Speedway to add 300 new jobs in Enon

Speedway will add 300 new jobs at its corporate headquarters in Enon as part of a $48 million expansion, continuing the convenience store chain’s growth into a national brand.

The new positions would be full-time corporate and office support jobs created to provide support for a new store that Marathon Petroleum Corp., Speedway’s parent company, acquired from rival refining firm Andeavor. Economic development officials in Clark County said the announcement solidifies the company’s presence in Clark County for the foreseeable future and could signal to other firms that the region can provide the workforce needed to support a company with a national footprint.

RELATED: Speedway considering $48 million expansion in Enon

“Having a flagship brand like Speedway really does send a message to the rest of the business community,” said Horton Hobbs, vice president of economic development for the Chamber of Greater Springfield.

Construction will start this month and is scheduled to be completed in 2020. Speedway’s new 140,000 square-foot building will connect two existing facilities at its Enon headquarters and allow the company to move employees in a separate building in Springfield back to the Enon campus. The roughly 300 new workers will be added over a four-year time frame.

DETAILS: FTC requires Marathon to sell stores to avoid antitrust problems

Speedway has more than 40,000 employees across the United States with about 1,200 located in Enon, Springfield, and Vandalia.

“It is a very exciting time to work for Speedway as we continue an aggressive growth strategy,” said Speedway President Tony Kenney in a news release. “With that growth comes the need for more space. We are fortunate to be able to expand our office complex within our existing footprint.”

The move is beneficial to the Miami Valley for a variety of reasons, said Julie Sullivan, vice president for regional development for the Dayton Development Coalition. The headquarters operation means high-paying jobs and can provide a boost for local companies that do business with Speedway. The company likely had opportunities to expand to communities on either coast after its acquisitions so the fact the company chose to remain in the Miami Valley shows they believe the region can support a company with national name recognition, she said.

MORE: Marathon closed $23B deal with Texas refining firm

Marathon, Speedway’s parent company is headquartered in Findlay in northwest Ohio.

“Between these two companies, it speaks to the strength of the Ohio economy that they continue to double down in the Western region and Northwestern region of Ohio,” Sullivan said.

The News-Sun previously reported the Clark County commissioners approved a 100-percent, 15-year tax abatement earlier this fall to solidify the deal. An enterprise zone agreement request filed by the company shows Speedway was also considering two undisclosed sites outside of Ohio for its expansion.

The company has a long history in Clark County and contributes to several area charities, said Clark County Commissioner Rick Lohnes.

“Speedway is a great corporate citizen in the Clark County community,” Lohnes said. “Locally, the Chamber, CIC, and Clark County worked closely with Speedway to help meet their immediate and long-term needs. We are thrilled our county will continue to benefit from their growth and success.”

MORE BUSINESS NEWS: Marathon acquisition could close in early October

Speedway was already one of the nation’s largest company-owned convenience store chains just a few years ago, with about 1,500 stores spread across nine states, mostly in the Midwest.

But Marathon made two separate acquisitions in just a few years that made the Enon-based convenience store chain into a national brand. Marathon spent $2.8 billion in 2015 to acquire Hess, an East Coast retail chain with approximately 1,200 locations. That deal alone expanded Speedway’s footprint from nine states to more than 20.

In October this year, Marathon closed on a separate, $23.3 billion deal to acquire all outstanding shares of Andeavor, a refining company based in Texas and an additional roughly 1,100 convenience stores. Combined, Marathon’s acquisition of the Hess and then Andeavor were valued at more than $26 billion. Since 2014, Speedway’s presence shot up from 1,500 stores to about 3,900 locations spread across the U.S.

“Speedway has been the largest and most generous community and corporate partner helping to improve the Greater Springfield Community,” said Michael McDorman, president and CEO of the Chamber of Greater Springfield. “Speedway is a long-standing pillar of our community and we are excited they have chosen to continue to grow their headquarters in Clark County.”

Manufacturing firms including Topre America Corp. and Silfex have also pledged to add hundreds of jobs in Clark County in recent months, Hobbs said. Speedway’s announcement Monday is a sign that Clark County is on the right path to becoming a more attractive place for people to live and work, Hobbs said. More high-paying jobs can also lead to more local retail opportunities and private investment in the community, he said.

“The job growth is paving a foundation for continuous private investment that will grow our community in many ways,” Hobbs said.

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