Magnanni, a Spanish men's shoe company, is expanding its office and distribution center in New Albany, its base of U.S. operations for the past five years.
The company, currently on Zarley Street, is building a 15,000-square-foot building on 2.15 acres in the Personal Care and Beauty Campus, north of state Route 161 and east of Beech Road. The new building will be east of Axium Plastics off the Smith's Mill Road loop.
Jennifer Chrysler, New Albany's community development director, said the company owns land elsewhere but was reminded of New Albany's potential by a recent magazine article that featured her and New Albany Co. president Bill Ebbing. Ebbing wore a pair of Magnanni shoes in the magazine photo.
"They decided to remain a part of our community," Chrysler told New Albany City Council on Oct. 2.
City Council approved a100-percent property-tax abatement for the company for five or seven years, depending on how the new building is constructed. New Albany offers longer abatement terms for buildings that meet certain environmental standards.
Chrysler said Magnanni is a third-generation company that was started by Sebastian Blanco Aldomar in his home in Almansa, Spain. According to the company's website, Blanco Aldomar, started working in Spanish shoe factories at age 12 and opened his own company when he turned 44.
Pascual Blanco, one of Blanco Aldomar's grandsons, is a resident of New Albany.
He is the president of the U.S. operation, which imports and distributes shoes all over the country. He said the shoes can be found in many stores, including Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus and online through Zappos.
The company manufactures men's shoes only; Blanco said it is complicated to do both men's and women's shoes.
Magnanni shoes are handcrafted in a factory in Spain, where the company produce 1,300 pairs of shoes a day, he said.
In its expanded office and distribution space in New Albany, Magnanni will retain five full-time and two part-time employees and add two to three new employees in the next three years.
The land on which it will build in the Personal Care and Beauty Campus is within the Johnstown-Monroe Local School District. A portion of income taxes received by New Albany will be shared with the Licking County school district during the term of the tax abatement.
Blanco said the company also retains ownership of 22 acres between Jersey Township and Pataskala but has no plans for the site.