.
The Trumbull County Auditor’s Office will provide an estimate of how much property taxes the abatement will save the company in a week or so, Coggins said.
The project appeared to be moving forward after a deadline passed for opponents of the project to appeal a common pleas court judge’s ruling that refused to give the opponents a permanent injunction, but the company has not made any specific statements about it.
Hill said HomeGoods is working with the Lordstown Planning and Zoning office to provide all the information required for a site plan review.
It’s a 16-step process that involves engineering studies that address issues such as parking spaces, storm-water runoff and steps for vacating part of Hallock Young Road, possibly into a cul-de-sac, Hill said.
He estimated that it will take two to three months for the company to submit the entire packet to the village planning commission.
“They want to make sure it’s done right the first time,” Hill said.
Also part of the plans is the roughly 140-acre set-aside that HomeGoods will be turning over to the Trumbull County MetroParks Board to provide a buffer between the distribution center and the rest of the community. The entire project is 290 acres.
Zach Svette, MetroParks projects coordinator, said HomeGoods is still working on property acquisition. Possibly as early as the spring, the company would like to transfer the title to the MetroParks.
The Moreland Hills-based Western Reserve Land Conservancy will be involved in the project in making the 140 acres a conservation easement, Svette said.
Once land is part of a conservation easement, there are limits on activities that can take place there, Svette said. For example, the Western Reserve Land Conservancy set up a conservation easement for 140 acres of the Button property on state Route 87 in Mesopotamia Township. That property is used by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources as a hunting area.