Grove City Record

Auto parts maker to bring 80 jobs to town

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A South Korean auto parts manufacturer has confirmed it will locate its first United States production facility in Grove City.

S&T Automotive America has signed a lease and will locate at 3900 Gantz Road, near the intersection of Stringtown Road and Interstate 71. The facility will produce shock absorbers.

"We're very pleased and flattered they have chosen our community," said Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage. "It says a lot for us ... (and) it brings more job opportunities to our citizens."

Columbus 2020, a regional economic development organization, also was involved in the negotiations to bring S&T to the area.

The agreement comes with the stipulation that S&T move into the property as soon as "practicable" and be in operation within 12 months. In addition to filling a vacant industrial building, S&T is projected to bring 80 jobs to the city with an estimated total annual payroll of $2.2 million and a capital investment of $6.5 million.

The 175,000-square-foot site was built in 1991 for manufacturing and research by a pharmaceutical company. It more recently was a distribution facility for the now-defunct book and music retailer Borders, and most recently has been vacant.

In February, Grove City Council unanimously approved a jobs development and incentive agreement as part of the effort to bring S&T Automotive America to town. At the time council approved the agreement, the company was considering other locations, including Pennsylvania, Michigan and Kentucky.

"It was an extremely competitive site selection process," Stage said.

S&T will receive a payroll tax sharing incentive as part of the agreement. For the first two years of the agreement, the city will pay 75 percent of the company's net payroll tax payments and will pay 50 percent in years three through seven. S&T will also receive a 10-year, 100-percent property tax abatement for the existing structures and a 15-year, 100-percent abatement for any new structures it builds on the site if the company's capital investments increase the property's market value.

Council's approval came with the understanding additional changes might be necessary to finalize the agreement. But City Administrator Chuck Boso said while the agreement has not yet been executed and there might be some alterations to the language, the substance of the agreement remains the same.

Other incentives S&T is receiving include a $25,000 grant from the Grove City Community Improvement Corp. and a six-year, 50-percent tax credit from the Ohio Tax Credit Authority, which approved the credit in January.

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