70 jobs, up to $18M project proposed for Springfield industrial park

In-depth coverage

The Springfield News-Sun provides unmatched coverage of economic development efforts in Clark and Champaign counties, including recent stories tracking local unemployment rates and plans to expand at Navistar.

By the numbers:

$7.5M: Cost to build the Seneca Medical distribution center

$18M: Total investment, including inventory at the center

$1.9M: Estimated annual payroll at the distribution center

60 to 70: estimated number of new jobs at the distribution center

A proposed distribution center for medical supplies could add up to 70 new jobs in Springfield, the first major development in the new PrimeOhio II industrial Park along I-70.

Seneca Medical will ask city commissioners to approve a 10-year, 75 percent tax abatement tonight.

If approved, the company would build a new 150,000-square-foot distribution and the total investment would be between about $16.3 million and $18.8 million, according to the abatement agreement obtained by the Springfield News-Sun.

“It’s somewhat gratifying to see this investment take place — certainly we’ve been laying the ground work for some time,” Springfield Assistant City Manager and Director of Economic Development Tom Franzen said.

>>READ MORE: Downtown, industrial parks seen as key to Clark County jobs in 2016

>>MORE COVERAGE: Construction begins on $7.5M Love’s Travel Stop

Seneca Medical leaders declined to comment Monday, but said more news could come if city commissioners approve their incentives.

The company operates a medical supply distribution network out of its headquarters in Tiffin, Ohio. Seneca recently merged with two other companies to form Concordance Healthcare Solutions, according to its website.

It employs about 1,000 people, operates 20 distribution centers in 19 states and does $1.4 billion in annual sales, according to its website.

Easy access to Interstate 70 at Prime Ohio II is a key selling point developers use when new companies look at Springfield, Franzen said.

The Community Improvement Corp. of Clark County — a collaboration between the city, county leaders and the Chamber of Greater Springfield — worked to develop the $8.5 million Prime Ohio II Industrial Park off of Interstate 70 and Ohio 41 to be shovel-ready for businesses.

“This proves our theory that to have a readily available site near the interstate with water and sewer will lead to a lot of inquiries,” Clark County Commissioner John Detrick said.

A new distribution warehouse for the company could employ between 60 to 70 new, full-time workers within the first year of business in Springfield, according to its city tax abatement proposal.

Wages for the jobs will average between $13 and $14 an hour, Franzen said, and the estimated annual payroll for new employees is $1.9 million, the company says in its proposal.

Commissioners will vote Tuesday evening on the tax cut, Franzen said, and if the deal moves forward the company will submit building proposals.

“If this was a ballgame, I think we’re sliding in to home plate,” Detrick said.

The PrimeOhio II site is annexed into the city and has water, electric, roads and gas lines.

Having completed industrial parks like Prime Ohio II gives the city an edge when competing for new companies to the area, business leaders have said.

The new distribution site would be next door to the $7.5 million Love’s Travel Stop that’s under construction.

Members of the CIC have said that the Love's is key to the development of the Prime Ohio II park.

The Love’s is expected to add as many as 60 jobs.

Small, local businesses that have been in the area of Ohio 41 and I-70 for some time welcome the addition.

Mike McCarty is the co-owner of Dan’s Towing, 1750 Titus Road, across Ohio 41 from the new business park.

He said he hadn’t heard about the proposed warehouse, but welcomes the additional business it could mean for his company.

“We’re a towing business so all the activity around (the new construction) increases our business,” McCarty said.

Nearly 150 new jobs between the Love’s and the new warehouse is also a positive step for the community, he said.

“We need all the jobs we can get, that’s for sure,” McCarty said.

About the Author