Gabe’s $77.5M distribution center on track to be fully operational in the fall

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

A Springfield distribution center that will create hundreds of new jobs and is part of a $77.5 million investment is on track to open this fall.

The discount retailer Gabriel Brothers, also known as Gabe’s, announced last year that it would be building a 870,000-square-foot facility in Springfield that would support existing retail operations and pave the way for expansion. It represents the largest single investment made by the West Virginia based company. Construction started last fall, and the facility is expected be fully operational this year.

It will be located at the Prime Ohio II Industrial Park, east of Springfield in territory annexed from Springfield Twp. The address of the distribution center is 1801 Prime Parkway. The facility will be located off of Interstate 70.

“Right now if we did not open this (distribution center) we wouldn’t be able to open any more stores after 2022. 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 has said.

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

The project is on track to be fully operational by this fall and the company is working to fill new positions by then, said Horton Hobbs, vice president of economic development for the Greater Springfield Partnership.

Supply issues and inflationary prices had previously caused minor delays in the construction process, Horton noted.

“I know that in some points there were some small delays. But to my understanding, everything is back on track and has been moving,” he said.

As the distribution facility is slated to open in the fall, Gabe’s is currently looking to filling leadership roles first before it starts to fill other positions at the facility.

The new facility will be larger than Gabe’s five other distribution centers combined, company representatives previously stated.

All together, roles at the new distribution center will include material handlers, packers, sorters, equipment operation, truck drivers, counters, maintenance, administration, supervisors and managers.

Officially, the retailer has pledged to create 833 full-time equivalent jobs. But the actual number of jobs that could be generated as a result of the project includes more than 700 full-time positions and over 300 part-time positions.

Though multiple projects were announced last year, including a snack food company looking to set up manufacturing operations in the area, Gabe’s planned distribution center represented the largest investment and largest promise of job growth announced in the area in 2021.

“When you see something that big on the landscape, certainly on the I-70 landscape, it just raises everybody’s attention to what is happening in the community,” Hobbs said.

The project has also 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 approved an Employment Incentive Agreement with Gabe’s that will provide an annual 30% return to the company depending on the amount of new income tax generated by jobs created at the facility each year over a five-year period.

Gabe’s currently has around 20 retail stores in Ohio, a presence which played a part in the chain selecting Springfield as the location of its new distribution center.

The company also has locations in West Virginia, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

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