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Land swap could bring 70 jobs in Medina

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    Kathy Breitenbucher, of the Medina County Economic Development Corp., said projects like "Everybody Works" can benefit employers who seek good workers.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

  • 23568130-1

    The Ravago Americas LLC project is massive and is constructing a 506,000-square-foot distribution center.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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23568130-1

The Ravago Americas LLC project is massive and is constructing a 506,000-square-foot distribution center.

BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE Enlarge

MEDINA — A $31 million project is coming to the city after the Medina County commissioners approved the annexation of nearly 32 acres of land from Lafayette Township to the city of Medina on Tuesday.

The area will be the site of a new distribution center.

Ravago Americas LLC has already started construction on the 506,000-square-foot facility in the city’s southwest quadrant near Lake and West Smith roads.

The Orlando, Fla.-based company could create as many as 70 new jobs with the project.

Dan Gladish, Medina’s chief building official, said the distribution center, at 5192 Lake Road, will include 11.5 acres under roof.

“They are moving at a fast pace,” he said. “Their goal is to have a roof on it by the end of November. The foundation is in. They are starting the steel work and the frame. They are using precast concrete walls. That building will go up quick.”

Geis Construction Inc., of Streetsboro, is the builder.

The annexed land will have dual jurisdiction with Lafayette Township retaining the property taxes and the city of Medina getting payroll taxes, said Kimberly Marshall, Medina economic development director.

She said Ravago wanted to assemble all the properties and annex the land with an eventual lot consolidation.

“When constructing a 500,000-plus square foot building it would not be prudent to build in multiple jurisdictions due to potential zoning issues via each jurisdiction,” Marshall said. “They will likely approach the city for property tax abatement on the building, which would be a cost-savings benefit to them.”

City Law Director Greg Huber, speaking on behalf of vacationing Mayor Dennis Hanwell, said the project has advantages for both entities.

“It’s the kind of economic development that benefits the city and the county,” he said.

One of the landowners who sold property in the deal, Mark Fredrick, is thrilled that the project will be in his backyard.

He said he sold 26 acres in the deal for $534,000.

Multiple parcels of land were purchased for the Medina project. There also was a land swap with the Medina County Park District in which Ravago bought other land and gave it to the district.

Landowners Chuck and Amy Vinyard and Stanimir Vitkovic also sold parcels of land.

The Medina County Port Authority will issue up to $50 million in bonds to Ravago.

Bethany Dentler, executive director of the Medina County Economic Development Corp., said Ravago distributes plastic resin materials, which are used by other manufacturers to make both industrial products (such as plastic caps for pipelines) and consumer goods (toys) out of plastic.

“Ravago has enjoyed a strong presence in Ohio for many years and we’re thrilled to be investing in a state that’s been so good to us and remains such a big part of our strategic plans for many years to come,” Ravago Vice President of Operations Sean Williams previously wrote in an email.

“Our business has evolved over the past 20 years, so we evaluated other surrounding states for our new distribution center and many other sites in Ohio, but the city of Medina has so much to offer and the economic development team was so fantastic to work with that it made our decision an easy one. The entire Ravago team is excited to finally be under construction and can’t wait to get started in our new facility in Medina.”

Dentler said Ravago had been searching for a particular site that had access to railways.

“It’s going to be a fairly large project,” Dentler said. “It’s a combination warehouse/assembly operation. They need to be near the railroad tracks. Medina was the only one in the region that fit that bill.”

Dentler said she’s seen the site plans and the building calls for holding up to 100 rail cars at a time.

“They’ll be delivering materials,” she said. “They’ll have hoppers where they will be mixing plastic pellets and reformulating them according to their customers’ needs and then loading them on the rail cars. It will be quite an involved operation.”

Ravago also will make railway improvements and buy machinery and equipment.

In other news 500 jobs open

Medina County has more than 500 job openings throughout the county, according to the commissioners.

They proclaimed October as “Everybody Works” month, and the commissioners said they want to support job opportunities for all the county residents.

23568127

Kathy Breitenbucher, of the Medina County Economic Development Corp., said projects like "Everybody Works" can benefit employers who seek good workers.

BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE Enlarge

“Workforce is the No. 1 issue with our business community right now,” Medina County Economic Development Corp.’s Kathy Breitenbucher said. “That’s really all we’re talking about. It’s a constant conversation.”

The economic development corporation will sponsor the “Everybody Works” summit Oct. 25 at the Medina County University Center.

“We’re going to do education and social media all-in-one,” she said. “We’ll have an event on the 25th of October to educate companies that want to come out and learn about how to work with these populations.”

Other organizations joining the summit are the Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Ohio Means Jobs, Jobs for Ohio Graduates, Job and Family Services and Employing Medina County.

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.
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