- Ed Richter Staff Writer
After a delay of several months, a proposed logistics and distribution center project is back on track.
Middletown City Council on Tuesday will consider a first reading for an enterprise zone agreement ordinance that would provide a 15-year, 100 percent property tax abatement for The Opus Development Company of Minneapolis who is planning to build a 400,000 to 700,000 square-foot logistics and distribution facility.
Council began the process to approve incentives for this project last spring, but was delayed so additional details could be reviewed.
According to a staff report from Jennifer Ekey, city economic development director, the proposed facility will be on 35 acres at Todhunter and Yankee roads adjacent to the MADE Industrial Park. That site was last proposed as an indoor marijuana growing facility.
“It is being built speculatively with no current tenant committed to the building,” she said.
Ekey said the proposed facility would be designed to accommodate a regional distribution company, which could range from an e-commerce retailer to a consumer goods company. She expects the total cost of investments for the project to be between $12 million and $21 million and would create about 150 jobs with an estimated payroll of $4 million.
The tax abatement request is within the parameters of the previously negotiated school compensation agreement, Ekey said.
City Manager Doug Adkins said construction is expected to start during the first quarter of 2018, weather permitting.
Although council already heard a first reading of the ordinance for the agreement, Adkins said, “we thought it best to start the process over with two readings.”
The project will benefit from the completion of the $1.81 million extension of Salzman Road that will link Ohio 63 with Todhunter and Yankee roads.
The extension aligned with Yankee Road will provide a straight route for truck and commercial traffic to and from Middletown between Todhunter Road and Ohio 63 for easier access to Ohio 4 and Interstate 75.
The extension also enables semi-trucks to avoid a railroad crossing as well as the area around Monroe High School and Junior High school.