Progress at Cornerstone Business Park
The Twinsburg Chrysler Stamping Plant closed its doors officially in July, 2010 as a result of the bankruptcy and reorganization of the Chrysler Corporation. The large 167-acre site, located on the western entry of the City, had been improved with more than 2.2 million square feet of industrial buildings, as well as several thousand square feet of supporting parking and rail spurs. It was the cornerstone of Twinsburg’s economic and community development since its construction in 1957, providing employment opportunities to thousands and millions of dollars of income to the City of Twinsburg.
The loss of economic activity and the disruption of the lives of the workers had immediate impacts. Fortunately, the new owners, Scannell Properties and the DeGeronimo Family Trust, possessed the resources and vision necessary to take on the risk of such a large redevelopment project. The owners and City partnered in the application and acquisition of financial support which was provided by the State of Ohio. This support, in combination with the owner’s substantial investment and vision, made it possible for the old industrial structures to be removed and the site improved.
Today, the new Cornerstone Business Park has re-gained its stature as a driver of local economic actively. A local company, Vistar/PFG, was the first to expand on the site with a 137,000 s.f. distribution facility in 2013. The recently completed a 70,000 s.f. addition. The decision to expand locally meant that the 50 existing employees and company were retained in the City, while the expansion will add another 25.
New construction has continued. A 303,000 s.f. package distribution center for FedEx was followed by a 202,000 s.f. multi-tenant industrial structure, which is now fully occupied. Amazon constructed a 248,000 s.f. small package sortation center. O’Reilly Auto Enterprises, LLC has constructed a 303,000 s.f. regional distribution center on the southwest corner of the site, and Scannell Properties recently added a 247,000 s.f. multi-tenant spec building at the southeast corner of the park. Over a thousand employees are working on land formerly involved in the Chrysler plant.
Approximately 17 acres of the original 165-acre site remain, including the high profile northwest corner of the old plant site (southeast corner of the E. Aurora Road/Chamberlin Road intersection). It is apparent that this former Chrysler property will once again serve as a Cornerstone of the City’s economic future.
Business Retention Efforts
Twinsburg participates in the Summit Business Partnership program with Summit County. This program uses site visits with local companies to learn of the issues and challenges facing them and provides an opportunity for economic development staff at the city, county, and state level to cooperate on efforts to assist companies where possible. To schedule a visit at your business or industry, call Mr. Finch at 330-963-6154.
Tax Incentive Programs
A comprehensive set of incentive programs have been put in place to assist businesses and property owners to locate and thrive in the City of Twinsburg. Applications must be processed prior to commencing construction on project elements. Applicants should contact the division to schedule a meeting and secure current application materials.
Enterprise Zone Program
Twinsburg operates an Enterprise Zone jointly with Summit County. This zone is community-wide, enabling any qualifying business the opportunity to obtain abatement for real and personal property tax. To be eligible, an industry must add employment and must invest in facilities within the city. Minimum investment for expansion of an existing facility is 10% of its value. When occupying a vacant facility, a minimum 20% investment is required. When renovating an existing facility, the minimum investment is 50% of its value.
Levels of abatement benefits vary with the amount of investment and number of jobs retained or new jobs created as a result of the project. Actual abatement levels will be negotiated with the business based on the amount invested and employment created.
Businesses relocating to Twinsburg from other Ohio municipalities are subject to various restrictions and must obtain a Waiver of Relocation Restrictions from the Ohio Department of Development before an agreement can be executed.
Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) Program
The city's Community Reinvestment Area Program enables those who invest in real property within the designated CRA area to benefit from abatement of a portion of real property tax increases resulting from that investment. While personal property tax abatements are not available through this program, real property tax abatements may be granted.
One of the most significant aspects of the CRA program is that it may be applied to industrial, commercial, and residential properties. A negotiated percentage of the tax increase that would have applied without the abatement may be granted for terms that go up to 15 years.
Like the Enterprise Zone Program, the amount of the abatement depends upon the investment made and the jobs created or retained. Unlike the Enterprise Zone program, there are no restrictions affecting companies moving to Twinsburg from other Ohio communities.
Twinsburg Occupancy Program
This innovative program was implemented to encourage the use of existing industrial and commercial buildings. Owners or leasers of properties which have been vacant, and where the owner or leaser will bring jobs to the community, may qualify for an annual grant. This grant is based on the income taxes paid by employees of the enterprise located at the site and may be for an amount equivalent to as much as 50% of the income taxes paid to the city. The grant is paid to the company at the end of the 1st quarter after the year in which taxes were paid.
To be eligible to participate in the Twinsburg Occupancy Program, a company must have an existing payroll of at least $500,000 and have at least 20 full-time or equivalent employees. They must also commit to creation of at least 10 new jobs with at least $250,000 of new payroll over a 3-year job creation period.
Program benefits may run for up to 10 years depending upon the amount of the company's annual payroll. For companies that lease facilities, the program is limited to a term no longer than the base lease. Companies who fail to meet their job creation goals may be required to repay all or a portion of the grant amount.
Other Incentive Programs
A number of investment and employment tax credits are available to industries through the State of Ohio. The Ohio Department of Development also provides export assistance and workforce development assistance. These programs may be available at any location in the state. To find out more, go to the Ohio Department of Development website.
The Summit County Port Authority has partnered with the city and area businesses to provide alternative financing and off-balance sheet financing for new construction or alterations, equipment purchases, and other purposes. For more information, visit the Summit County Port Authority website.