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HomeNewsLocal
Published: Monday, 6/29/2009

Home Depot plans warehouse near Findlay, creating 300 jobs

BLADE STAFF

FINDLAY - Home Depot got the nod yesterday for state financial assistance toward a $39 million project it is considering for a new warehouse outside of Findlay that would create 300 jobs.

The Ohio Tax Credit Authority yesterday approved a five-year, 45 percent tax credit for Home Depot U.S.A. in hopes of luring the home improvement retailer into building a new regional distribution center in Allen Township.

The state Department of Development is backing the tax credit, worth an estimated $285,000, in hopes of convincing the Atlanta-based chain to build in Hancock County.

The county Regional Planning Commission has committed to a 15-year enterprise zone tax abatement to assist efforts to attract the facility to Findlay, estimated at a value of $5.3 million. Aggie Dahar, economic development specialist with the commission, said other incentives are possible but need government approval for the company to proceed with the project.

"But if the incentives are approved as we're hoping, I feel relatively confident that they will [come to Findlay]," Ms. Dahar said.

Home Depot originally considered both Michigan and Indiana for the project, before choosing Ohio, she said. Findlay was one of several Ohio cities under consideration, Ms. Dahar said.

If it is built, the planned distribution center is expected to serve 120 stores throughout the Midwest, state officials said. The jobs would pay an average of $10.88 per hour, plus benefits, the company said.

Ironically, Home Depot closed its Findlay retail store, along with another store in Lima, a year ago as part of a nationwide cut of 15 "underperforming" stores in its chain. The Findlay store employed about 95 people.

Lowe's home improvement operates a similar distribution center in suburban Findlay.

In other action yesterday, the tax credit authority approved a seven-year, 45 percent job creation tax credit to TH Plastics Inc., of Mendon, Mich., which plans to open a new injection molding plant in Findlay, employing 85 people.

The $3.2 million project also received a $1.3 million low-interest, 10-year state loan. The average wage of the new jobs will be $13.24 per hour, plus benefits, the firm's state aid application said.

The tax credit authority also approved a seven-year, 55 percent tax credit to Turbine Standard Ltd. of Swanton, to create 35 new jobs as an expansion of its operations at Toledo Express Airport.

The $675,000 project includes expanding the firm's Springfield Township maintenance facility and to lease a hangar at the airport in Swanton Township. The company conducts aircraft maintenance and modernization.



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