Construction continues on $77.5M distribution center in Springfield that will bring over 800 jobs

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Construction of a 870,000-square-foot distribution center in Springfield remains on track, as walls have gone up and the building is expected to open sometime in the early to middle part of next year.

The distribution center is part of a $77.5 million investment by the department store chain Gabriel Brothers Inc. The facility will support the company’s current operations, which includes 120 stores in more than a dozen states, as well as accommodate future growth.

“This gives us a runway to the next 120 stores. This is the evolution of our company and we are thrilled to be here,” Gabe’s President and CEO Jason Mazzola said.

Gabe’s has opened 40 stores in the past five years, he said, and that growth has lead to the department store’s largest single investment in its history with the building of the Springfield distribution center.

The facility in Springfield is located at 1801 Prime Parkway at the Prime Ohio II Industrial Park. Construction started in the fall.

The project will create 700 full-time jobs, as well as over 300 part-time jobs. The distribution center is expected to generate up to $27.8 million in annual payroll.

The developer for the site is Northpoint Development, and a mix of local and regional contractors are working on the project, said Mike McDorman, the president and CEO of the Greater Springfield Partnership.

McDorman said that construction has remained on course and on schedule, without any major delays. Gabe’s is looking to get that facility operational as quickly as possible, he said, and that the goal is for it to open by early to mid 2023.

Representatives of Gabe’s did not respond to a request for comment regarding the current state of construction or if it has started the hiring process to fill the hundreds of related jobs.

Gabe’s could hire 50 to 60 people prior to the facility being operational, McDorman said, in order to make sure everything is place and ready to go by the time the distribution center opens its doors.

Gabe’s had been looking to build a new facility for over a year prior to choosing Springfield.

The company had been in talks with Springfield and Clark County officials since May. An affiliate of Gabe’s paid $4.7 million for 114 acres at the industrial park. The company has enough space to expand to 1.3 million square-feet, depending on the future needs of the company.

Gabe’s has 20 retail stores in Ohio, with its nearest location in the greater Dayton area, and that presence in the state played a part in the chain selecting Springfield for its new distribution center, said representatives of the company.

Other factors that made Springfield an attractive location included proximity to stores in nearby states, as well as the location off of Interstate 70 and a large labor market in the region.

The project has been awarded state and local economic incentives. The Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved a 1.488%, 10-year job creation tax credit last month for the Gabe’s project.

The city of Springfield approved two agreements with Gabe’s, including a 100% tax abatement for 15 years regarding the property. The same agreement was approved by the Clark-Shawnee Local Board of Education in August.

Springfield city commissioners also improved an employment incentive agreement with Gabe’s to return 30% of the local income taxes generated from the distribution center to the companyeach year over a five-year period.

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