Just over a year ago, the Twinsburg Chrysler Stamping Plant closed its doors for good, leaving the community that depended on it. Now, not only will the city have a new occupant for the site, it will also keep a vital business from leaving.
Performance Food Group-Vistar Ohio, currently operating on Dutton Drive in Twinsburg, will be the first occupant of the former Chrysler stamping plant, bringing its 50 employees and creating 10 more jobs in the next five years.
Larry Finch, director of community planning and development, said Tim Elam of Scannell Properties worked to keep the food distribution center in the city.
“We are retaining a company that is very strong in the marketplace,” Finch said. “We would have lost these jobs if it weren’t for Mr. Elam and Scannell Properties, the mayor, and city staff.”
Tuesday night, City Council unanimously approved an agreement that would give Vistar a property tax abatement over the next 10 years for building a new facility in the city, Finch said. The average real tax abatement over that period is 50 percent. Finch said with the abatement, property tax receipts will be around $80,000.
Vistar has been operating in Twinsburg for 30 years, but according to President Frank Lutch, was running out of room in its 93,000-square-foot facility. The food distributor had been looking around Ohio and other states for new locations, until they were able to work out a deal with Scannell to move into the Chrysler site, offering 137,000 square feet.
Vistar will occupy one portion of the Chrysler site that will be parceled out into about seven pieces. Planning commission will review the final site plans on Monday and Finch said demolition could begin in the next few weeks. The project is planned to be complete by September 2012, at a total cost of $9.3 million.
“My company is willing and able to spend $9.3 million in this investment and invest in this community where it’s been our home for 30 years,” Lutch said. “Twinsburg’s been good to us and we’d like to be here for the next 30 years.”
“I am just very excited about this particular project,” said Mayor Katherine Procop, adding this will be the first new building on the site in 54 years.